"Old Ironsides" Gavel
James N. Carder (February 2012)
The gavel (seen at the right) was carved from wood taken from the U.S.S. Constitution “Old Ironsides,” one of the six original frigates authorized on March 27, 1794 when the US Congress passed the Naval Act. When the Constitution was rebuilt in the Boston Navy Yard in 1906, the Bliss family acquired this gavel as a memento. Significantly, on August 21, 1944, the gavel was used to open the Dumbarton Oaks Conversations, discussions at Dumbarton Oaks involving the Americans, British, Russians, and Chinese that led to the establishment of the United Nations in 1945. The gavel remains part of the Dumbarton Oaks Archives.