Silliman University’s Anthropology Museum (Dumaguete City, Negros Oriental)

Anthropology Museum

Silliman University’s Anthropology Museum,  a must to visit if you are a tourist in Dumaguete City, was established in 1973 to bring the importance of the Filipino’s cultural heritage to the attention of the public. Formerly housed in the iconic Silliman Hall (the oldest American structure in the country), the museum was relocated to the second floor of Hibbard Hall in 2015.

Hibbard Hall

Hibbard Hall, built in 1932 and named after Dr. David Sutherland Hibbard, one of the founders of the institution, also houses the Office of the University Registrar.. It is a good museum to visit to get first-hand viewing of tools used on different historical ages of the Philippines.

The collections were well documented and arranged. The bulk of the artifacts displayed came from field works, excavations by Sillimanian anthropologists in the 1970s, purchases and donations.This airconditioned museum has seven galleries, from archaeological finds to anthropological artifacts. The first three contains exhibits collected from known cultural or ethnic groups all over the country.

Artifacts include simple tools and instruments such as basketry; woodwork; agricultural and aquatic tools; weapons (bows & arrows, etc.); clothing and ornaments; musical instruments impressive samples of Islamic cultural pieces and even objects of Siquijor “witchcraft” or traditional healing practices. The display is based on two general criteria: the type of social organization (incipient, tribal or sultanate) and the type of economic subsistence (hunting, and gathering, marginal agriculture or farming) under which ethnic group is categorized.

The last four galleries exhibit a variety of very wide-reaching and interesting artifacts, dating to the Pre-Colonial Period, collected from different parts of Negros Island and in the mountain areas of CotabatoOn display are excavated burial jars, clay pots believed to be used during burial rites; porcelain which date back to the Sung Period in the twelfth century; native jewelry; and a long wooden boat coffin with actual remains in it.

The Sultan Omar Kiram Collection tells the curious story of a young man, born in 1914, whose Christian name was Vicente Austria.  He was adopted into a wealthy Christian family and enjoyed the benefits of education and culture of that family. Later, as an army officer, he went to a Muslim village where his former nurse (yaya) recognized him and told him of his real heritage that he was, in fact, from a royal Muslim family and he was really Sultan Omar Kiram, the ruler of the Onayan Sultanate of Lanao del Sur, Mindanao.  He died in 1986 and his collection, which  includes his personal effects (clothes, different kinds of ceremonial swords, prayer beads, etc.),  was donated by his wife.

Rocks and Minerals

There’s also a display of precious gemstones and minerals and a short visual history of the Filipino people (Philippine Revolution, Second World War , Declaration of Independence, EDSA Revolution, etc.).

Anthropology Museum: 2/F, Hibbard Hall, Hibbard Ave., Silliman University, Dumaguete City. Open Mondays-Saturdays, 8 AM – 11:30 AM and 1:30 PM – 4:30 PM;  Sundays and holidays, by appointment. General Admission: PhP50 (Mondays – Saturdays); PhP100 (Sundays and holidays).  Children below 15 years and Filipino students: PhP20 (Mondays – Saturdays); PhP40 (Sundays and holidays).  Senior Citizen: PhP40 (Mondays – Saturdays); PhP80 (Sundays and holidays).

Carcar City Museum (Cebu)

Carcar City Museum (formerly Carcar Dispensary and Puericulture Center)

Part 6 of the Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort & Spa-sponsored City Tour

The very first museum in South Cebu, this museum is housed in the former Carcar Puericulture Center and Dispensary, a two-storey hospital for women and children. Resembling a doll house rather than a medical institution, it was perhaps meant that way to dispel the fears of the patients.

The second floor veranda

An excellent example of American-era civic architecture in the Philippines, this ornate and gracefully designed dispensary was initiated by Mayor Mariano Mercado in 1929 and inaugurated by Ms.Flora Base Mercado, the mayor’s wife, in 1937 with Gov. Sotero Cabahug in attendance.

Historical plaque

The building was inaugurated as the Carcar City Museum on July 8, 2008, during Carcar’s first anniversary as a city.

Calado woodwork


This outstanding, beautifully restored white painted architectural landmark has a profusion of artful latticework, semicircular transoms, carved barandillas (railings) and mini-canopies and stained glass window panes. Beside the museum is a small gated park that pays homage to Don Mariano Mercado, who was responsible for many of Carcar’s beautiful landmarks.

The author at Carcar City Museum

Its galleries, in several rooms, feature objects with historical, cultural and artistic relevance such as a traditional corn milling stone, antique furniture, winning costumes used by Carcar contingents in numerous artistic performances, women’s clothing worn during that era, religious artifacts, leather cutters, kitchen utensils, journals, paintings, war weapons, medical tools, musical instruments and old news clippings about Gen. Pantaleon “Leon Kilat” Villegas.

Antique sewing machine

Farming implements

Props for Linambay (Cebuano term for komedya or moro-moro)

On the museum walls, visitors can see a chronology of events that took place in Carcar from the Pleistocene period up to the present. The terrace (terasa) is the best place to feel the cold breeze from the outside. 


Bajo de unas (double bass) used in a rondalla 


Carcar City Museum: Carcar Square, Carcar City, Cebu.  Open Mondays to Saturdays, 8 AM to 5 PM. Admission: free.

Bluewater Maribago Beach Resort & Spa: Buyong, Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, 6015, Cebu. Tel: (032) 492-0100. Fax: (032) 492-1808.  E-mail:   Website:  Metro Manila sales office: Rm. 704, Cityland Herrera Tower, 98 Herrera cor. Valero Sts., Salcedo Village, Makati City, Metro Manila. Tel: (02) 887-1348 and (02) 817-5751. Fax: (02) 893-5391.

Mangrove Protection and Information Center (Del Carmen, Surigao del Norte)

Mangrove Protection & Information Center

After a lunch prepared for us by Surigao del Norte District I Cong. Francisco Jose “Bingo” Matugas II and hosted by Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo M. Coro II at Krokodeilos, we proceeded to the nearby Mangrove Protection and Information Center (MPIC). The first of its kind in the Philippines, it was inaugurated last November 15, 2014 as part of the town’s and Metro Pacific Investments Foundation’s (with the support of the Manny V. Pangilinan group of companies) “Siargao It Up!” program (started in 2009) which promotes environmental awareness throughout the whole country.

A center for the protection and propagation of mangrove trees in the coastal estuaries, including the rehabilitation of degraded mangroves in the whole island of Siargao, it aims to let locals, tourists and guests know of the importance and benefits of mangroves in terms of biodiversity and its contribution to the safety of the coastal communities.

Del Carmen Mayor Alfredo M. Coro II (in blue shirt and shades) meeting with members of print media

To date, this program has successfully propagated around 800 hectares of new mangroves. As a result of its efforts, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has conferred on Del Carmen  the Environmental Hero Award.  The town observes its Shore It Up Week every first week of March.

A complete skeleton of a saltwater crocodile on display

Mangrove forests are sanctuaries to rare and endangered wildlife species such as the Philippine Cockatoo, the Hawksbill Turtle, the Green Sea Turtle, the Golden Crown Flying Fox, Dinagat Gymnure, the Olive Ridley Turtle and the endangered dugong. It also prevents soil erosion, protects coastline from strong winds and waves, and filters off agricultural run-off and pollution. It is also a breeding ground for different marine organisms; is a source of food, medicines and firewood; and supplies dissolved organic matter for nutrient cycle.

An array of crocodile skulls

According to Mayor Coro, Siargao has an approximately 8,600 hectares of mangrove cover, the second largest in Mindanao, and 4,259 hectares of contiguous mangrove are found in Del Carmen, the largest in the Philippines. Out of the 54 mangrove species worldwide, 44 can be found in Del Carmen, and the Crocodylus porosus, the largest of all living saltwater crocodiles, can be found in the town’s mangrove forest. The town’s vast mangrove forest has also become a major tourist destination in Siargao, with 21 boat operators doing from three to four trips per day, thus generating income for the local economy.

Display case with a collection of different sea shells

On display here are educational materials, a collection of sea shells and a complete skeleton of a saltwater crocodile as well as a number of skulls. Outside is a preserved saltwater crocodile. Measuring 14 feet and 9 inches long, and 2 feet and 8 inches wide, it was discovered floating dead, last October 27, 2016, by the mangroves in Brgy. Esperanza, 8 kms. from the town proper.

Preserved remains of a saltwater crocodile

Siargao Tourism Office: Paseo De Cabuntog, Brgy. Catangnan, Gen. Luna, Siargao Island. Mobile number: (0921) 718-2268 (Ms. Donna Grace T. Estrella – Siargao Tourism Coordinator)

Mangrove Protection and Information Center (MPIC): Poblacion, 8418 Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte.  E-mail: Website:  Facebook:

How to Get There: Skyjet Airlines has daily, 100-min. direct flights from Manila (NAIA Terminal 4) to Siargao (Sayak Airport). ETD Manila at 6 AM (M8-421), ETA Siargao at 7:40 AM. Return flights: ET Siargao at 8:10 AM (M8-422), ETD Manila at 9:50 AM.

Skyjet Airlines: Manila Domestic Airport, Parking A, Terminal 4, NAIA Complex, Brgy. 191, Pasay City, Metro Manila. Tel: (02) 863-1333 and (02) 823-3366. E-mail: Website:

The USS Constitution – Old Ironsides (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

The USS Constitution (Old Ironsides)

After our visit to USS Constitution Museum and  the World War II Fletcher-class destroyer USS Cassin Young, Jandy and I proceeded to the highlight of our tour of the Charlestown Navy Yard – our visit to the USS Constitution. There was already a long queue of visitors waiting for the gates to open when we arrived (it opened at 3:30 PM).  To get in, we had to show valid IDs (in this case our passports).

Check out “USS Constitution Museum” and “USS Cassin Young

The ship at Dry Dock 1

The USS Constitution, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate of the United States Navy launched in 1797, is usually berthed at Pier 1 of the former Charlestown Navy Yard, at one end of Boston’s Freedom Trail  but, during our visit, it was in Dry Dock 1 (here since May 18, 2015) for her scheduled 2-year restoration program to restore the copper sheets on the ship’s hull and replace additional deck boards.  The lower deck was stripped of her guns.

The ship’s prow

Constitution is most noted for her actions during the War of 1812 against the United Kingdom, when she captured numerous merchant ships and defeated the British warships HMS GuerriereJavaPictouCyane and Levant during four separate engagements. She earned the nickname “Old Ironsides” because the cannon fire during here encounter with the Guerriere  seemed as if they couldn’t penetrate her strong oak hull.

The author at the gangplank leading up to the ship

Constitution’s stated mission today is to promote understanding of the Navy’s role in war and peace through educational outreach, historical demonstration, and active participation in public events as part of the Naval History & Heritage Command.

A member of the ship’s crew narrating the history of the ship to visitors

As a fully commissioned U.S. Navy ship, her crew of 60 officers and sailors participate in ceremonies, educational programs, and special events while keeping her open to visitors year round and providing free tours.

Jandy beside the double steering wheel of the ship

The officers and crew are all active-duty U.S. Navy personnel, and the assignment is considered to be special duty in the U.S. Navy. Traditionally, command of the vessel is assigned to a Navy commander.

List of Commanding Officers of the USS Constitution

The Constitution, open to the public year-round, typically makes at least one “turnaround cruise” each year, during which she is towed into Boston Harbor to perform underway demonstrations, including a gun drill.  She then returns to her dock in the opposite direction to ensure that she weathers evenly. The “turnaround cruise” is open to the general public based on a “lottery draw” of interested persons. The privately run USS Constitution Museum is nearby, located in a restored shipyard building at the foot of Pier Two.

National Historic Landmark Plaque

Here are some interesting trivia regarding this historic ship:

  • It was named by Pres. George Washington after the Constitution of the United States of America.
  • The Constitution was one of six original frigates authorized for construction by the Naval Act of 1794and the third constructed.  Joshua Humphreys designed the frigates to be the young Navy’s capital ships, and so Constitution and her sisters were larger and more heavily armed and built than standard frigates of the period. She was built in the North End of Boston, Massachusetts at Edmund Hartt‘s shipyard.
  • Her first duties with the newly formed U.S. Navy were to provide protection for American merchant shipping during the Quasi-War with France and to defeat the Barbary pirates in the First Barbary War.
  • She is the world’s oldest commissioned naval vessel still afloat
  • The battle with Guerriere earned her the nickname of “Old Ironsides” and public adoration that has repeatedly saved her from scrapping.
  • Though the Constitution was rated as a 44-gun frigate, she often carried more than 50 guns at a time.
  • During the War of 1812, Constitution’s battery of guns typically consisted of thirty 24-pounder (11 kgs.) cannons, with 15 on each side of the gun deck. A total of 22 cannons were deployed on the spar deck, 11 per side, each a 32-pounder (15 kgs.) carronade. Four chase guns were also positioned, two each at the stern and bow.
  • Constitution’s hull was built 530 mm. (21 in.) thick and her length between perpendiculars was 53 m. (175 ft.), with a 62 m. (204 ft.) length overall and a width of 13.26 m. (43 ft. 6 in.).
  • Her six-sail battle configuration consisted of jibs, topsails and driver.
  • In total, 24 hectares (60 acres) of trees, primarily pine and oak (including southern live oak which was cut from Gascoigne Bluff and milled near  Simons, Georgia) were needed for her construction.
  • Many times, souvenirs were made from her old planking. Isaac Hull ordered walking canes, picture frames and even a phaeton that was presented to Pres. Andrew Jackson. Funds for her 1927-1931 restoration were also raised from memorabilia made of her discarded planking.
  • Busts, depicting Isaac Hull, William Bainbridge and Charles Stewart, were added to her stern, remaining in place for the next 40 years. A figurehead of President Andrew Jackson witht a top hat was also installed under the bowsprit, a subject of much controversy due to Jackson’s political unpopularity in Boston at the time. Another likeness of Jackson, this time with a more Napoleonic pose, was installed in 1847.
  • Most of the required funds for her 1927-1931 restoration were raised privately.  In 1924, the estimated cost of her repair was US$400,000 but it reached over US$745,000 after costs of materials were realized. The first effort, sponsored by the national Elks Lodge, raised US$148,000 from pennies donated by schoolchildren. In September 1926, Wilbur Secretary of the Navy Curtis D. Wilbur began to sell copies of a painting of Constitution at 50 cents per copy. The silent film Old Ironsides, portraying Constitution during the First Barbary War, premiered in December 1926, helped spur more contributions to her restoration fund. Memorabilia made of her discarded planking and metal also raised funds. More than US$600,000 was eventually raised after expenses, still short of the required amount. To complete the restoration, Congress approved up to US$300,000. The final cost of the restoration was US$946,000.
  • Materials for its restoration, especially the live oak needed, were difficult to find. Lt. John A. Lord, selected to oversee the 1927-1931 reconstruction project, uncovered a long-forgotten stash of some 1,500 short tons (1,400 t) of live oak (cut sometime in the 1850s for a ship building program that never began) at Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida. During her 1973-1974 restoration, large quantities of red oak, added in the 1950s as an experiment to see if it would last better than the live oak, were removed and replaced (it had mostly rotted away by 1970). “Constitution Grove,” a 100 sq. km. (25,000-acre) tract of land located at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Indiana dedicated by Cmdr. Tyrone G. Martin in May 1976, now supplies the majority of the white oak required for repair work. For the 1995 restoration, live oak trees felled by Hurricane Hugo in 1989 were also donated by the city of Charleston, South Carolina.  The International Paper Company also donated live oak from its own property.
  • For the 3-year tour of the country in the 1930s, many amenities were installed to prepare her including water piping throughout, modern toilet and shower facilities, electric lighting to make the interior visible for visitors, and several peloruses for ease of navigation. The tour began with much celebration and a 21-gun salute, at Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  Due to the schedule of visits on her itinerary (90 port cities along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts), she was towed by the minesweeper Grebe and she went as far north as Bar Harbor, Maine, south and into the Gulf of Mexico then through the Panama Canal Zone, and north again to Bellingham, Washington on the Pacific Coast.
  • Since her 1927–1931 restoration, all of the guns aboard Constitution are replicas. Most were cast in 1930, but two carronades on the spar deck were cast in 1983. In order to restore the capability of firing ceremonial salutes, a modern 40 mm. (1.6 in.) saluting gun was hidden inside the forward long gun on each side during her 1973–1976 restoration.
  • During the 1976 Bicentennial, over 900,000 visitors toured “Old Ironsides.”
  • The Naval History and Heritage Command Detachment Boston, responsible for planning and performing her maintenance, repair, and restoration, keeping her as close as possible to her 1812 configuration, estimates that approximately 10–15%of the timber in Constitution contains original material installed during her initial construction period in the years 1795–1797.
  • In 2003, the special effects crew from the production of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World spent several days using Constitution as a computer model, using stem-to-stern digital image scans of “Old Ironsides,”for the fictional French frigate Acheron.

The lower deck of the ship

Here’s the historical timeline of the Constitution:

  • On November 1, 1794, the Constitution’s keel is laid down at Edmund Hartt‘s shipyard in Boston, Massachusetts under the supervision of Capt. Samuel Nicholson and master shipwright George Claghorn
  • On September 20, 1797, the Constitution is launched in a ceremony attended by Pres. John Adams and Massachusetts Gov. Increase Sumner.
  • On October 21, 1797, after a month of rebuilding the ways, the Constitution finally slips into Boston Harbor, with Capt. James Sever breaking a bottle of Madeira wine on her bowsprit.
  • On the evening of July 22, 1798, she puts to sea, with orders to patrol the Eastern seaboard between New Hampshire and New York.
  • On September 8, 1798, off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina, the Constitution intercepts the Niger, a 24-gun ship sailing with a French crew, en route from Jamaica to Philadelphia, claiming to have been under the orders of Great Britain. Nicholson has the crewmen imprisoned, placing a prize crew aboard Niger and bringing her into Norfolk, Virginia. The ship and her crew are released to continue their voyage and the American government pays a restitution of $11,000 to Great Britain.
  • On December 29, 1798, after repairs to her bowsprit which was severely damaged in a gale, the Constitution departs Boston.
  • On January 15, 1799, the Constitution intercepts the Spencer, an English merchantman which had been taken prize by the French frigate L’Insurgente a few days prior. Though technically a French ship operated by a French prize crew, Nicholson releases the Spencer and her crew the next morning.
  • On March 1, 1799, the Constitution encounters HMS Santa Margarita whose captain was an acquaintance of Nicholson. The two agree to a sailing duel and, after 11 hours of sailing, Santa Margarita lowers her sails and admits defeat, paying off the bet with a cask of wine to Nicholson.
  • On March 27, 1799, the Constitution manages to recapture the American sloop Neutrality and, a few days later, the French ship Carteret.
  • On May 14, 1799, she returns to Boston and Nicholson was relieved of command.
  • On July 23, 1799, after repairs and resupply are completed, the Constitution departs Boston, now under the command of Capt. Silas Talbot, for Saint-Domingue in the West Indies, via Norfolk, on a mission to interrupt French shipping.
  • On September 15, 1799, she takes the Amelia from a French prize crew and Talbot sends the ship back to New York City with an American prize crew.
  • On October 15, 1799, the Constitution arrives at Saint-Domingue and rendezvous with BostonGeneral Greene and Norfolk.
  • On July 13, 1800, she puts into Cap Français for repairs of her mainmast.
  • On July 23, 1800, the Constitution is relieved of duty by the Constellation.
  • On August 24, 1800, after the Constitution escorts 12 merchantmen to Philadelphia, she puts in at Boston where she receives new masts, sails and rigging.
  • On December 17, 1800, the Constitution again sails for the West Indies as squadron flagship, rendezvousing with CongressAdamsAugustaRichmond and Trumbull.
  • On July 2, 1802, she is placed in ordinary.
  • On May 13, 1803, during the Quasi-War with the Barbary States, Capt. Edward Preble recommissions Constitution as his flagship and makes preparations to command a new squadron for a blockade attempt.
  • On August 14, 1803, the Constitution departs Boston.
  • On September 6, 1803, she almost has a near encounter with the HMS Maidstone, a 32-gun frigate, near the Rock of Gibraltar.
  • On September 12, 1803, the Constitution arrives at Gibraltar where Preble waits for the other ships of the squadron.
  • On October 3, 1803, the Constitution and Nautilus departs Gibraltar
  • On October 4, 1803, they arrive at TangiersAdams and New York arrives the next day. With four American warships in his harbor, the Sultan was glad to arrange the transfer of ships between the two nations
  • On October 14, 1803, Preble departs with his squadron, heading back to Gibraltar.
  • On the morning of August 3, 1804, the ConstitutionArgusEnterpriseScourgeSyren, six gunboats, and two bomb ketches arrive and immediately begin operations for the attack on Tripoli. In the harbor, Constitution and her squadron severely damage or destroy, in a series of attacks over the coming month, the 22 Tripoline gunboats that meet them, taking their crews prisoner. Constitution primarily provided gunfire support, bombarding the shore batteries of Tripoli.
  • On August 11, 1804, the Constitution is ordered to Malta for repairs and, while en route, captures two Greek vessels attempting to deliver wheat into Tripoli.
  • On August 12, 1804, a collision with the President, attributed to a sudden change in wind direction, severely damages the ship’s bow, stern and the figurehead of Hercules.
  • On November 9, 1804, while she underwent repairs and resupply in Malta, Capt. John Rodgers assumes command of Constitution.
  • On April 5, 1805, she resumes the blockade of Tripoli, capturing a Tripoline xebec, along with two prizes that the xebec had captured.
  • On June 3, 1805, a peace treaty with Tripoli was signed  on board the Constitution
  • On July 30, 1805, she arrives in Tunis.
  • On August 14, 1805, after a a short-term blockade of the harbor by the Constitution, CongressConstellationEnterpriseEssexFranklinHornetJohn AdamsNautilusSyren and eight gunboats, a peace treaty was signed.
  • On May 29, 1806, after performing routine patrols and observing the French and Royal Navy operations of the Napoleonic Wars, Rodgers turns over the command of the squadron and Constitution to Capt. Hugh G. Campbell.
  • On May 15, 1807, James Barron sails the Chesapeake out of Norfolk to replace Constitution as the flagship of the Mediterranean squadron. However, he encounters HMS Leopard, resulting in the Chesapeake–Leopard Affair and delaying the relief of Constitution.
  • On September 8, 1807, Campbell and the squadron are ordered home and set sail for Boston
  • On October 14, 1807, the squadron arrives in Boston.
  • On December 1807, the Constitution is recommissioned, with Capt. John Rodgers again taking command to oversee a major refitting and overhaul at a cost just under $100,000.
  • On June 1810, Isaac Hull takes command.
  • On August 5, 1811, Hull departs for France, transporting the new Ambassador Joel Barlow and his family, arriving on September 1.
  • On February 18, 1812, they arrive back to the United States.
  • On July 12, 1812, after war is declared with Britain on June 18, Hull put to sea attempting to join the five ships of a squadron under the command of Rodgers in the President.
  • On July 17, 1812, off Egg Harbor, New Jersey, Hull sights 5 ships (HMS AeolusAfricaBelvideraGuerriere and Shannon) of a British squadron out of Halifax. They sight the Constitution and give chase.
  • On July 19, 1812, after a 57-hour chase, the Constitution finally outruns the squadron, pumping overboard 2,300 US gal (8.7 kl) of drinking water and pulled far enough ahead of the British that they abandoned the pursuit.
  • On July 27, 1812, Constitution arrives in Boston and remains there just long enough to replenish her supplies.
  • On August 2, 1812, to avoid being blockaded in port, Hull sails without orders, heading on a northeast route towards the British shipping lanes near Halifax and the Gulf of Saint LawrenceConstitution captures 3 British merchantmen, which Hull burns rather than risk taking them back to an American port.
  • On August 16, 1812, he sails in pursuit of a British frigate 190 kms. (120 mi.) to the south.
  • On August 19, 1812, he sights the frigate HMS Guerriere and, after a furious battle, the Constitution’s sailing ability and heavier broadsides turned the British frigate into an unmanageable hulk, with close to a third of her crew wounded or killed, while Constitution remained largely intact as many of the British shots had rebounded harmlessly off its hull. The British surrendered. The Guerriere was so badly damaged that she was not worth towing to port and, the next morning, Hull ordered her to be burned after transferring the British prisoners onto Constitution.
  • On August 30, 1812, the Constitution arrives back in Boston where Hull and his crew find that news of their victory has spread fast, and they are hailed as heroes.
  • On September 8, 1812, William Bainbridge takes command of the Constitution and prepares her for another mission in British shipping lanes near Brazil
  • On October 27, 1812, she sets sail with the Hornet
  • On December 13, 1812, they arrive near São Salvador, sighting HMS Bonne Citoyenne in the harbor. The captain of Bonne Citoyenne, reportedly carrying $1,600,000 in specie to England, refuses to leave the neutral harbor lest he lose his cargo. Constitution sails offshore in search of prizes, leaving Hornet to await the departure of Bonne Citoyenne.
  • On December 29, 1812, she meets with HMS Java, under Capt. Henry Lambert and, after continuously raking her with broadsides, Java lays in shambles, an unmanageable wreck with a badly wounded crew, and she surrenders. Java is far too damaged to retain as a prize and Bainbridge orders her burned. Bainbridge is wounded twice during the battle.
  • On January 1, 1813, Constitution returns to São Salvador to disembark the prisoners of Java, where she meets with Hornet and her two British prizes.
  • On January 5, 1813, Bainbridge orders Constitution to sail for Boston for extensive repairs.
  • On February 15, 1813, the Constitution arrives in Boston to even greater celebrations than Hull had received a few months earlier.
  • On July 18, 1813, Charles Stewart takes command of the ship, struggling to complete the construction and recruitment of a new crew.
  • On December 31, 1813, she finally makes sail, setting course for the West Indies to harass British shipping.
  • By late March 1814, she captures 5 merchant ships and the 14-gun HMS Pictou. She also pursues HMS Columbine and HMS Pique but, after realizing that she is an American frigate, both ships escape.
  • On March 27, 1814, her mainmast splits off the coast of Bermuda requiring immediate repair.
  • On April 3, 1814, while enroute to Boston, British ships HMS Junon and Tenedos  pursue her but, after drinking water, food and spirits were cast overboard to lighten her load and gain speed, she makes her way into Marblehead, Massachusetts where the British call off the pursuit. Two weeks later, Constitution makes her way into Boston harbor where she remains blockaded in port until mid-December.
  • On the afternoon of December 18, 1814, the Constitution escapes from Boston Harbor and again sets course for Bermuda. Capt. George Collier gathers a squadron consisting of the 50-gun HMS Leander, Newcastle and Acasta and sets off in pursuit, but he was unable to overtake her.
  • On December 24, 1814, the Constitution intercepts the merchantman Lord Nelson and places a prize crew on board.
  • On February 8, 1815, Constitution is cruising off Cape Finisterre when Stewart learns that the Treaty of Ghent has been signed.
  • On February 16, 1815, realizing that a state of war still exists until the treaty is ratified, the Constitution captures the British merchantman Susanna (her cargo of animal hides were valued at $75,000).
  • On February 20, 1815, the Constitution sights the small British ships Cyane and Levant sailing in company and gives chase, capturing both of them.
  • On March 10, 1815, the trio arrives at Porto Praya at the Cape Verde Islands.
  • On the morning of March 11, 1815, Collier’s squadron was spotted on a course for the harbor, and Stewart orders all ships to sail immediately. Cyane is able to elude the squadron and make sail for America, where she arrives on April 10, but Levant is overtaken and recaptured. While Collier’s squadron was distracted with Levant, the Constitution makes its escape.
  • On April 2, 1815, Constitution puts into Maranhão to offload her British prisoners and replenish her drinking water.
  • On April 28, 1815, after receiving verification of Treaty of Ghent at San Juan, Puerto Rico, the Constitution sets course for New York
  • On May 15, 1815, the Constitution arrives in New York to large celebrations.
  • In January 1816, Constitution is moved to Boston and placed in ordinary, sitting out the Second Barbary War.
  • In April 1820, Isaac Hull, now Charlestown Navy Yard’s commandant, directs a refitting of Constitution to prepare her for duty with the Mediterranean Squadron.
  • On May 13, 1821, the Constitution, now under Jacob Jones, departs on a three-year uneventful tour of duty in the Mediterranean, sailing in company with Ontario and Nonsuch.
  • On May 31, 1824, Constitution arrives in Boston and Jones is relieved of command, replaced by Thomas Macdonough.
  • On October 29, 1824, the Constitution sails for the Mediterranean under the direction of John Rodgers in North Carolina.
  • During December and into January 1826, Constitution puts in for repairs.
  • On February 21, 1826, Daniel Todd Patterson assumes command after Macdonough resigns his command for health reasons on October 9, 1825.
  • By August 1826, she puts into Port Mahon, suffering decay of her spar deck, and she remains there until temporary repairs are completed in March 1827.
  • On July 4, 1828 Constitution returned to Boston and was placed in reserve.
  • On September 14, 1830, an article appeared in the Boston Advertiser which erroneously claims that the Navy intended to scrap Constitution.
  • On September 16, 1830, Oliver Wendell Holmes‘ poem “Old Ironsides” is published in the same paper and later all over the country, igniting public indignation and inciting efforts to save “Old Ironsides” from the scrap yard.
  • After Secretary Branch approves the repair cost of over $157,000, and Constitution begins a leisurely repair period while awaiting completion of the dry dock, then under construction at the yard.
  • On June 24, 1833, Constitution enters dry dock and Capt. Jesse Elliott, the new commander of the Navy yard, oversees her reconstruction. Constitution had 760 mm. (30 in.) of hogin her keel and she remains in dry dock until June 21, 1834.
  • In March 1835, the Constitution, with Elliot in command, gets underway to New York
  • On March 16, 1835, Constitution sets a course for France to deliver Edward Livingston to his post as Minister.
  • On April 10, 1835, she arrives in France
  • On May 16, 1835, Constitution begins the return voyage back to Boston
  • On June 23, 1835, she arrives back in Boston
  • On August 19, 1835, Constitution sails again to take her station as flagship in the Mediterranean
  • On September 19, 1835, she arrives at Port Mahon to begin her uneventful duty over the next two years as she and United States make routine patrols and diplomatic visits.
  • From April 1837 into February 1838, Elliot collects various ancient artifacts to carry back to America.
  • On July 31, 1835, Constitution arrives in Norfolk.
  • On March 1, 1839, as flagship of the Pacific Squadron under the command of Capt. Daniel Turner, she begins her next voyage with the duty of patrolling the western coast of South America, visiting Valparaíso, Callao, Paita and Puna.
  • On August 29, 1841, on her return voyage, Emperor Pedro II of Brazil visits her at Rio de Janeiro.
  • On October 31, 1841, she returns to Norfolk.
  • On June 22, 1842 she is recommissioned, under the command of Foxhall Alexander Parker, for duty with the Home Squadron. After spending months in port she puts to sea for 3 weeks during December, then is again put in ordinary.
  • In late 1843, she is moored at Norfolk, serving as a receiving ship.
  • On November 6, 1843, Capt. John Percival makes necessary repairs and upgrades on the ship at a cost of $10,000 and after several months of labor.
  • On May 29, 1844, Constitution gets underway carrying Ambassador to Brazil Henry A. Wise and his family
  • On August 2, 1844, after making two port visits along the way, she arrives at Rio de Janeiro.
  • On September 8, 1844, Constitution sails again, making port calls at Madagascar, Mozambique, and Zanzibar
  • On January 1, 1845, she arrives in Sumatra where many of her crew begin to suffer from dysentery and fevers, causing several deaths, which leads Percival to set course for Singapore
  • On February 8, 1845, Constitution arrives in Singapore where Commodore Henry Ducie Chads (a lieutenant in the Java when she surrendered to William Bainbridge 33 years earlier) of the HMS Cambrian pays a visit to Constitution, offering what medical assistance his squadron could provide.
  • On May 10, 1845, after leaving Singapore, Constitution arrives in Turon, Cochinchina (present day Da Nang, Vietnam).
  • On May 26, 1845, after failing to obtain the release of French missionary Dominique Lefèbvre who was being held captive under sentence of death, the Constitution departs.
  • On June 20, 1845, she arrives in Canton, China and spends the next six weeks there, with Percival making shore and diplomatic visits.
  • On September 18, 1845, she reaches Manila, spending a week there preparing to enter the Pacific Ocean.
  • On September 28, 1845, she sails for the Hawaiian Islands
  • On November 16, 1845, the Constitution arrives in Honolulu where she finds Commodore John D. Sloat and his flagship Savannah there
  • On January 13, 1846, after provisioning for six months, the Constitution arrives in Mazatlán, Mexico as the United States was preparing for war after the Texas annexation.
  • On April 22, 1846, after sitting at anchor for more than 3 months, she sails for home.
  • On July 4, 1846, she rounds Cape Horn. Upon arrival at Rio de Janeiro, the ship’s party learns that the Mexican War had begun on May13, soon after their departure from Mazatlán.
  • On September 27, 1846, she arrives in Boston
  • On October 5, 1846, the Constitution is mothballed.
  • In 1847, the Constitution begins refitting for duty with the Mediterranean Squadron.
  • On December 9, 1848, under Capt. John Gwinn, the Constitution departs.
  • On January 19, 1849, she arrives in Tripoli.
  • On August 1, 1849, at Gaeta,  she receives King Ferdinand II and Pope Pius IX on board, giving them a 21-gun salute, the first time that a Pope set foot on American territory or its equivalent.
  • On September 1, 1849, Capt. Gwinn dies of chronic gastritis at Palermo and, on September 9, is buried near Lazaretto.
  • On September 18, 1849, Capt. Thomas Conover assumes command  and resumes routine patrolling for the rest of the tour,
  • On December 1, 1850, she heads home and is involved in a severe collision with the English brig Confidence, cutting her in half and sinking her with the loss of her captain. The surviving crew members are carried back to America
  • On January 1851, the Constitution is again put back in ordinary, this time at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
  • On December 22, 1852, the Constitution is recommissioned under the command of John Rudd.
  • On March 2, 1853, she departs the yard on a leisurely sail towards Africa, carrying Commodore Isaac Mayo for duty with the African Squadron
  • On June 18, 1853, she arrives in Africa with Mayo making a diplomatic visit in Liberia to arrange a treaty between the Gbarbo and the Grebo tribes, resorting to firing cannons into the village of the Gbarbo in order to get them to agree to the treaty.
  • On November 3, 1853, near Angola, the Constitution takes the American ship H. N. Gambrill (the Constitution’s final capture), which was involved in the slave trade, as a prize.
  • On March 31, 1855, she sails for home but is diverted to Havana, Cuba
  • On March 16, 1855, she arrives in Havana
  • On March 24, 1855, she departs Havana for Portsmouth Navy Yard
  • On June 14, 1855, she is decommissioned, ending her last duty on the front lines.
  • In 1857, Constitution is moved to dry dock at the Portsmouth Navy Yard for conversion into a training ship. Classrooms are added on her spar and gun decks and her armament is reduced to only 16 guns. Her rating was changed to a “2nd rate ship.”
  • On August 1, 1860, she is recommissioned and moves from Portsmouth to the US Naval Academy.
  • In April 1861, at the outbreak of the Civil War, Constitution is ordered to relocate farther north after threats are made against her by Confederate sympathizers. Several companies of Massachusetts volunteer soldiers are stationed aboard for her protection.
  • On April 29, 1861, she arrives in New York City after being towed there by R. R. Cuyler. She was subsequently relocated, along with the Naval Academy, to Fort Adams in Newport, Rhode Island for the duration of the war.
  • On August 1865, Constitution, along with the rest of the Naval Academy, moves back to Annapolis. Once settled in at the Academy, a series of upgrades are installed that includes steam pipes and radiators to supply heat from shore, along with gas lighting.
  • From June to August each year, she would depart with midshipmen for their summer training cruise and then return to operate for the rest of the year as a classroom.
  • In June 1867, her last known plank owner William Bryant dies in Maine.
  • On November 1867, George Dewey assumes command and serves as her commanding officer until 1870.
  • In 1871, her condition had deteriorated to the point where she is retired as a training ship
  • On September 26, 1871, after being towed to the Philadelphia Navy Yard, she is again placed in ordinary.
  • Beginning in 1873, Constitution is overhauled in order to participate in the centennial celebrations of the United States. Work begins slowly and is intermittently delayed by the transition of the Philadelphia Navy Yard to League Island.
  • By late 1875, the Navy opens bids for an outside contractor to complete the work
  • In May 1876, Constitution is moved to Wood, Dialogue, and Company  where a coal bin and a small boiler for heat were installed. At this time The Andrew Jackson figurehead is removed and given to the Naval Academy Museum where it remains today.
  • During the rest of 1876, her construction drags on until the centennial celebrations had long passed, and the Navy decided that she would be used as a training and school ship for apprentices.
  • On January 9, 1878, Oscar C. Badger takes command to prepare her for a voyage to the Paris Exposition of 1878, transporting artwork and industrial displays to France. Three railroad cars are lashed to her spar deck and all but two cannons are removed.
  • On March 4, 1878, she departs for France. While docking at Le Havre, she collides with Ville de Paris, resulting in her entering dry dock for repairs and remaining in France for the rest of 1878.
  • On January 16, 1878, she gets underway for the United States
  • On January 17, 1878, poor navigation runs her aground near Bollard Head. She is towed into the Portsmouth Naval Dockyard, Hampshire, England, where only minor damage is found and repaired.
  • On February 13, 1878, during heavy storms, her rudder is damaged, resulting in a total loss of steering control with the rudder smashing into the hull at random. To secure it, 3 crewmen go over the stern on ropes and boatswain’s chairs.
  • The morning of February 14, 1878, they rig a temporary steering system and Badger sets a course for the nearest port
  • On February 18, 1878, she arrived in Lisbon where slow dock services delay her departure.
  • On April 11, 1878, she departs Lisbon
  • On May 24, 1878, she arrives in the United State where Constitution returns to her previous duties of training apprentice boys. Over the next two years, she continues her training cruises.
  • In 1881, after it soon became apparent that her overhaul in 1876 had been of poor quality, Constitution was determined to be unfit for service and, as funds were lacking for another overhaul, she was decommissioned, ending her days as an active-duty naval ship. She is moved to the Portsmouth Navy Yard and used as a receiving ship. There, she had a housing structure built over her spar deck, and her condition continued to deteriorate, with only a minimal amount of maintenance performed to keep her afloat.
  • In 1896, aware of her condition, Massachusetts Congressman John F. Fitzgerald proposes to Congress that funds be appropriated to restore her enough to return to Boston.
  • On September 21, 1897, she arrives, under tow, at the Charlestown Navy Yard and, after her centennial celebrations in October, she lays there with an uncertain future.
  • In 1900, Congress authorizes restoration of Constitution but does not appropriate any funds for the project.
  • In 1903, the Massachusetts Historical Society‘s president Charles Francis Adams requests Congress that Constitution be rehabilitated and placed back into active service.
  • In 1905, after Secretary of the Navy Charles Joseph Bonaparte suggests that Constitution be towed out to sea and used as target practice, after which she would be allowed to sink, Moses H. Gulesian, a businessman from Worcester, Massachusetts, reads about this in a Boston newspaper and offers to purchase her for US$10,000. The State Department refuses, but Gulesian initiates a public campaign which begins from Boston and ultimately “spilled all over the country.”
  • In 1906, a storm of protest from the public prompts Congress to authorize US$100,000 for the ship’s restoration. First to be removed was the barracks structure on her spar deck, but the limited amount of funds allowed just a partial restoration.
  • By 1907, Constitution begins to serve as a museum ship, with tours offered to the public.
  • On December 1, 1917, she is renamed Old Constitution to free her name for a planned, new Lexington-class battle cruiser.
  • On July 24, 1925, Old Constitution was granted the return of her name after construction of the lead ship of the class the name Constitution was originally destined for got canceled in 1923 due to the Washington Naval Treaty and the incomplete hull was sold for scrap.
  • On February 19, 1924, inspection of her condition by the Board of Inspection and Survey, ordered by Adm. Edward Walter Eberle, Chief of Naval Operations, found her in grave condition.
  • On June 16, 1927, Constitution enters dry dock with a crowd of 10,000 observers.
  • On March 15, 1930, she emerges from dry dock with approximately 85% of the ship “renewed” (i.e. replaced) to make her seaworthy.
  • On July 1, 1931, Constitution is recommissioned under the command of Louis J. Gulliver with a crew of 60 officers and sailors, 15 Marines, and a pet monkey named Rosie that was their mascot.
  • On May 1934, after more than 4.6 million people visited her during the 3-year tour, Constitution returns to her home port of Boston, serving as a museum ship and receiving 100,000 visitors per year.
  • On September 21, 1938, during the New England Hurricane, Constitution breaks loose from her dock and is blown into Boston Harbor where she collides with the destroyer Ralph Talbot. She only suffers minor damage.
  • In 1940, at the request of Pres. Franklin Roosevelt, USS Constellation  and  Constitution  were recommissioned.
  • In early 1941, Constitution is assigned the hull classification symbol IX-21 and begins to serve as a brig for officers awaiting court-martial.
  • In 1947, The United States Postal Service issues a stamp commemorating Constitution
  • In the 1950s, reliable heating for the small maintenance crew who were berthed on the ship was upgraded to a forced-air system and a sprinkler system was added to protect her from fire.
  • In 1954, an Act of Congress makes the Secretary of the Navy responsible for her upkeep.
  • In 1960, Constitution is designated as a U.S. National Historic Landmark.
  • On October 15, 1966, the Constitution is included in the U.S. National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)
  • In 1972, funds were approved for her restoration
  • In April 1973, she enters dry dock remaining until April 1974.
  • In August 1974, as preparations begin for the upcoming United States Bicentennial celebrations. Cmdr. Tyrone G. Martin, who sets the precedent that all construction work on Constitution was to be aimed towards maintaining her to the 1812 configuration for which she is most noted, becomes her captain.
  • In September 1975, her hull classification of IX-21 was officially canceled.
  • On April 8, 1976, the privately run USS Constitution Museum is opened
  • On July 10, 1976, Constitution leads the parade of tall ships up Boston Harbor for Operation Sail, firing her guns at one-minute intervals for the first time in approximately 100 years.
  • On July 11, 1976, she renders a 21-gun salute to Her Majesty’s Yacht Britannia, as Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip arrived for a state visit. The royal couple, with Cmdr. Martin and J. William Middendorf (Secretary of the Navy), were piped aboard, privately touring the ship for approximately 30 minutes. Upon their departure, the crew of Constitution rendered three cheers for the Queen.
  • In 1992, Constitution enters dry dock for an inspection and minor repair period, her most comprehensive structural restoration and repair since she was launched in 1797.
  • In 1995, after a US$12 million restoration, she emerges from dry dock.
  • On July 20, 1995, Constitutionwas towed from her usual berth in Boston to an overnight mooring in Marblehead, Massachusetts. En route, she made her first sail in 116 years at a recorded 6 knots (11 kms./hr.; 6.9 mph).
  • On July 21, 1995, she is towed 5 nautical miles (9.3 kms.; 5.8 mi) offshore, where the tow line is dropped and Cmdr. Beck orders 6 sails set (jibs, topsails, and spanker). She then sails for 40 minutes on a south-south-east course with true wind speeds of about 12 knots (22 kms./hr.; 14 mph), attaining a top recorded speed of 4 knots (7.4 kms./hrs.; 4.6 mph). While she is under sail, the guided missile destroyer Ramage and frigate Halyburton, her modern US naval combatant escorts, render passing honors to “Old Ironsides” and she is overflown by the Blue Angels, the US Navy Flight Demonstration Squadron. Inbound to her permanent berth at Charlestown, off Fort Independence in Boston Harbor, she is rendered a 21-gun salute to the nation.
  • In November 2007, Lt.-Cmdr. John Scivier of the Royal Navy, commanding officer of HMS Victory, paid a visit to Constitution, touring the local facilities with Cmdr. William A. Bullard III. They discussed arranging an exchange program between the two ships.
  • In November 2010, Constitution emerges from a three-year repair period.
  • On August 19, 2012, the anniversary of her victory over Guerriere, the crew of Constitution, under Cmdr. Matt Bonner (Constitution’s 72nd commanding officer), sails Constitution under her own power.
  • On May 18, 2015, the ship enters Dry Dock 1 in Charlestown Navy Yard  to begin a scheduled 2-year restoration program restore the copper sheets on the ship’s hull and replace additional deck boards.  The Department of the Navy provided the US$12–15 million expected cost.
  • In August 2015, Cmdr. Robert S. Gerosa Jr. (her 74th and current commanding officer) assumes command of Constitution.
  • On July 23, 2017, after the restoration was complete, she was returned to the water.

The Captain’s Cabin

Here are the general characteristics of the Constitution:

  • Tonnage: 1,576
  • Displacement: 2,200 tons
  • Length: 93 m. (304 ft.), bowsprit to spanker; 63 m. (207 ft.), billet head to taffrail; 53 m. (175 ft.) at waterline
  • Beam: 26 m. (43 ft. 6 in.)
  • Height: 60 m. (198 ft.), foremast; 67 m. (220 ft.), mainmast; 52.6 m. (172.5 ft.), mizzenmast.
  • Draft: 6.4 m. (21 ft.), forward; 7.0 m. (23 ft.), aft
  • Depth of Hold: 4.34 m. (14 ft. 3 in.)
  • Decks: OrlopBerthGunSpar
  • Propulsion: Sail (three masts, ship rig)
  • Sail plan: 3,968 m2 (42,710 sq. ft.) on three masts
  • Speed: 24 kms./hr. (13 knots, 15 mph)
  • Boats and landing: 1 × 11 m. (36 ft.) longboat, 2 × 9.1 m. (30 ft.) cutters
  • Craft carried: 2 × 8.5 m. (28 ft.) whaleboats, 1 × 8.5 m. (28 ft.) gig, 1 × 6.7 m. (22 ft.) jolly boat, 1 × 4.3 m. (14 ft.) punt
  • Complement: 450 including 55 Marines and 30 boys (1797)
  • Armament: 30 × 24-pounder(11 kgs.) long gun, 20 × 32-pounder (15 kgs.) carronade, 2 × 24-pounder (11 kgs.) bow chasers[2]

The author emerging from the lower deck

USS Constitution: Building 5, Charlestown Navy Yard,BostonMassachusetts 02129, USA.  Tel: +1 617-799-8198. Open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10AM – 4PM. The ship is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.  Admission: free. Website: Note that all guests aged 18 and older must show a state-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license or passport) at security to board the ship. Guests under age 18 do not require an ID.

How to Get There: The GPS address is 1 Constitution Road, Charlestown. You can drive and park in the Nautica Parking Garage across from the Naval Yard Visitor Center or take the Green Line (to North Station) or Orange Line (to Bunker Hill Community College). MBTA Water Shuttle Route F4 (Long Wharf, Boston to Charlestown Navy Yard, Charlestown)

USS Cassin Young (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

The author in front of the USS Cassin Young

The USS Cassin Young (DD-793), a Fletcher-class destroyer of the U.S. Navy, is preserved today as a memorial ship, berthed at Boston Navy Yard in Massachusetts, across from the old warship USS Constitution. Visiting this ship seemed like an afterthought before or after seeing the USS Constitution and this ship doesn’t have the historical weight “Old Ironsides.” Still, it had a storied World War II history and it was fun to walk around the well-maintained US Navy destroyer as they have lots of rooms open on the main deck to look in or walk around in. Cassin Young served in World War II (participating in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the Battle of Okinawa), was decommissioned, but was reactivated during the Korean War and continued in active service until 1960.

Check out “USS Constitution – Old Ironsides

Gangplank leading to the ship’s top deck

Here are some interesting trivia regarding the ship:

National Historic Landmark Plaque

Here’s the historical timeline of the ship:

  • On March 18 1943, the keel of the Cassin Young was laid down byBethlehem SteelSan Pedro, California.
  • On September 12, 1943, the Cassin Young was launched.
  • Sponsored by Mrs. Eleanor Young (widow of her namesake); she was commissioned on December 31, 1943 with Commander T. Schrieber in command.
  • On March 19, 1944, Cassin Young arrived at Pearl Harbor to complete her training before sailing on to Manus, where she joined the massive Fast Carrier Task Force (then called TF 58, at other times called TF 38, depending on whether the overall organization was called 5th Fleet or 3rd Fleet).
  • On April, 28, 1944, TF 58 sortied for air attacks on Japanese strongholds at TrukWoleaiSatawan and Ponape in the Caroline Islands, during which Cassin Young operated as a picket ship, assigned to warn her group of possible enemy counterattack. She returned to Majuro, and then Pearl Harbor for further training.
  • On June 11, 1944, Cassin Young reported to Eniwetok to join the screen of escort carriers assigned to covering duty in the invasion of Saipan four days later. In addition to radar picket and screening duty, she was also called upon for inshore fire support. As the battle for Saipan raged ashore, escort carriers of Cassin Young‘s group launched attacks on the island, as well as sorties to neutralize enemy air fields on TinianRota, and Guam. Similar operations supporting the subsequent assaults on Tinian and Guam claimed the services of Cassin Young.
  • On August, 13, 1944, she returned to Eniwetok to replenish.
  • On August 29, 1944, Cassin Young guards the carriers of Task Group 38.3, which included several aircraft carriers, as strikes were flown from their decks to hit targets on PalauMindanao, and Luzon in support of the assault on the Palaus, stepping-stone to the Philippines.
  • On October 2, 1944, she returns to Ulithi, Caroline Islands
  • On October 6, 1944, Cassin Young sails with the same force on duty in the accelerated schedule for the Philippines assault. First on the schedule were air strikes on Okinawa, Luzon, and Formosa.
  • From October 10 to 13, 1944, during the furious Formosa Air Battle, the Japanese tried to destroy the carrier strength of the imposing TF 38.
  • On October, 14, 1944, the cruiser Reno was struck by a Kamikaze, wounding five of Cassin Young‘s men with machine gun fire. During this attack, Cassin Young aided in shooting down several aircraft.
  • On October 18, 1944, TF 38 took position east of Luzon to launch strikes immobilizing enemy air fields there in preparation for the assault on Leyte two days later.
  • On October 23, 1944, after standing by to render support if called upon during the initial landings, Cassin Young‘s group began to search for the enemy forces known to be moving toward Leyte Gulf
  • On October, 24, 1944,during the most vigorous and successful air attack mounted by the Japanese during the Leyte operation, Cassin Young moved in toward San Bernardino Strait, ready to launch strikes. At 09:38, an enemy bomb struck the aircraft carrier Princeton, and Cassin Young rescued over 120 men from the carrier before that ship sank, then rejoined TG 38.3 for the dash northward to attack the Japanese Northern Force.
  • On October 25, 1944, a series of air strikes during the Battle off Cape Engaño resulted in the sinking of four Japanese carriers and a destroyer. As her carriers continued to range widely, striking at enemy bases on Okinawa, Formosa, and Luzon, Cassin Young continued operations in support of the Leyte conquest.
  • On October 31, 1944, Cmdr. John Ailes III takes over command of the Cassin Young.
  • Through January 1945, with Ulithi as her base, the destroyer screened carriers as their aircraft pounded away at Formosa, Luzon, Cam Ranh Bay (Vietnam), Hong KongCanton and the Nansei Shoto in their support for the assault on Luzon.
  • After a brief overhaul at Ulithi, Cassin Young joined operations supporting the invasion of Iwo Jima with air strikes on Honshū and Okinawa, the bombardment of Parece Vela, and screening off Iwo Jima itself in support of Marine operations during the initial assault on February 19, 1945.
  • On March 22, 1945, after another brief respite at Ulithi, she sailed for her deployment for the Okinawa operation. After screening heavy ships in the massive pre-invasion bombardment, Cassin Young helped “soften up” Okinawa for the upcoming assault on that island, and moving inshore to support the activities of underwater demolition teams preparing the beaches.
  • On April 1, 1945, the destroyer escorted assault craft to the beaches, providing shore bombardment in the assault areas, then took up radar picket duty, providing early warning of impending air attacks to the main fleet, possibly the most hazardous duty performed by any warship during World War II. In the weeks and months ahead, the ships assigned to the 15 picket stations bore the brunt of over 1,500 Kamikaze attacks which the Japanese gambled on in defeating the Okinawa operation. Radar Picket (RP) Stations 1,2 and 3 faced the worst of these attacks.
  • On April, 6, 1945, Cassin Young, on duty at RP Station 3, endured her first Kamikaze attacks as the Japanese launched the first of 10 massed attacks, sending 355 Kamikazes and 341 bombers towards Okinawa.  The ship downed three “bogeys” (enemy planes) and picked up survivors from the nearby destroyers assigned to RP Stations 1 and 2 (both were hit and sunk by Kamikazes).
  • On April, 12, 1945, a massive wave of Kamikazes came in at midday. Cassin Young was then assigned to RP Station 1. Her accurate gunfire had aided in shooting down 5 aircraft, but a sixth crashed high-up into her foremast, exploding in midair only 15 m. (50 ft.) from the ship. Surprisingly only one man was killed but 58 were wounded, many of them seriously. Cassin Young, although damaged, made Kerama Retto under her own power.
  • On May, 31, 1945, after repairs at Kerama Retto and at Ulithi, she returned to Okinawa and resumed radar picket duty.
  • As the Kamikaze attacks continued, Cassin Young had respite only during two brief convoy escort voyages to the Marianas.
  • On July, 28, 1945, her group was again a prime target for the Japanese, with one destroyer sunk and another badly damaged by Kamikazes. During the engagement, Cassin Young assisted in shooting down two enemy aircraft, then rescued 125 survivors from the sunken USS Callaghan.
  • At 3:26 AM on July 29, 1945, just 16 days before Japan surrendered, Cassin Young was struck for the second time, when a low-flying aircraft hit her starboard side of the main deck, near the forward smoke stack, striking her fire control room. A tremendous explosion amidships was followed by fire and the ship lay dead in the water. However, the crew managed contained the damage, restore power to one engine, get the flames under control, and had the ship underway for the safety of Kerama Retto within 20 minutes. Casualties were 22 men dead and 45 wounded.  For her determined service and gallantry in the Okinawa radar picket line she was awarded the Navy Unit Commendation.
  • On August 8, 1945, Cassin Young cleared Okinawa  and headed home for repairs. Arriving home in San Pedro, California, she was fully repaired.
  • On August 29, 1945, Lt.-Cmdr. Carl Pfeifer takes over command of the ship.
  • On May 28, 1946, she was decommissioned and placed the reserve or “mothball” fleet in San Diego.
  • On September 8, 1951, with the outbreak of the Korean Conflict, many destroyers were recalled to service and Cassin Young was recommissioned at Long Beach Naval Shipyard.
  • On January 4, 1952, she cleared San Diego for her new home port, Newport, Rhode Island.
  • In September 1952 she entered Dry Dock #1 in the Charlestown Facility, Boston Navy Yard (beginning her association with this navy yard) for the first of four major overhauls she would undergo in this shipyard. At this time the ship was updated to its current configuration. Two Hedgehog anti-submarine warfare (ASW) launchers and two torpedo carriages for the Mark 32 torpedo were added, with one 21 inch (533 mm.) quintuple torpedo tube mount removed. Also, four 40 mm. Bofors twin mounts were replaced by two quadruple mounts. The forward pole mast was replaced by a tripod mast to accommodate improved radar and electronics systems.
  • On November 21, 1952, Cmdr. Thomas Rudden, Jr. takes over command of the Cassin Young.
  • From May 7 to June 12, 1953, local operations and refresher training in the Caribbean preceded a period of antisubmarine exercises off Florida.
  • From September 16 to November 30, 1953, she had her first tour of duty with the 6th Fleet, initially serving in Atlantic and Mediterranean waters.
  • On May 3, 1954, after another period of local operations and exercises in the Caribbean Sea early in 1954, she cleared Newport for a round-the-world cruise, which included exercises with the 7th Fleet in the western Pacific, patrols off Korea, and good-will visits to Far Eastern and Mediterranean ports.
  • On November 28, 1954, she returned to Newport.
  • On August 17, 1956, Cmdr. Clifton Cates, Jr. takes over command of the Cassin Young.
  • On September 14, 1958, Cmdr. John Hooper takes over as commanding officer of the ship.
  • In 1959, Cassin Young was awarded the Battle Efficiency “E” for overall excellent performances in all exercises that year.
  • From 1954 until 1960, her operations included training exercises in the Caribbean and off the eastern Atlantic seaboard as well as four tours of duty in the Mediterranean in 1956, winter 1956-57, and 1959, and a round of visits to ports of northern Europe in 1958. During those years, the ship returned to the Boston Naval Shipyard five more times for overhauls to keep ahead of the unavoidable problem of old age.
  • On February 6, 1960, she arrived at Norfolk Naval Shipyard to be decommissioned because, during that last overseas deployment, an issue was discovered with her rudder that put her into dry dock in France. At that point the repair costs outweighed retaining the aging ship.
  • On April 29, 1960, Cassin Young was put into long-term storage at the PhiladelphiaNaval Inactive Ship Maintenance Facility.
  • On December 1, 1974, she was struck from the Naval Vessel Register. The US Navy has permanently loaned Cassin Young to the National Park Service, to be preserved as a floating memorial ship berthed at the Boston Navy Yard, part of the Boston National Historical Park (BNHP) in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • On June 15, 1978, Cassin Young arrived at Boston Navy Yard
  • In 1981, Cassin Young was opened to the public.
  • In 1986, she was designated as a National Historic Landmark
  • In late July 2010, Cassin Young closed to the public in preparation for dry-docking.
  • On August 9, 2010, she was moved into Historic Dry Dock #1 in BNHP for the first time in 30 years for some much needed repairs to her hull.
  • On September 4, 2012, the ship was closed to the public to allow contractors to make final repairs to the hull.
  • On May 14, 2013, she returned to her position at Pier 1.
  • On June 4, 2013, she was moved to the Boston Harbor Shipyard and Marina in East Boston while repairs were made to her berth in Charlestown.
  • By September 2013, she had returned to her museum berth.

Jandy in front of a Mark 12 5-inch, 38 caliber gun

Quad-mount 40-mm Bofors anti-aircraft guns

Twin-mount 40-mm. Bofors anti-aircraft guns

Depth charge track

Hedgehog ASW Mortar

Mark 32 torpedo

Here are some specifications of this ship:

  • Displacement :2,050 tons (2,924 full)
  • Length: 114.7 m. (376.4 ft.)
  • Beam: 12.1 m. (39.6 ft.)
  • Draft: 4.2 m. (13.8 ft.)
  • Propulsion: 4 oil-fired boilers, 2 General Electric gearedsteam turbines, 2 shafts, 45,000 kW (60,000 shp)
  • Speed: 67.6 kms./hr. (36.5 knots, 42.0 mph)
  • Range: 12,000 kms. (6,500 nautical miles); 7,500 mile at 15 knots (28 kms/hr.; 17 mph)
  • Complement: 325
  • Armament (as built): 5 x 5 in (127 mm)/38 caliber guns, 5 x twin 40 mm AA guns, 7 x 20 mm AA guns, 2 x quintuple 21 inch (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 6 x K-gun depth charge throwers, 2 x depth charge tracks
  • Armanent (as preserved): 5 x 5 in (127 mm)/38 caliber guns, 2 x quad 40 mm AA guns, 1 x twin 40 mm AA guns, 1 x quintuple 21 in (533 mm) torpedo tubes, 2 x torpedo carriages for the Mark 32 torpedo, 2 x Hedgehog ASW mortar, 1 x depth charge track

Captain’s In Port Cabin

Combat Information Center (CIC)

Officers Wardroom

Radio Room

Sick Bay

USS Cassin Young: 198 3rd St., Pier 1, Charlestown Navy Yard, Boston, Massachusetts 02129.  Tel: (617) 242-5601.  Admission is free. Free 45-min. guided tours, by a Park Ranger, takes you to the galleys, mess, officers’ quarters, engine room, gun/battery, captain’s cabin, the bridge and the crew quarters, all parts of the ship not accessible without a guide.

USS Constitution Museum (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

USS Constitution Museum

The USS Constitution Museum serves as the memory and educational voice of the still floating and docked frigate USS Constitution (“Old Ironsides”) and provides engaging and hands-on experiences for all visitors. An interpretive complement to this still active duty naval vessel (first launched in 1797) but managed separately, it tells the story of the ship and the people who designed, built and sailed her through its collection of artifacts related to the ship’s history and interactive exhibits.

Check out “USS Constitution – Old Ironsides

Fully rigged model of USS Constitution

Part of the Boston National Historical Park, it is housed in a restored shipyard building at the foot of Pier 2, just across the pier from the Constitution, at the end of Boston’s Freedom Trail. Highly recommended for naval history fans, both ship and museum are a “must see” for anyone visiting Boston.

Check out “Freedom Trail”

Painting of the launching of the USS Constitution

The museum, a Smithsonian Institution Affiliate, was honored to be rated a prestigious 4 stars on Charity Navigator.  It has won many awards including the 2003 National Award for Museum and Library Service, the 2010 Excellence in Exhibition Label Writing Award, the 2011 Leadership in History Award of Merit, the 2011 Muse Award for Online Presence and the Parent’s Choice Award.

A Hero’s Welcome

A private, award-winning non-profit organization incorporated in 1972, the museum opened its doors at its present facility in 1976. Its founding enabled the Constitution to clear its decks of display cases so that visitors who tour aboard would see a frigate ready to sail, rather than a floating museum. It is also home to the Samuel Eliot Morison Memorial Library and includes a comprehensive archival repository of records related to the ship’s history.

All Hands on Deck – A Sailor’s Life in 1812

The fantastic All Hands on Deck: A Sailor’s Life in 1812, a permanent all-ages interactive  exhibit (combined with images, sound, theater, artifacts and physical and mental tests) located at the second floor geared specifically toward children, was opened on n July 3, 2009. 

A scaled model of a yard and work ropes

Based on the museum’s ongoing historical research into lives of 1243 sailors’ and officers’ that served aboard the USS Constitution during the War of 1812, it explores the harsh realities of life at sea, through a combination of authentic storytelling and hands-on activities, just as the War of 1812 is declared.

The author tries out a hammock

Here, you can discover the unique world afloat as you swing in a authentic canvas hammock that sailors used to bed down, climb onto a scaled model of a yard and work ropes to try to shorten and furl a sail; get on your hands and knees and grab a holy stone to scrub a deck; experience battle and learn how they survived for months, sometimes years at sea.

Ship’s Store

Along the walls are life-sized cutouts of notable crew members, each with a plaque telling their own unique story aboard the ship.  You can also find out the dramatic twists in the life story of 8 year old David Debias, an African-American boy that joined Constitution’s crew in 1812. There are also actual artifacts from the ship including an actual biscuit that a sailor saved as a souvenir.

There’s also a station where you can test your knot-tying abilities and, at the end of the exhibition, spin a wheel to determine your ultimate fate at sea.

Forest to Frigate – a cross section of the Constitution

Forest to Frigate, the museum’s newest hands-on exhibit, chronicles the ship’s first 200 years, how and why she was built, how she earned her fame in the War of 1812, and why the US Navy still preserves the the over two century old wooden frigate as a commissioned warship. 

Enter the 1790’s to follow the story from the forest in which “Old Ironsides’” timbers grew to her launch as a fully formed frigate.  Decide for yourself what kind of ship to build, meet men like Paul Revere who labored to bring her to life, and test your shipyard skills.

Old Ironsides in War and Peace

Old Ironsides in War and Peace” provides an in-depth look at the ship’s storied history, including how and why she was built, how she earned her fame during the War of 1812, and why she is preserved at the United States Navy‘s oldest commissioned warship. The exhibits on the War of 1812 and the Barbary War are especially interesting. Here you can trace the birth of the US Navy during these relatively unknown conflicts.

Weapons Chest with a musket, rifle, 2 pistols and 2 cutlasses

On display are  scores of artifacts, documents, and photographs illustrating Constitution‘s decisive and symbolic role in US history.  They include a spike made by Paul Revere’s shop and phenomenal period paintings of USS Constitution and her captains

Old Ironsides – War of 1812 Discovery Center

“Old Ironsides” War of 1812 Discovery Center, an interactive exhibit designed for families in mind, explains the causes and consequences of the War of 1812 through games, multi-media, books, and other hands-on activities.

Old Ironsides – War of 1812 Discovery Center

Constitution vs HMS Java” tells the story of the battle between Constitution and HMS Java, through artwork, archival records, and artifacts associated with the battle.

Model Shipwright Guild

The Model Shipwright Guild, at the ground floor of the museum, operates a workshop, where visitors can see volunteer modelers working on fantastically detailed miniatures of the USS Constitution and other ships.

Museum Store

USS Constitution Museum : Building 22, Charlestown Navy Yard88 Constitution Rd., 
BostonMassachusetts 02129, USA.  Tel: +1 617-996-1954 and +1 617-426-1812.Open daily, 10AM – 5PM. The museum is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. ​ Admission: free (a suggested donation of US$5 for adults and US $3 for children is welcome). Website:

How to Get There: The GPS address is 1 Constitution Road, Charlestown. For thos with cars, you can park in the Nautica Parking Garage across from the Naval Yard Visitor Center.  For those taking public transporation, take the MBTA Green Line (to North Station) or Orange Line (to Bunker Hill Community College). Walk east on Causeway Street towards the Zakim Bridge/North End. At the first light (North Washington Street), turn left and cross the Charlestown Bridge. Follow the Freedom Trail red line to the Charlestown Navy Yard and enter through Gate 1.

National Air and Space Museum (Washington D.C., U.S.A.)

National Air and Space Museum

The National Air and Space Museum (NASM) of the Smithsonian Institution is a must-see for visitors to Washington, DC. Established August 12, 1946 as the National Air Museum, it opened at its main building on the National Mall near L’Enfant Plaza in 1976.

It is a center for research into the history and science of aviation, spaceflight, planetary science, terrestrial geology and geophysics. Allow at least 2-3 hours to explore the exhibits.

Continuum of the late Charles O. Perry

Here are some interesting trivia regarding this museum:

  • It holds the largest collection of historic aircraft and spacecraft in the world.
  • In 2014, the museum saw approximately 6.7 million visitors, making it the fifth most visited museum in the world.
  • It is the largest of 19 museums included in the Smithsonian Institution.

Lockheed F-104A Starfighter at the second floor concourse

The museum features 22 exhibition galleries, displaying hundreds of artifacts. Many of the exhibits are interactive and great for kids. Almost all space and aircraft on display are either originals or the original backup craft.

Boeing Milestones of Flight – the main hall of the museum

Designed by St. Louis-based architect Gyo Obata of HOK , the museum, its mass similar to the National Gallery of Art and using the same pink Tennessee marble, was built by Gilbane Building Company and opened on July 1, 1976 at the height of the United States Bicentennial festivities.

The Mercury Friendship 7 and Gemini IV capsules

It has four simple marble-encased cubes containing the smaller and more theatrical exhibits, connected by three spacious steel-and-glass atria which house the larger exhibits such as missiles, airplanes and spacecraft. The west glass wall of the building, used for the installation of airplanes, also functions as a giant door. On display outside is “Continuum,” a curving metal map of the universe one by the late Charles O. Perry.

Bell X-1

The Boeing Milestones of Flight Gallery, the museum’s main hall, was reopened in July 2016. This expanded exhibition traces the interconnected stories of the world’s most significant aircraft, rockets, and spacecraft in history, milestones which have made our planet smaller and the universe larger, with digital displays and a mobile experience in a new design that stretches from one entrance to the other.

Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis

North American Aviation Inc. X-15A 56-6670 hypersonic research rocketplane

SS-20 and Pershing II ICBM Missiles

They also tell tales of ingenuity and courage, war and peace, politics and power, as well as society and culture.

Bell XP-59A Airacomet

Mock-up of Lunar Module

The displays, taking full advantage of the atrium’s two-storey height, includes the huge Apollo Lunar Module; the Telstar satellite; the model of the “Starship Enterprise” used in the Star Trek television series;, the Ryan NYP Spirit of St. Louis  (where Charles Lindbergh’s made his solo trip across the Atlantic); the Bell XP-59A Airacomet (the first American jet aircraft); the Bell X-1 (in which Chuck Yeager first broke the mythical “sound barrier”); the North American X-15 (the fastest aircraft ever flown); the Mercury Friendship 7 capsule (flown by John Glenn); the Mariner, Pioneer, and Viking planetary explorers; and SpaceShipOne (the first privately-developed, piloted vehicle to reach space). You can even touch a Moon rock.

The author touching a piece of the Moon

Jandy with the model of the Star Trek Starship Enterprise

The Space Race Gallery tells about that U.S.-Soviet Union space rivalry and its aftermath, from the military origins of the Space Race, through the race to the Moon and the development of reconnaissance satellites, to cooperative ventures between the two former rivals and efforts to maintain a human presence in space.

German V2 Rocket

Yuri Gagarin’s Space Suit

John Glenn’s Space Suit

Hubble Space Telescope

Some of the items on display include a German V-1 “buzz bomb” and V-2 missile, Soviet and U.S. spacecraft and space suits, a Skylab Orbital Workshop, and a full-size test version of the Hubble Space Telescope.

1970 Northrop M2-F3 CN 1

Apollo–Soyuz Test Project

V-1 Buzz Bomb

The Apollo to the Moon Gallery has an unparalleled display of artifacts from the Apollo and earlier missions with displays that range from a huge F-1 rocket engine, a scale model of the Saturn V rocket, spacesuits worn by Apollo astronauts on the Moon to space food and personal items that astronauts took into space.

Saturn V Rocket Engine

Lunar Roving Vehicle

The America by Air Gallery, exploring the history of air transportation in the United States, shows how the federal government has shaped the airline industry, how improvements in technology have revolutionized air travel, and how the flying experience has changed.

The nose section of a DC-7

Boeing 747 Forward Fuselage

Highlights include a Ford 5-AT Tri-Motor, Boeing 247, and Douglas DC-3 airliners; a cockpit simulation of an Airbus A320; and a nose from a Boeing 747 jumbo jet that you can enter.

Ford 5-AT-B Trimotor

Douglas DC-3

Boeing 247-D

The Barron Hilton Pioneers of Flight Gallery, having to do with people who pushed the existing technological or social limits of flight, contains an impressive, eclectic assortment of aircraft and exhibits, each representing an unprecedented feat, a barrier overcome or a pioneering step.

Douglas World Cruiser Chicago

Fokker T-2

Things to see here include the Fokker T-2 (the airplane that made the first nonstop, coast-to-coast flight across the United States); the Douglas World Cruiser Chicago (which completed the first round-the-world flight); a Lockheed Model 8 Sirius (flown by Charles Lindbergh and Anne Morrow Lindbergh), a Lockheed Vega (flown by Amelia Earhart); the Explorer II high-altitude balloon gondola; and “Black Wings,” an exhibit on African Americans and aviation.

Lockheed Model 8 Sirius

Explorer II high-altitude balloon gondola

Lockheed Vega 5B of Amelia Earhart

The Explore the Universe Gallery shows how our ideas about the Universe evolved as we developed new astronomical instruments. It presents the Universe as discerned by the naked eye, then shows how the telescope, photography, spectroscopy, and digital technology revolutionized our view. The largest section describes what astronomers today think about the nature of the Universe. Among the many amazing treasures on display are an Islamic astrolabe from 10 centuries ago; the actual telescope tube from William Herschel‘s 20-foot telescope; the observing cage from the Mount Wilson Observatory‘s 100-inch Hooker Telescope; and the backup mirror for the Hubble Space Telescope.

World War II Aviation Gallery

Supermarine Spitfire HF.MK.VIIc

The World War II Aviation Gallery focuses on land-based fighter aviation.  Fortresses Under Fire, a Keith Ferris mural filling an entire wall, features  a B 17 Flying Fortress, with contrails streaming behind it, roaring out of a clear blue sky. 

Mitsubishi A6M5 Reisen (Zero Fighter)

North American P-51D Mustang

The mural serves as a backdrop for five fighter planes – a British Supermarine Spitfire, German Messerschmitt Bf 109, Italian Macchi C.202 Folgore, U.S. North American P-51 Mustang and a Japanese Mitsubishi A6M Zero.

Messerschmitt Bf 109 G (1)

Aeronautica Macchi C.202 Folgore

Also on exhibit are engines, bombs, armament, ammunition, aircrew and service uniforms from several nations, and personal memorabilia.

Artist Soldiers Exhibit

The Artist Soldiers exhibition, a collaboration between the Smithsonian’s National Air and Space Museum and National Museum of American History, examines this form of artistic expression from two complementary perspectives – one from professional artists who were recruited by the U.S. Army and served in the American Expeditionary Force (the first true combat artists) and the other from soldiers who created artwork.

Together, these works of art of soldiers shed light on World War I in a compelling and very human way by first-hand participants.

The Exploring the Planets Gallery takes you on a tour of this remarkable realm, as seen and sensed by the Voyagers and other robotic explorers. Initial sections present some historical highlights and show the various means we use to study other worlds. Sections devoted to each planet form the core of the gallery.

The author with the Blériot XI monoplane

The gaily decorated Early Flight Gallery, celebrating the first decade of flight, evokes the atmosphere of the fictitious Smithsonian Aeronautical Exposition of 1913, an aviation exhibition from that period. The gallery is crammed with fabric-covered aerial vehicles, some fanciful, most real, along with trade show–style exhibits featuring cutting-edge technology of the day.

Swedenborg Flying Machine

The Chanute Gliders

They include a rare 1894 Lilienthal glider; Samuel P. Langley’s Aerodrome #5 and Quarter-Scale Aerodrome (powered, unmanned vehicles that successfully flew in 1896 and 1903); the 1909 Wright Military Flyer (the world’s first military airplane, it is the most original and complete of the museum’s three Wright airplanes); a Curtiss Model D “Headless Pusher,” an Ecker Flying Boat, and a Blériot XI monoplane.

Curtiss D-III Headless Pusher

The Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs) Gallery, made possible through the generosity of General Atomics Aeronautical Systems, Inc., showcases six modern military UAVs that represent a variety of missions and technologies.

Boeing X-45A

They range from large vehicles that can carry offensive weapons to a miniature system whose components are light and compact enough to be carried in a Marine’s backpack.

AAI RQ-7 Shadow UAV

The Golden Age of Flight Gallery features the 1920s and ’30s, the period between the two world wars that saw airplanes evolve from wood-and-fabric biplanes to streamlined metal monoplanes. The military services embraced air power and aviation came of age. Air races and daring record-setting flights dominated the news and aircraft displayed here include planes used for racing and record setting such as Howard Hughes‘ sleek, record-setting Hughes H-1 Racer, the Wittman Buster midget racer (hanging near the entrance) and the Curtiss J-1 Robin Ole Miss (which stayed aloft for 27 days).  There are also planes for business travel (Beechcraft C17L Staggerwing) and exploration (the Northrop Gamma 2B Polar Star, which traversed Antarctica).

MQ-1L Predator A

The How Things Fly Gallery, devoted to explaining the basic principles that allow aircraft and spacecraft to fly, emphasizes “hands-on,” with dozens of exhibits inviting you to push, pull, press, lift, slide, handle, touch, twist, turn, spin, bend, and balance. Here you can discover for yourself answers to things you’ve always wondered about flight. You can explore the nature of gravity and air; how wings work; supersonic flight; aircraft and rocket propulsion; flying in space; and more.

1903 Wright Flyer

The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Aerial Age Gallery  celebrates the centennial of the Wright brothers‘ historic flights.  It has, as its centerpiece, the 1903 Wright Flyer, the world’s first successful airplane and historic craft that ushered in the age of flight, displayed on the floor. 

The first part of this exhibition tells the story of how Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the airplane—who they were, how they worked, and what they accomplished.

The second part shows how their monumental achievement affected the world in the decade that followed, when people everywhere became fascinated with flight. The exhibition includes many historic photographs and cultural artifacts, along with instruments and personal items associated with the Wrights.

The Moving Beyond Earth Gallery, an immersive exhibition, places visitors “in orbit” in the shuttle and space-station era to explore recent human spaceflight and future possibilities. An expansive view of the Earth as viewed from the space station drifts over one gallery wall, while a fly-around tour of the International Space Station fills another wall. A presentation stage for live events, broadcasts, and webcasts at the center of the gallery serves as the platform for Space Flight Academy, a group quiz game where visitors can test their space smarts and become “flight ready.”

Time and Navigation Gallery

Lockheed 5C Vega – Winnie Mae

The Time and Navigation Gallery explores how revolutions in timekeeping over three centuries have influenced how we find our way.

Model of USS Enterprise

The Sea-Air Operations Gallery, at the quarterdeck of the mythical aircraft carrier USS Smithsonian, a scaled-down re-creation of a hangar deck bay, has surrounding structures and equipment that are from actual aircraft carriers.

Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless

You can poke around in a ready room, a combined living room and briefing area, or go upstairs and visit the navigation bridge and PriFly, the ship’s air traffic control center. From these two rooms you can watch “cat shots” and “traps” (takeoffs and landings) filmed on a U.S. Navy carrier.

Douglas A-4C Skyhawk

Balconies overlook the four carrier aircraft in the hangar bay – a Boeing F4B-4 biplane, Grumman F4F Wildcat, Douglas SBD-6 Dauntless, and Douglas A-4C Skyhawk. Also here are exhibits on carrier warfare in World War II and on modern carrier aviation.

Boeing F4B-4

The Looking at Earth Gallery, exploring the technology of aerial and space observation and its many uses, displays aircraft and spacecraft and examples of the photographic and imaging devices used on them.

Lockheed U-2C

De Havilland DH-4

Throughout the exhibition are countless images taken from above, some are historic; others show scientific, military, or civil applications; others are simply beautiful. All allow us to examine the familiar from unfamiliar perspectives.

GOES Weather Satellite

Highlights include a De Havilland DH-4 (a World War I aircraft used for aerial observation and photography); a Lockheed U-2 (designed for Cold War aerial surveillance); personal objects of Soviet-captured U-2 pilot Francis Gary Powers; and several generations of weather satellites. A “What’s New” section displays frequently updated images of current interest taken of our planet from space.

US Pilot Survival Kit

The Lunar Exploration Vehicles Gallery displays a constellation of vehicles used for lunar exploration. Dominating the space is a real lunar module, the second one built for the Apollo program. The orbital test flight of the first lunar module proved so successful that a second test flight was deemed unnecessary. The lunar module displayed here was used instead for ground testing. Six more like it landed astronauts on the Moon.

Engineering Model of Clementine

A series of unmanned lunar spacecraft preceded the manned missions. These robotic explorers transmitted images of the Moon, inspected its surface, and searched for Apollo landing sites.

Ranger Spacecraft

Examples of the three types of space probes involved in that effort—Ranger, Surveyor, and Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter—hang above the lunar module, along with a more recent lunar explorer: the Moon-mapping spacecraft Clementine.

Lunar Orbiter

The Legend, Memory and the Great War in the Air Gallery reexamines aviation during World War I and contrasts romance with reality, with displays of popular culture showing how some of these myths were passed on.

German Aircraft Factory

Model of the Hindenburg

Other exhibits examine the many new roles aircraft played during the war, from battlefield reconnaissance to strategic bombing.

Pfalz D.XII

Albatross D.Va

Fokker D.VII

The gallery features several rare airplanes such as the German Pfalz D.XII, Albatros D.Va, and Fokker D.VII fighters; a British Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe fighter; and a French SPAD S.XIII fighter and Voisin VIII bomber.

Sopwith 7F.1 Snipe

Voisin Type 8

Spad XIII Smith IV

The Jet Aviation Gallery traces the development of jet technology and features many important turbojet engines introduced over four decades, along with three airplanes that helped usher in the jet age – the German Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a Schwalbe (the world’s first operational jet fighter),  the Lockheed XP-80 “Shooting Star” Lulu Belle (the prototype for the first full-production, operational U.S. jet fighter) and McDonnell FH-1 Phantom (the first jet fighter used by the Navy and Marine Corps).

McDonnell FH-1 Phantom

Lockheed XP-80 “Shooting Star” nicknamed Lulu Belle

Messerschmitt Me 262 A-1a nicknamed Schwalbe (German for “Swallow”)

The Lockheed Martin IMAX Theater, with its five-storey-high screen with six-channel digital surround sound, take you on a journey through space or to natural and manmade wonders of the world.

Douglas D-558-2 Skyrocket on display outside of the Lockheed Martin IMAX® Theater

The Albert Einstein Planetarium, with its high tech dual digital projection system, Sky Vision, takes you on a 20-minute tour of the universe. The museum’s three-storey gift shop is a great place to find memorable souvenirs and gifts. A food court- style restaurant is open daily from 10 AM to 5PM.

Museum Shop

National Air and Space Museum: 600 Independence Ave. at 6th St. SW, Washington, D.C. 20560, USA.  Tel: +1 202-633-2214. Open aily (except December 25), 10 AM – 5:30 PM. Website:

General Admission: free.  The 4-minute flight simulator rides cost US$6.50 per ride. IMAX movies and the Planetarium each cost US$9 per adult or US$7 per child. Shows often sell out, so purchase your tickets before viewing the rest of the museum. Tickets can be purchased in advance at (877) WDC-IMAX. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, new security measures have been created, with extensive queues  extending outside the building.

How to Get There: The closest Metro stations are Smithsonian and L’Enfant Plaza.

National Museum of the American Indian (Washington DC, USA)

National Museum of The American Indian

From the Botanic Garden, Jandy and I proceeded to the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI), the first national museum in the country dedicated exclusively to Native Americans.  Part of the Smithsonian Institution, it is committed to advancing knowledge and understanding of the past, present, and future of Native cultures of the Western Hemisphere, through partnership with Native people and others.

Museum entrance

Aside from this museum,  the National Museum of the American Indian also has two other facilities – the George Gustav Heye Center (a permanent museum in Lower Manhattan, New York City) and the Cultural Resources Center (a research and collections facility in Suitland, Maryland).


Though it was a weekend, there wasn’t a long line of visitors wanting to enter the building (although the museum had 2.4 million visitors in 2004, the year it opened, it has averaged only 1.4 million in the years since due to its exhibits that feel “disjointed and incomplete”) but we were still all subjected to a security check.

Indian canoes at the lobby

The five-storey, 23,000 m2 (250,000 sq. ft.) curvilinear building, set in a 17,200 m2 (4.25-acre) site, is clad in golden-colored Kasota limestone, designed to evoke natural rock formations shaped by wind and water over thousands of years, and is surrounded by simulated wetlands.

Oculus of the dome

Fifteen years in the making, the museum was inaugurated on September 21, 2004 with an audience of around 20,000 American IndiansAlaska Natives and Native Hawaiians, the largest gathering of indigenous people in Washington D.C. to its time.

The museum’s design architects are GBQC Architects of Philadelphia and Severud Associates was the structural engineering firm chosen for this project. Project architects are Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects Ltd. of Seattle and Smith Group of Washington, D.C., in association with Lou Weller (Caddo), the Native American Design Collaborative, and Polshek Partnership Architects of New York City. The landscape architects are Jones & Jones Architects and Landscape Architects Ltd. of Seattle and EDAW, Inc., of Alexandria, Virginia.

ImagiNATIONS Activity Center

Aiming to create a different atmosphere and experience from museums of European and Euro-American culture, Native Americans, in general, have filled the leadership roles in the design and operation of the museum.

Indian Chief motorcycle, 1948 at “Americans” exhibit

Canadian Douglas Cardinal, the museum’s architect and project designer, is Blackfoot.  During construction, disagreements led to Cardinal’s removal from the project, but the building retains his original design intent and, during the museum’s construction, he provided continued input.  Architect John Paul Jones is Cherokee/Choctaw while Ramona Sakiestewa (Hopi) also served as design consultant. Donna E. House (Navajo/Oneida) was the botanist who supervised the landscaping.

Our Universes – Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World

The museum’s sweeping curvilinear architecture, its indigenous landscaping, and its exhibitions were also all designed in collaboration with tribes and communities from across the hemisphere, combine to give visitors from around the world the sense and spirit of Native America.

Nation to Nation exhibit

The landscape flows into the building and the theme of organic flow is reflected by the interior of the museum, whose walls are mostly curving surfaces, with almost no sharp corners. The museum’s east-facing entrance, its prism window and its 37 m. (120-ft.) high space for contemporary Native performances are direct results of extensive consultations with Native peoples.

Bald Eagle feather, ca. 2000

The museum’s collection, assembled by George Gustav Heye (1874–1957) during a 54-year period (beginning in 1903, he traveled throughout North and South America collecting Native objects), became part of the Smithsonian in June 1990.

Andrew Jackson’s pistol (ca. 1840)

Approximately 85% of the holdings of the NMAI, it includes more than 800,000 objects (one of the world’s largest and most diverse collections of its kind), as well as a photographic archive of 125,000 images. The collection is divided into the following areas: AmazonAndesArctic/SubarcticCalifornia/Great Basin; Contemporary Art; Mesoamerican/CaribbeanNorthwest CoastPatagoniaPlains/PlateauWoodlands.


Pana and Qolla

The museum currently has 5 exhibits.  Americans (January 18, 2018–2022), highlighting the ways in which American Indians have been part of the nation’s identity since before the country began, features pervasive, powerful and, at times, demeaning American Indian images (from the Land O’Lakes butter maiden to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, and from classic Westerns and cartoons to episodes of Seinfeld and South Park), names (from state, city, and street names to the Tomahawk missile) and stories (historical events of Pocahontas’ life, the Trail of Tears, and the Battle of Little Bighorn) that reveal the deep connection between Americans and American Indians as well as how Indians have been embedded, in unexpected ways, in the history, pop culture, contemporary life and identity of the United States.

Inka bowl, tumi (ritual knife), armbands and ornaments with human figure design

The Great Inka Road: Engineering an Empire (June 26, 2015–June 1, 2020) explores the foundations of the more than 20,000 mile long Inka Road (which stands as one of the monumental engineering achievements in history) in earlier Andean cultures, technologies that made building the road possible, the cosmology and political organization of the Inka world, and the legacy of the Inka Empire during the colonial period and in the present day.

Maya calendar

Crossing mountains and tropical lowlands, rivers and deserts, the Great Inka Road, recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site in 2014, linked Cusco, the administrative capital and spiritual center of the Inka world, to the farthest reaches of its empire and continues to serve contemporary Andean communities across Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Argentina and Chile.

Shan Goshorn (Eastern Band of Cherokee, b. 1957). Pieced Treaty Spider’s Web Treaty basket, 2007. Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations (September 21, 2014–Through 2021), curated by Indian rights activist Suzan Shown Harjo, is built around the 1613 Two Row Wampum Treaty which, as museum reviewer Diana Muir Appelbaum points out, is, in fact, a modern forgery. ” It is the story of that relationship between Indian Nations and the United States, including the history and legacy of U.S.–American Indian diplomacy, from the Colonial Period through the present, as well as about the equally important and influential Native diplomats and leaders of Indian Nations.

Ceremonies of Spring

Our Universes: Traditional Knowledge Shapes Our World (September 21, 2004–September 2020) focuses on indigenous cosmologies (world views and philosophies related to the creation and order of the universe) and the spiritual relationship between human kind and the natural world. Organized around the solar year, the exhibition introduces visitors to indigenous peoples from across the Western Hemisphere who continue to express the wisdom of their ancestors in celebration, language, art, spirituality and daily life.

Pueblo plates

The community galleries feature eight cultural philosophies—those of the Pueblo of Santa Clara (Espanola, New Mexico, USA), Anishinaabe (Hollow Water and Sagkeeng Bands, Manitoba, Canada), Lakota (Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota, USA), Quechua (Communidad de Phaqchanta, Cuzco, Peru), Hupa (Hoopa Valley, California, USA), Q’eq’chi’ Maya (Cobán, Guatemala), Mapuche (Temuco, Chile), and Yup’ik (Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta, Alaska, USA).

Dance and Drama

The design of these galleries reflects each community’s interpretation of the order of the world.The exhibition also highlights the Denver (Colorado) March Powwow, the North American Indigenous Games, and the Day of the Dead as seasonal celebrations that bring Native peoples together.

Family Meals and Feasting

Preparing and Storing Food

At the ongoing compact exhibition Return to a Native Place: Algonquian Peoples of the Chesapeake educates visitors on the continued Native presence in the region, and provides an overview of the history and events from the 1600s to the present that have impacted the lives of the Nanticoke, Powhatan, and Piscataway tribes.

Harvesting From the Land and the Ocean

Music and Song

You will meet the Native peoples of the Chesapeake Bay region (what is now Washington, D.C., Maryland, Virginia, and Delaware) through photographs, maps, ceremonial and everyday objects, and interactive displays.

Southeastern Ceramics

Music and Song

The imagiNATIONS Activity Center, a fantastic interactive experience for families, allows visitors to explore genius innovations made by Native tribes, from transportation solutions (snowshoes, skateboards) to tipi-building and basket-weaving.

Native Glass

Potawatomi blouse (ca. 1890, Wisconsin)

The Mitsitam Native Foods Cafe (which translates to “Let’s eat!” in the language of Delaware and Piscataway Natives) is divided into Native regional sections such as the Northern Woodlands, South America, the Northwest Coast, Meso-America, and the Great Plains (the only Native American groups not represented in the café are the south eastern tribes such as the ChoctawChickasawCherokee and Seminole, many of which supported the United States throughout the tribes’ histories).

Museum Store

National Museum of the American Indian: Fourth Street and Independence Avenue, Southwest, National Mall , Washington D.C.. Tel: 202-633-1000. TTY: 202-633-5285. Email:  Website:  Open daily, 10 AM–5:30 PM, closed on December 25. Exhibition spaces and the store begin closing at 5:15 PM. The Mitsitam Cafe is open daily, 11 AM–3 PM (closed on December 25); the Mitsitam Espresso Coffee Bar is open daily, 10 AM–5 PM; while the imagiNATIONS Activity Center is open daily 10 AM–5 PM, closed on Mondays. Admission is free. The building is accessible to people with disabilities. The museum does not have parking. Parking is available by meter on the surrounding streets and in local paid parking garages. Visitors should be prepared for a security check upon entrance to the museum. On busy days, there may be a line to enter the building. The museum offers a range of exhibitions, film and video screenings, school group programs, public programs and living culture presentations throughout the year. 

How To Get There: The National Museum of the American Indian is located between the Smithsonian’s National Air & Space Museum and the U.S. Capitol Building.

Metro: L’Enfant Plaza (Blue/Orange/Green/Yellow lines), exit Maryland Avenue/Smithsonian Museums

Bus: Lines 30, 32, 34–36—Friendship Heights/Southern Avenue. There are 9 bus drop-off only spaces on Maryland Avenue accessible from 3rd Street.

Baltimore’s Inner Harbor (Maryland, USA)

Inner Harbor

The Inner Harbor District, a historic seaporttourist attraction and landmark of the city, is located within walking distance of Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, at the mouth of Jones Falls, creating the wide and short northwest branch of the Patapsco River.

The name “Inner Harbor” includes any water west of a line drawn between the foot of President Street and the American Visionary Art Museum plus the surrounding area within the approximate street boundaries of President Street to the east, Lombard Street to the north, Greene Street to the west, and Key Highway on the south.

The author (lower right corner) walking along the waterfront

The Inner Harbor, with its historically shallow water (prior to manipulation through dredging), was not conducive to large ships or heavy industry and, in the 1950s, suffered from the economic decline with the arrival of container ships after World War II as well as restructuring common to many industrial cities in the United States, ending both its freight and passenger use.

Jandy crossing a pedestrian bridge

To reverse the city’s decline and reconnect Baltimore with its waterfront, the Inner Harbor was gradually transformed with award-winning parks and plazas surrounded by office buildings, hotels and leisure attractions, starting with the adoption of the 13 hectare (33-acre) Charles Center project.

Children frolicking at a fountain

Between 1958 and 1965, Baltimore renewed this center of its business district with office buildings, hotels and retail shops. In 1963, the redevelopment program was expanded to include 97 hectares (240 acres) surrounding the Inner Harbor with corporate headquarters and hotels being built around the shoreline, with a public park and promenade added for leisure activity and community gatherings.

Bubba Gump Shrimp Co.

Following the U.S. Bicentennial, other tourist attractions were developed such as the National Aquarium, the Maryland Science Center and the Harbor Place Festival Marketplace (opened on July 4, 1980 and operated by The Rouse Company). The nearby Baltimore Convention Center and Hyatt Regency Baltimore Hotel added to the services, resulting in increased population density and attracting a huge number of tourists.

In recent years, Inner Harbor East, the area along the waterfront to the east of the Inner Harbor (in the direction of Fells Point and Little Italy), has been developed with mixed-use developments incorporating office space, condominiums, street-level retail space, restaurants and hotels.

In the 1970s and 1980s, with the success of the renewal of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, the city became a worldwide tourist destination and a model of urban renaissance, planning and development in cities around the world, influencing more than 100 other cities and winning more than 40 national or international awards.  In 1984, the American Institute of Architects cited it as “one of the supreme achievements of large-scale urban design and development in U.S. history. In 2009, the Urban Land Institute described it as “the model for post-industrial waterfront redevelopment around the world.”

Federal Hill Park

Federal Hill Park (300 Warren Ave.), a former lookout during the War of 1812 and the Civil War located on the south side of the Inner Harbor, allows visitors to take in ​a dramatic view of Baltimore’s cityscape from the top of the hill.

National Aquarium in Baltimore

The National Aquarium in Baltimore (501 E. Pratt St., Pier 3 and Pier 4, Inner Harbor) has a collection of more than 16,500 specimens representing 660 species, with exhibits including a multi-storey Atlantic coral reef, an open ocean shark tank, a 4-D immersion theater, a tropical rain forest, a glass pavilion with Australian wildlife, and a mammal pavilion that holds Atlantic bottlenose dolphins.

Check out “National Aquarium in Baltimore

Sloop-of-War USS Constellation

The Historic Ships in Baltimore (Piers 1, 3, and 5) features four historic ships permanently docked in the harbor that visitors can climb aboard and experience – the USS Constellation (first launched in 1854, it is the only Civil War-era ship still afloat), USCGC Taney (last fighting ship still afloat that survived the attack on Pearl Harbor), the USS Torsk (a Tench-class submarine, it is the last ship to sink an enemy vessel in World War II) and the Lightship Chesapeake (a U.S. Coast Guard lightship from the 1930s) plus the Seven Foot Knoll Lighthouse.

Check out “The Historic Ships of Baltimore,” “USS Constellation Museum”  and “USCGC Taney

Harborplace and the Gallery

Harborplace and the Gallery (Light and Pratt Sts.) are two pavilions with a mix of local and national restaurants and stores, plus Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium (has 500 of Ripley’s trademark “oddities” in seven different galleries, plus a mirror maze and a 4-D movie theater)

Ripley’s Believe it or Not! Odditorium

Maryland Science Center (601 Light St.) has 3 levels of exhibits, a planetarium, and an IMAX theater plus a special exhibit on blue crabs.

Maryland Science Center

Top of the World (401 E. Pratt St.) an observation deck on the 27th floor of the Baltimore World Trade Center, offers sweeping a 360-degree birds-eye views of the city. On the pedestrian promenade outside the building is a memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

Baltimore World Trade Center

Port Discovery Children’s Museum (35 Market Place), on the site of the historic Baltimore Fish Market, is a children’s museum with a three-story jungle gym specifically designed for kids ages 2-10.

Holocaust Memorial

American Visionary Art Museum (800 Key Highway), a mosaic-clad museum, has a  collection of offbeat, innovative art produced by self-taught individuals, plus free outdoor movies and the Kinetic Sculpture Race.

Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History and Culture

The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of African-American History and Culture (830 E. Pratt St.), the largest of its kind on the East Coast, is dedicated to preserving the stories of the Maryland African American community, past and present.

Baltimore Civil War Museum

Baltimore Museum of Industry (1415 Key Highway), located in an old cannery, holds exhibits on various types of manufacturing and industry from the early 20th century. one of its star attractions is the Baltimore, the oldest surviving steam tugboat and a National Historic Landmark.

Baltimore Visitors Center

The Baltimore Visitor Center (401 Light St.), just north of the Maryland Science Center, has touch-screen kiosks that tell visitors where to go, and staff can help clue you into events happening in the city. It also has public restrooms inside.

Philips Seafood

Power Plant Live! (601 E Pratt St.), the former Pratt Street Power Plant  located 2 blocks north of the Inner Harbor, is an entertainment complex that comes alive at night with bars,  clubs, restaurants and music venues that includes Phillips Seafood, Rams Head Live!,  Hard Rock Cafe (opened July 4, 1997) plus Barnes & Noble and Maryland Art Place (a contemporary art gallery for Maryland artists).

Hard Rock Cafe

Other places to visit here include the Lloyd Street Synagogue (the third-oldest synagogue in the United States, now the Jewish Museum of Maryland), Civil War Museum (President Street Station), Sports Legends Museum at Camden Yards, Dr. Samuel D. Harris Museum of Dentistry (University of Maryland), Babe Ruth birthplace and museum, Oriole Park at Camden Yards (home of the Baltimore Orioles), Camden Yards Sports Complex, Columbus Center (home of the University of Maryland Biotechnology Institute), Bnai Israel (a Moorish Revival synagogue now open as a museum), Holocaust Memorial  (E Lombard and S Gay St.), Lockwood Place, Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (a privately owned pop culture museum at Camden Station opened last September 2006), M&T Bank Stadium (home of the Baltimore Ravens), Royal Farms Arena and the Pier Six Pavilion (a music venue at 731 Eastern Ave.)

Pier Six Pavilion

Blue and white water taxis (US&6-12), from 17 locations, connect passengers from the Inner Harbor to Fells PointCanton, and Fort McHenry.

Check out “Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine – Birthplace of the Star Spangled Banner

Water Taxi

You can explore the Inner Harbor on a traditional paddle boat (US$12 per half-hour rental) or the colorful Chesapeake Bay ‘Chessie’ Monster (US version of Scotland’s ‘Nessie,’ US$20 per half-hour rental),  both classic childhood favorites. Both boats hold up to four occupants. If you don’t feel like paddling, there’s the electric boat (half-hour rental – US$10 for one person or US$15 for two).

Cheska, Jandy, Grace and Kyle in a Chessie

Visitors can also explore the harbor via the red and purple-bottomed Cruises on the Bay by Watermark (US$6-17) and the larger yacht Spirit of Baltimore (US$42 and up); the bright yellow speedboats of Seadog Cruises (US$20 range) and the wood-paneled pirate ship The Fearless by Urban Pirates (US$20-25).

Spirit of Baltimore

Cruise ships also offer narrated, 45-min. tours of the Inner Harbor where you’ll learn about the city’s maritime and industrial history as well as the resurgence of the waterfront, Federal Hill, and Fells Point.  You can also avail of 60-min. tours focusing on Fort McHenry, 90-min. cocktail cruises and spectacular 60-min. “city lights” tours. 

The Walters Art Museum (Baltimore, Maryland, USA)

Walters Art Museum

This public art museum, founded and opened in 1934, holds collections substantially amassed by major American art and sculpture collector William Thompson Walters, (1819–1894) and his son Henry Walters (1848–1931), who refined the collection and made arrangements for the construction of a later landmark building to rehouse it. The entire collection of then more than 22,000 works was bequeathed by Henry Walters upon his death in 1931.

The museum entrance

The collection includes  masterworks of ancient EgyptGreek sculpture, Roman sarcophagi, medieval ivories, illuminated manuscripts, Renaissance bronzes, Old Master European and 19th-century paintings, Chinese ceramics and bronzes, Art Deco jewelry, and ancient Near East, Mesopotamian, or ancient Middle East items.

The palazzo-style collonade

The elaborate stone palazzo-styled structure, Henry Walters’ original gallery, was designed by architect William Adams Delano and erected between 1904 and 1909. Its exterior was inspired by the Renaissance-revival-style Hôtel Pourtalès in Paris while  its interior was modeled after the 17th-century “Collegio dei Gesuiti” (now the Palazzo dell’Università, built by the Balbi family for the Jesuits in Genoa). It houses the arts of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, French decorative arts of the 18th and 19th centuries, manuscripts and rare books.

The author at the Sculpture Court

The Centre Street Annex Building, at the rear of the original main gallery, was designed by the Boston firm of Shepley, Bullfinch, Richardson, and Abbott, in the “Brutalist” poured-concrete style, an extremely modernistic style prevalent in the 1960s. This annex building, opened in 1974, has several horizontal lines paralleled with features in the 1909 structure.

Medieval World lobby. At left is the “Virgin and Child” (Burgundian, ca. 1425) while at center is an altarpiece with the Passion of Christ

From 1998 to 2001, it was substantially altered by Kallmann McKinnell and Wood, Architects.  A soaring, four-storey glass atrium was provided, with a suspended staircase at the juncture between the older and newer buildings, and a new entrance lobby along Centre Street. Today, the conjoined buildings has five floors with 39 intimate galleries for smaller works. The collection has also grown, by later gifts and purchases, to 35,000 works.

Ancient World Lobby

The new lobby, which provides easier ground-level handicapped access along with enhanced security provisions for both collections and visitors, also has a café, an enlarged museum, gift store and a reference library.

Portrait of Henry Walters (1938, Thomas Cromwell Corner, American)

The museum’s famed art conservation laboratory, one of the oldest in the country, is also found here. With its large display walls and irregular corridors and galleries, the Centre Street Annex Building houses the ancientByzantinemedievalEthiopian, and 19th-century European collections.

Adam and Eve (ca. 1515) on main staircase to Sculpture Court

Originally called “The Walters Art Gallery,” the museum changed its long-time name to “The Walters Art Museum” in 2000 to reflect its image as a large public institution and eliminate confusion among some of the increasing out-of-state visitors.

17th Century Dutch Cabinet Rooms

In 2001, after a dramatic 3-year physical renovation and replacement of internal utilities and infrastructure, “The Walters” (as it is often known in the city) reopened its original main building.

The Upper Stair Hall. At near left is the “Allegory of Knowledge of Things” while on the right is the Choir Gate (1700-1750)

Starting on October 1, 2006, as a result of substantial grants given by Baltimore City and the surrounding suburban Baltimore County arts agencies and authorities, the museum began having free admission year-round. In 2012, “The Walters” released nearly 20,000 of its own images of its collections (one of the largest and most comprehensive such releases made by any museum), on a Creative Commons license, and collaborated in their upload to the world-wide web and the internet on Wikimedia Commons.

The two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet at the entrance to the Egyptian Art Exhibit

The Walters’ collection of ancient art, one of the largest assemblages in the United States, includes examples from EgyptNubiaGreeceRomeEtruria and the Near East.

Egyptian Art – Seated Statue of Nehy (ca. 1250-1230 BC, New Kingdom, 19th Dynasty)

The second floor houses The Ancient World (Ancient Treasury, Near Eastern Art, Egyptian Art, Greek Art, Etruscan Art, Roman Art), European Art (Entry Hall of Arms and Armor, Chamber of Wonders, 17th Century Dutch Cabinet Rooms, 18th and 19th Century Treasury) and the Sculpture Court.

Egyptian Art – Mummy and Painted Cartonnage of an Unknown Woman (850-750 BC)

The Walters’ collection of ancient art, one of the largest assemblages in the United States, includes examples from EgyptNubiaGreeceRomeEtruria and the Near East.

Egyptian Art – Mummy Mask of a High Official (ca. 2000-1980 BCE, Middle Kingdom)

The collection of ancient Egyptian and Nubian art, dating from prehistoric to Roman Egypt (5th millennium BC– 4th century AD ), include statuary (the most impressive pieces are two monumental 3,000-pound statues of the Egyptian lion-headed fire goddess Sekhmet); stelae; the intact Walters Mummy (still in its elaborate wrappings); reliefs; sarcophagi; funerary objects; impressive jewelry and objects from daily life as well as images of private individuals and kings.

Ancient Near Eastern Art

Art from the Near East includes alabaster reliefs from the palace of Ashurnasirpal II.

Greek Art Exhibit

The Walters’ outstanding collection of ancient Greek  art, illustrating the history and culture of Greece from the Cycladic to the Hellenistic period (ca. 3rd millennium–1st century BC), includes engraved gemstones; dazzling gold jewelry (including extraordinary Greek bracelets, encrusted with multicolored gemstones, from Olbia on the shores of the Black Sea); exceptional vases, and marble statues (including the Praxitelean Satyr)

Etruscan Art

The most treasured objects in the collection of ancient Roman art at the Walters includes a large assemblage of Roman portrait heads (including powerful depictions of the emperors Augustus and Marcus Aurelius); exquisite Etruscan bronzes, a Roman bronze banquet couch, and seven marble sarcophagi, among the finest in the world, with intricate marble carvings depicting mythological scenes, from the tombs of the prominent Licinian and Calpurnian families in Rome.

Roman Art

Ancient Treasury

The 18th and 19th century Treasury displays portrait miniatures, examples of goldsmiths’ works (especially snuffboxes and watches) along with some exceptional 19th- and early-20th-century works. Among them are examples of Art Nouveau-styled jewelry by René Lalique, jeweled objects by the House of Fabergé, including two Russian Imperial Easter eggs, and precious jewels by Tiffany and Co. of New York City.

18th and 19th Century Treasury

18th and 19th Century Treasury

Three galleries (Entry Hall of Arms and Armor, Chamber of Wonders and Collector’s Private Study), dedicated to European art of the 15th to 17th centuries, suggest a 1600s collection that might have been the pride of a sophisticated nobleman in the Spanish Netherlands (present-day Belgium).

Entry Hall of Arms and Armor

The Entry Hall of Arms and Armor , reflecting traditions of chivalry and the noble values of family honor is, in part, based on the installation at the Habsburg palace Schloss Ambras just outside Innsbruck (Austria).

Chamber of Wonders

The Collector’s Private Study is where small, intricate objects were kept close at hand.  The more spacious Chamber of Art and Wonders (or Constkamer, as such a space was known in the Spanish Netherlands), is a faithful recreation of a cabinet of curiosity and has cabinets full of natural history specimens, as well as art objects from the museum’s collection.

Jandy exploring the hallway with displays of Renaissance Ceramics

The third floor houses The Medieval World Galleries (Byzantine, Russian and Ethiopian Icons, Early Byzantine Art, Migration and Early Medieval Art, Medieval World Lobby, Romanesque and Gothic Art, The Great Room, Upper Stair Hall, Islamic Art, Islamic Arms and Armor) and Renaissance & Baroque Galleries (13th-15th Century Italian Art, 15th Century Art of Northern Europe, 15th Century Italian Art, 16th Century Italian Art, 17th Century Art, 18th Century Art, Renaissance Ceramics)

Byzantine, Russian and Ethiopian Icons

The Walters’ collection contains one of the largest assemblages of art produced during the Middle Ages (extends from the 4th  to the end of the 14th century, or from the disintegration of the Roman Empire to the beginning of the Renaissance in western Europe in all the major artistic media of the period).

The author (left) entering the “15th Century Art of Northern Europe”exhibit. At right is an altarpiece with the Passion of Christ (ca. 1492-1495, Late Medieval Renaissance).

The Walters’ Medieval collection, for which the museum is best known internationally, is considered one of the best collections of Medieval art in the United States.  Spanning the Medieval world from the eastern Mediterranean to Western Europe, the museum’s Medieval art collection features a wide range of remarkable objects including examples of metalwork, sculpture, stained glass, textiles, icons, and other paintings.

Romanesque and Gothic Art

The Walters’ collection is especially renowned for its particularly strong holdings of ivories, enamels, liturgical vessels, reliquaries and illuminated manuscripts.

Early Byzantine Art

The Walters’ Medieval collection features unique objects such as the Byzantine agate Rubens Vase that belonged to the painter Rubens (accession no. 42.562) and the earliest-surviving image of the Virgin of Tenderness, an ivory carving produced in Egypt in the 6th or 7th century (accession no. 71.297). Sculpted heads from the royal Abbey of St. Denis are rare surviving examples of portal sculptures that are directly connected with the origins of Gothic art in 12th-century France (accession nos. 27.21 and 27.22). An ivory casket covered with scenes of jousting knights is one of about a dozen such objects to survive in the world (accession no. 71.264).

Migration and Early Medieval Art

The Walters also displays Late Medieval devotional Italian paintings by painters such as Tommaso da ModenaPietro LorenzettiAndrea di Bartolo (Resurrection), Alberto SotioBartolomeo di Tommaso (Death of Saint Francis), Naddo CeccarelliMaster of Saint VerdianaNiccolo di Segna (Saint Lucy), OrcagnaOlivuccio di CiccarelloMaster of Panzano Triptych and Giovanni del Biondo.

The Rubens Vase (agate, gold, Byzantine Art. ca 400)

Henry Walters  took an early interest in Byzantine art, buying at a time when there were limited collectors in this field, and the museum also holds one of the leading collections of Byzantine Art in the United States.

Jewelry Box with Dancers and Faun (4th to 6th Century)

Sarcophagus Fragment with the Good Shepherd (early 4th century)

The Walters’ Byzantine art collection, supported by an important collection of Russian and Orthodox icons, includes a group of over two thousand decorative tile fragments, early Byzantine silver, post-Byzantine art, the Kaper Koraon Treasure  and illuminated manuscripts. The museum also houses the largest and finest collection of Ethiopian Orthodox Church art outside Ethiopia.

13th-15th Century Italian Art

15th Century Italian Art

The collection of Renaissance, Baroque and 18th-century European art, the breadth of which offers a comprehensive display of the arts during this artistically fertile period, features one of the most significant holdings of Italian paintings, many of which were acquired by Henry Walters with the Massarenti Collection (a previously unprecedented purchase of the contents of an Italian villa) plus sculpture, furniture, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, arms and armor, and locks and keys.

16th Century Italian Art

17th Century Art

The best-known works include Hugo van der Goes‘ Donor with Saint John the BaptistHeemskerck‘s Panorama with the Abduction of Helen Amidst the Wonders of the Ancient WorldGiambattista Pittoni‘s Sacrifice of Polyxena, the Madonna of the Candelabra (from the studio of Raphael), Veronese’s Portrait Of Countess Livia da Porto Thiene and her Daughter PorziaEl Greco‘s Saint Francis Receiving the StigmataBernini‘s “bozzetto” of the Risen Christ, Tiepolo‘s Scipio Africanus Freeing Massiva, and The Ideal City attributed to Fra Carnevale. The museum has one of ten surviving examples of the Sèvres pot-pourri vase in the shape of a ship from the 1750s and 1760s.

18th Century Art

The Walters’ collection presents an overview of 19th-century European art, particularly European art works by late-19th-century academic masters and Impressionists from France.  Because of his notorious Southern-leanings, William Walters, with his family, stayed in Paris during the Civil War.

The Cafe-Concert (1879, Edouard Manet)

Here, he soon developed a keen interest in contemporary European painting and he commissioned, either directly from the artists or purchased at auctions, such major works by the Barbizon masters (Jean-François Millet and Henri Rousseau); academic masters (Jean-Léon Gérôme and Lawrence Alma-Tadema) and modernists (MonetManet, Sisley and  the Italian Antonio Rotta).

Odalisque with Slave (1842, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres)

From the first half of the century comes major paintings by Ingres, Géricault, and Delacroix.  Highlights of the collection include Odalisque with Slave by Ingres (a second version); Claude Monet’s SpringtimeAlfred Sisley‘s panoramic view of the Seine Valley; and  The Café Concert, Édouard Manet’s realist masterpiece.

Fortune (1900, Sevres Porcelain Factory, Augustin Moreau-Vauthier)

The Dancer (1900, Sevres Porcelain Factory, Agathon Leonard)

The museum’s collection of Sèvres porcelain (Henry Walters was particularly interested in the courtly arts of 18th-century France) includes a number of pieces that were made for members of the Royal Bourbon Court at Versailles Palace outside of Paris.

Islamic Art

Islamic art in all artistic media, encompassing the entire realm of artistic production in those lands where, from the 7th century onward, the Muslim religion took hold (territory that, at its height, stretched from present-day Spain and North Africa westward to India), is represented at the Walters, reflecting the cultural diversity and geographical range of Islamic cultures.

Islamic Art

It includes not only objects used in the service of religion but also those created for the courts of the Middle East and Central Asia, as well as articles used in everyday life.

Iznik Plate with a depiction of an Ewer (late 16th century, Early Modern)

Basin (early mid-15th century, Late Medieval)

Among the highlights are a 7th-century carved and hammered silver bowl from Iran that demonstrates the continuation of Sassanian traditions in early Muslim Persia; a 13th-century candlestick made of copper, silver, and gold from the Mamluk era in Egypt; 16th-century mausoleum doors decorated with intricate wood carvings in a radiating star pattern; a delicate 17th-century silk sash from the Mughal Empire in India; and a 17th-century Turkish tile with an image of the Masjid al-Haram (“Great Mosque of Mecca”), the center of Islam in Mecca, (modern Saudi Arabia).

Tile with the Great Mosque of Mecca (17th century, Ottoman)

The Walters Museum owns an array of Islamic manuscripts that include a 15th-century Koran from northern India (executed at the height of the Timurid Empire); a 16th-century copy of the “Khamsa of Nizami” by Amir Khusraw (illustrated by a number of famous artists for the Emperor Akbar); and a Turkish calligraphy album by Sheikh Hamadullah Al-Amasi (one of the greatest calligraphers of all time).

Islamic Arms and Armor

The ongoing, 18-month, special exhibition “From Rye to Raphael: The Walters Story, spanning the entire fourth floor of the museum, celebrates the museum’s 80th anniversary by examining the legacy of founders William and Henry Walters.

A Roman Emperor Claudius (1871, Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema)

The Attack at Dawn (1877, Alphonse de Neuville)

It brings together, in 7 galleries, an extraordinary group of art and artifacts that illustrates the intriguing stories behind the Walters family’s magnificent gift to the city.

Walter Mountain Distilleries Whiskey Bottle and Tumblers with WTW Monogram

The “rye” in the exhibit name refers to the trade in rye whiskey that served as the basis of the family fortune while “Raphael” refers to the “Madonna of the Candelabra” (depicting Mary and Christ as divine royals) painting (not on view in the exhibition) by Renaissance master Raphael, purchased by Henry in 1901, the artist’s first Virgin and Child to enter a United States collection..

From Rye to Raphael – The Walters Story

Alongside Walters family photographs and historic material culled from the archives, it features 200 works chosen for their beauty and craftsmanship. Much of it comes from the museum’s permanent collection while other previously unseen objects were selected from the museum’s archives.

A Roman Slave Market (1884) by Jean Leon Gerome, depicting an eroticized nude female slave, seen from behind standing on a scaffold as men below call out their bids is, perhaps, the most sensuous image in the show but is also easily the most disturbing.

Its highlights include a 19th-century salon-style gallery (re-creating a room in the original Walters residence at 5 West Mount Vernon Place that was crammed floor to ceiling and wall to wall with artworks, gold frames gleaming against plum wallpaper) and a gallery of French works by such painters as Eugene Delacroix, Jean-Jacques Rosseau and Jean-Leon Gerome.

The Young Girl of Bou-Saada (Susse Freres Foundry, Ernest Barrias)

The Walters Art Museum: 600 North Charles Street, Mount Vernon-BelvedereBaltimoreMaryland 21201, United States.  Tel: +1 410-547-9000. Open Wednesdays to Sundays, 10 AM –5 PM (9 PM on Thursdays), closed Mondays,  Tuesdays, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Admission is free. Website: