Scenic USA - Maryland
|Photo by Tim Smolinski
Inset photos by Ben Prepelka
Celebrating the day America declared itself independent from Great Britain, July 4, 1776, stands as one of America's most popular holidays. A period when students take a break from formal education and parents take time off from work, this summer holiday is thoroughly enjoyed from coast to coast. During the holiday, Americans let their patriotism show by flying the flag, decorating with red, white and blue, and celebrating with parades and picnics.
And what better way is there to top-off an Independence Day celebration than a colorful fireworks display? The
pyrotechnic show has become a standard ending for America's July 4th holiday throughout the United States.
In this view, a brilliant crimson burst is seen through the rigging of the USS Constellation. This ship, the last sail-powered American vessel, is berthed in Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The sailing ship, one of several naval ships to bear the name USS Constellation, still retains a portion of its original live-oak timber and pig-iron ballast. Renovation of the 200 year old warship was complete in 1999, with a price tag of nine million dollars. One of the most popular attractions in the Inner Harbor, the USS Constellation is the only Civil War era ship still afloat.
The USS Constellation's history chronicles her first few years patrolling the Mediterranean during the Barbary Wars. One of three warships built following American independence, the Constellation quickly earned the nickname The Yankee Racehorse. Out-classed by more modern vessels by the 1850s, the Constellation attempted to control the slave trade just prior to the Civil War. She made the first capture of the Confederate slaver Triton in 1861. The final decommission came on her 100th year anniversary. Today, the National Historic Landmark is available for tours in Baltimore's Inner Harbor.
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