About the Constitution Center

About the Constitution Center

The first and only institution in America established by Congress to "disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people."

The National Constitution Center is the first and only institution in America established by Congress to “disseminate information about the United States Constitution on a non-partisan basis in order to increase the awareness and understanding of the Constitution among the American people.” The Constitution Center brings the United States Constitution to life by hosting interactive exhibitions and constitutional conversations and inspires active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition.

Our non-partisan mission is best expressed in our three goals: to serve the nation and the world as the Museum of We the People, a national Headquarters for Civic Education, and America’s Town Hall. We illuminate the constitutional debates that affect the lives of all Americans by hosting constitutional conversations on Independence Mall in Philadelphia and across a range of media platforms, and we inspire active citizenship by celebrating the American constitutional tradition. Our three goals can be summarized in three words: Visit. Learn. Debate.

As the Museum of We the People, the Constitution Center features hundreds of interactive exhibits, engaging theatrical performances, and original documents of freedom. As America’s town hall, the National Constitution Center hosts constitutional debates across a range of broadcast and digital media platforms. As a national and international center for civic education, the Constitution Center offers cutting edge constitutional seminars, discussions, course materials, and interactive and digital resources for students of all ages.

Fun Facts

  • President Ronald Reagan signed the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988 on September 16, 1988, to establish the National Constitution Center within or in close proximity to Independence National Historical Park.
  • The National Constitution Center is the first-ever museum dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.
  • Over one million archaeological artifacts were unearthed on the site of the National Constitution Center from 2000 to 2003, making it the richest find of Colonial artifacts in an urban area in America.
  • A permanent memorial to the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia was first proposed around the Constitution’s centennial celebration in 1887.
  • The Center is made of American materials including 85,000 square feet of Indiana limestone, 2.6 million pounds of steel, and a half-million cubic feet of concrete.
  • The groundbreaking ceremony for the National Constitution Center was held on September 17, 2000—exactly 213 years after the Constitution was signed in Philadelphia.
  • Over one million archaeological artifacts were unearthed on the site of the National Constitution Center from 2000 to 2003, making it the richest find of Colonial artifacts in an urban area in America.
  • The American flag in the Center’s Grand Hall Overlook was hung here by Muhammad Ali in a special Flag Day ceremony on June 14, 2003.
  • If you completed every element in the Center’s main exhibition, it would take you almost three full work days to get through it.
  • Over 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress, but only 33 have gone to the states to be ratified, and 27 have actually become amendments to the Constitution.
  • The Constitution is written on glass panels above the Center’s main exhibition, and there are empty panels for any future amendments.
  • The Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787, and the Center is the best place to celebrate Constitution Day on that date.
  • The U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest written constitution of any national government in the world.
  • It took 18 months and 50 artists—including sculptors, designers, and mold makers—to produce the 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founders in Signers’ Hall.
  • In the Center’s Signers’ Hall, Gouverneur Morris is slightly hunched over in order to make George Washington stand out as the tallest man in the room
  • The dimensions of the Center’s Signers’ Hall are the same as the room where the Constitution was signed in Independence Hall just two blocks away.
  • The limestone used to build the Center is from the same quarry as the Empire State Building’s materials.
  • The Center’s address, 525 Arch Street, was specifically chosen; May 25 is the date the Constitutional Convention began in Philadelphia in 1787.
  • The Constitutional Convention began on May 25, 1787, and lasted until the day the finished document was signed on September 17, 1787.
  • In September 2006, the Center helped launch Constitution High School, a history and civics-themed Philadelphia School District magnet school.
  • The Center hosted the 2008 Democratic presidential primary debate between Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama.
  • There are 4,543 words in the original, unamended Constitution, including the signatures.

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