August 19, 1812: The USS Constitution, commanded by Issac Hull, was victorious in battle with the British frigate HMS Guerriere today off the coast of Nova Scotia.
The battle lasted 20 minutes, and when the smoke cleared, HMS Guerriere was virtually destroyed with the Constitution sustaining minimal damage.
British sailors reportedly said that their cannon balls “bounced off” the American ship “as if her sides were made of iron”.*
*The USS Constitution became known as “Old Ironsides”. Today it can be toured at the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston.
The USS Constitution was built in Boston, Massachusetts & launched on October 21, 1797.