USS Constitution is the oldest commissioned warship afloat in the world. It was built at Hartt's Shipyard in Boston, and launched Oct. 21, 1797. The Constitution is one of six ships George Washington ordered built to protect America's growing maritime interests. Its greatest glory came during the War of 1812 when it defeated four British frigates, earning the nickname "Old Ironsides" because cannon balls glanced off its thick hull. After many years of neglect, the Constitution was restored in 1927 with contributions from the nation's patriotic organizations and school children.