September 16, 2017 all-day

Sept 16, 1830. Alarmed by a newspaper report that Congress wasto have the USS Constitution (popularly known as Old Ironsides) sent to a scrap yard, law student Oliver Wendell Holmes dashed off a poem in protest. The poem began Ay, tear her tattered ensign down!/ Long has it waved on high,/ And many an eye has danced to see/ That banner in the sky. Old Ironsides, published anonymously this day in the Boston Daily Advertisor, was to stir up national outrage as newspaper after newspaper reprinted it. Congress instead appropriated money for the frigates reconstruction, and Old Ironsides still floats today. (Some historians think that Holmes never actually saw the ship he saved.)

Image: Wikipedia Commons

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