Come join the National Constitution Center to celebrate the historic 225th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with a wide array of inspiring and educational Constitution Day activities. Admission to the Center is FREE on Constitution Day, courtesy of PwC.
Constitution Hall Pass: The Presidency, all day
The newest episode of the National Constitution Center’s popular free webcast series, Constitution Hall Pass will air all day long at www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday. Featuring a special introduction by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos, Constitution Hall Pass: The Presidency explores Article II of the Constitution, which defines the role and responsibilities of our nation’s highest executive power – the President of the United States of America. From 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. EST, experts from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, the American Board of Trial Advocates, and the Pennsylvania Bar Association, along with members of the Center’s education staff will chat live with students and teachers to answer questions and offer additional insight.
Schaffer Designs Floral Pop Up Display, 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
The Center’s Constitution Day celebration also will extend outside of the building, with an incredible 15-foot live floral art “pop up” by Schaffer Designs – three-time “Best in Show” winners at the Philadelphia International Flower Show. Inspired by the Constitution’s 225th anniversary, this super-sized live sculptural “bouquet” will adorn the Center’s front lawn for all to see and will incorporate patriotic “stars” submitted by top floral designers from coast to coast!
225: The Preamble Challenge, 8:30 a.m.
225 students, visitors, staff members, and volunteers will recite the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution on the Center’s front lawn.
Preamble Printing and Calligraphy Demonstrations, 9:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Guests can visit the Center’s old-fashioned print shop, complete with a replica printing press from the 1700s, to print a copy of the Preamble in the same way Claypool and Dunlap did when they printed the Constitution. Visitors also can join in calligraphy demonstrations and learn about the Copperplate technique used to pen the official, handwritten Constitution.
Constitution Celebration, 9:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Guests can participate in a variety of craft activities and interactive programming throughout the day in the Center’s Grand Hall Lobby. Visitors can have their portrait done “Founders-style” with authentic silhouette cuttings. A giant version of the U.S. Constitution will be on display for visitors to sign their names alongside Washington, Franklin, and Madison. Guests can take guided tours of Signers’ Hall and learn about the men who created the first governing document of its kind in the world. Children can trade for their favorite “Founding Father” with special Founding Father trading cards. During the “Bill of Rights Show” and the “Separation of Powers Show” guests will learn more about the history behind the U.S. Constitution in a fun and engaging way.
Constitution Café, 9:30 a.m.
Christopher Phillips, author of Constitution Café, will lead students from Philadelphia’s Constitution High School in a dialogue inspired by the idea that the Constitution should be updated to reflect the current times. Students will discuss what they would (and wouldn’t) change about the Constitution, if they had the opportunity to rewrite it today.
American National Tree Induction Ceremony, 10:00 a.m.
Beloved former First Lady and outspoken women’s rights advocate Betty Ford will be added to the American National Tree, a popular exhibit inside The Story of We the People that tells the stories of 100 Americans whose actions have shaped our constitutional history. 15-year-old Carter Jimenez Jenkins, a high school sophomore at JSerra Catholic High School in San Juan Capistrano, California and winner of the 2012 M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award will take part in the ceremony with his family and his winning essay on Betty Ford will be included in the exhibit.
Naturalization Ceremony, 10:30 a.m.
A public Naturalization Ceremony will take place in the Center’s F.M. Kirby Auditorium. The Honorable Cynthia M. Rufe, District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will administer the oath.
Constitution Anniversary Party, 12:15 p.m.
Guests can enjoy a slice of cake during a patriotic on the Center’s Grand Hall Overlook. The party will include appearances by Presidents George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt, as well as P. Edward Lovelidge, Philadelphia Market Managing Partner of PwC, and Rocco Fiorentino, 15-year-old blind singer and advocate from Voorhees, NJ, who will lead the crowd in a stirring rendition of “God Bless America.”
“What it Says, What it Means,” 1:00 p.m.
Students from Don Imler’s civics class at Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School near Altoona, PA will recite the U.S. Constitution, taking time to discuss its modern day meaning.
“Is Pennsylvania’s Voter ID Law Constitutional?”, 2:00 p.m.
Less than two months from Election Day, the debate rages over Pennsylvania’s voter identification law—currently the strictest in the nation. As part of the Center’s programming in honor of the Constitution’s 225th anniversary, experts will discuss the constitutionality and consequences of this controversial law, which requires all voters to show a government-approved form of identification at the polls. Former PA Governor Ed Rendell will moderate the discussion.
For more info please visit constitutioncenter.org