Constitution Day

Constitution Day

September 17, 2014

AT THE Museum

Wednesday, September 17, 2014: Constitution Day

Constitution Day Featured Programming:

227: Preamble Challenge

8:30 a.m., Front Lawn

To kick off the day, Jeff Rosen, President and CEO of the National Constitution Center will lead students in a reading of the Preamble to honor the 227th anniversary of the Constitution’s signing. Honored guests, school groups, and associates from PNC, who sponsored free admission on Constitution Day, will assemble on the lawn of the National Constitution Center and be lead in a rousing reading of the Preamble of the Constitution of the United States.


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!


Colonial Lawn Games

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Front Lawn

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


Constitution Day Partners

9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., Grand Hall Lobby

The National Constitution Center hosts several partner organizations to help us celebrate Constitution Day.


I Signed the Constitution

9:30 a.m. to 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.


Craft Activities

9:30 a.m. to 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.


Pass the Citizenship Test show

9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m., 3:30 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.


Separation of Powers show

10 a.m., 11 a.m., 2 p.m., 3 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.


American National Tree Induction Ceremony

10:00 a.m., Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibition Hall

The National Constitution Center will add American investigative journalist Elizabeth Jane Cochran, better known by her pseudonym, Nellie Bly, 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. The National Constitution Center, in partnership with Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers held a student essay contest to determine the 2014 inductee.  

This year’s winning essay was written by Isabelle Breier, of Woodbridge, Connecticut, a rising 11th grader at the Hopkins School.  Isabelle’s essay on Nellie Bly was selected from over 170 submissions, a record number for the American National Tree Contest.  Isabelle will read her winning essay at the induction ceremony.


Bill of Rights show

10:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 2:45 p.m., Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall

Who wants to be a “Bill”-ionaire? In the Center’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. 


Naturalization Ceremony

10:30-11:30 a.m., F.M. Kirby Auditorium

50 Immigrants from across the globe will 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 and feature a keynote address by Dr. Nina Ahmad, Executive Vice President, Government Affairs, for JNA Capital, Inc. Dr. Ahmad is a naturalized citizen from Bangladesh and Chair of the Philadelphia Commission on Asian American Affairs. She was recently appointed by President Barack Obama to the President’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Special remarks also will be made by Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor-Elect Al Dandridge, Esq. The ceremony is co-presented by the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs as part of xCultural (Multicultural) Passport to PHL Week.


The Constitution’s Birthday Celebration

12 p.m. to 1 p.m., Overlook

During the lunch hour, the Center offers cake (shaped and designed to look like the Constitution) and invites visitors to sing along to Happy Birthday and The Star-Spangled Banner to celebrate the birthday of the Constitution’s signing. This celebration is complete with confetti cannons, the Center’s mascots Donnie the Donkey and Ellie the Elephant.


Kids Town Hall: The Making of the Bill of Rights

1 p.m., Grand Hall Overlook

Join in a lively conversation with our founding fathers and find out what really happened behind the closed convention doors as the delegates debated adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution they created. 


For more details about the Center’s Constitution Week festivities, visit


Constitution Hall Pass: The Bill of Rights, with Live Blog!
Available online beginning September 10, 2014
Chat live with National Constitution Center Staff September 10 – September 22, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m EDT

This Constitution Week, the Center will premiere its next installment of Constitution Hall Pass, the Center’s free, web-based video series with live web-chat for schools and classrooms across the country. This engaging and interactive lesson is hosted by the Center’s education staff and scholars and is broadcast nationally via Channel One. Give your students a “hall pass” to travel through American history—without leaving the classroom! Constitution Hall Pass video lessons and live chats are a hit with millions of students and teachers nationwide. Our brand-new episode, “Constitution Day 2014: The Bill of Rights,” provides a behind-the-scenes look at how these ten amendments were created and interpreted.

  • DISCOVER the roots of the Bill of Rights in the Revolutionary War and the state constitutions
  • VISIT the Constitutional Convention to listen in on the debates about a bill of rights
  • HEAR the voices of the ratifying conventions as they influenced James Madison’s work in writing the Bill of Rights
  • LEARN what the Bill of Rights actually says—and how long it’s taken to make those rights a reality
  • EXPLORE the process of judicial review and the ways citizens use the courts to bring the Bill of Rights to life

Enjoy more Constitution Day episodes:

Lesson Plans



From Our Partners at iCivics