at the Museum

Join the National Constitution Center for the nation’s best Constitution Day celebration! We are the place to turn to fulfill your education requirements—at the museum and in the classroom!

This Constitution Day, the museum will honor of the 150th ratification of the 13th Amendment, and the beginning of the reconstruction era—a turning point in Constitutional History. On September 17, the National Constitution Center will host activities and discussions—both at the museum, and on our website—that celebrate not only the founding of our nation, but the Constitution’s continuing story of expanding freedom, creating the story of “We the People.”

Admission to the museum is FREE on Constitution Day, courtesy of the PNC Foundation. Book your group visit today! Call 215-409-6800.

Thursday, September 17, 2015: Constitution Day

Preamble Challenge

8:30 a.m.

Front Lawn

To kick off the day, National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeff Rosen will lead students in a rousing reading of the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States on the museum’s front lawn.

To watch this event live, click here!

Flag Raising Ceremony

9 a.m.

Front Lawn

Join the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution for a patriotic flag raising ceremony!

Interactive Constitution Press Announcement

9 a.m.

John C. Bogle Chairman’s Room

The Center is excited to announce the launch of our new Interactive Constitution. It will be the best interactive, non-partisan Constitution on the Web. The Interactive Constitution has commissioned the leading conservative, classical liberal and liberal scholars in America to write explainers about all provisions of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. This includes a common statement about the settled law and history relating to each constitutional provision, as well as separate statements from each scholar making their distinctive perspectives clear. The NCC will also announce its partnership with the College Board, which recently announced requirements that all SAT and AP U.S. History and Government test takers study the Founding Documents.

Eighteenth Century Games

9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Front Lawn

Try your hand at graces, hoop and stick, nine pin, and other games popular during the Revolutionary era.

I Signed the Constitution

9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Grand Hall Lobby

Visitors can check out our giant version of the U.S. Constitution and sign their names alongside Washington, Franklin, and Madison.

Interactive Constitution Stations

9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Grand Hall Lobby

Visitors to the museum on Constitution Day will be among the first people to try out our newly launched Interactive Constitution, which will be available on iPads in the Main Lobby.

Craft Activities

9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Grand Hall Overlook

Visitors can take part in arts and crafts projects, join in a calligraphy demonstration, and learn the copperplate script used to pen the Constitution.

Decoding the Document: The 13th Amendment

9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.

Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibition Hall

Guests can join our education staff for a closer look at a rare copy of the 13th Amendment. The document, which was ratified 150 years ago, ended slavery in our nation, and began the reconstruction era—a turning point in Constitutional History.

Judge Chats: A Closer Look at the Courts

10 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. , 12:30 p.m., 1 p.m., 1:30 p.m., 2 p.m.

Bank of America Family Theater

Students and teachers can attend one of these great sessions with real judges, where they will have the opportunity to speak with experts on the interpretation of law and about how the Constitution can affect everyday life.

American National Tree Induction Ceremony

10:00 a.m.

Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibition Hall

Every year the museum adds a new individual to the American National Tree. The Tree, a popular exhibit inside The Story of We the People, tells the stories of more than 100 Americans whose actions have helped shape the Constitution over time. Each summer, the National Constitution Center, in partnership with Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, holds a student essay contest to determine the newest inductee.

This year’s inductee, Thaddeus Stevens, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives during Lincoln’s presidency. He fought to abolish slavery and helped draft the 14th Amendment during Reconstruction. Stevens was the subject of this year’s winning essay, written by C. Sophia George, a 9th grader from Indianapolis, Indiana. As the winner of the M.R. Robinson American National Tree Award, George has won a $1000 scholarship and a trip to Philadelphia to help unveil the new exhibit.

Separation of Powers show

10 a.m., 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 2 p.m.

Grand Hall Overlook

This high-energy show explores how our Constitution limits government by separating powers—a truly revolutionary idea! Take part in an educational tug-of-war game between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches while learning about checks and balances.

Pass the Citizenship Test show

10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.

Grand Hall Overlook

Do you know what it takes to become an American citizen? During this engaging program, you’ll learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and gain insight into our country and our freedoms.

Naturalization Ceremony

10:30-11:30 a.m.

F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Every year 50 immigrants from across the globe take the Oath of Allegiance to officially become citizens of the United States. The ceremony will be presided over by United States Federal Judge John R. Padova. A Keynote address will be delivered by Congressman Brendan Boyle of Pennsylvania, whose father immigrated to the United States from Ireland.

All of the new citizens will be given lifetime memberships to the National Constitution Center.

Bill of Rights show

10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m.

Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall

Who wants to be a “Bill”-ionaire? In the museum’s fast-paced game show, visitors face off in a fun competition testing their Bill of Rights knowledge while an engaging host reveals the real deal about our amendments and freedoms.

Kids Town Hall with Justice Breyer

12 p.m.

Kimmel Theater

Students will meet Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, a person who works with the Constitution every day. Justice Breyer will speak about the ins and outs of his job, and answer students’ questions.

To watch this event live, click here!

The Constitution’s Birthday Celebration

12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.

Overlook

During the lunch hour, the museum offers cake (shaped and designed to look like the Constitution) and invites visitors to sing along to Happy Birthday and other favorite tunes to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution’s signing. This celebration is complete with confetti and appearances by the museum’s mascots Donnie the Donkey and Ellie the Elephant. This year we will be joined by President Lincoln, as we not only celebrate the Constitution’s birthday, but the 150th anniversary of the 13th Amendment—the document that ended slavery!

The Court and the World: Book Talk with Justice Breyer

2 p.m.

F.M. Kirby Auditorium

Join U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for a special moderated conversation about the increasingly global scope of the work of the high court. Justice Breyer’s third book as a justice is titled The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities.

Justice Breyer will also discuss American law as it applies in international contexts including commerce, copyright, human rights, treaty obligations and securities fraud.

To watch this event live, click here!

Shop for Materials

Pocket Constitution
Pocket Constitution
The Pocket United States Constitutions are 9-by-22 inches and fold into an approximately 3-by-3 inch square. Receive one FREE Classroom-Ready Resource when purchasing 150 or more Pocket Constitutions.
Constitution Day Kit
Constitution Day Kit
Everything you need for a Constitution Day lesson and activities. Comes with lesson plan, DVD, pocket constitutions and more!