Wednesday, September 17, 2015: Constitution Day
Admission to the museum is FREE, courtesy of the PNC Foundation.
Constitution Day Featured Programming:
227: 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. Click here to watch live at 8:30am EDT
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. – 3:30 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. - 5 p.m., Grand Hall Lobby
The National Constitution Center hosts several partner organizations to help us celebrate Constitution Day, including: Citizenship Counts, the Passport Agency, and the Daughters of the American Revolution
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.
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.
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 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.
10:30-11:30 a.m., F.M. Kirby Auditorium
50 Immigrants from over 28 countries 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. - 1 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 The Star-Spangled Banner to celebrate the birthday of the Constitution’s signing. This celebration is complete with confetti cannons, the museum’s mascots Donnie the Donkey and Ellie the Elephant.
Courts in the Community Panel Discussion
12:30pm, F.M. Kirby Auditorium
The Constitution Center is pleased to partner with federal judges serving in the Third Circuit for a new program, Courts in the Community. This new program officially launches on Constitution Day with an esteemed panel of judges, including Judge Marjorie Rendell, Judge Cynthia M. Rufe, and Judge Theodore McKee, that will give students and visitors a better understanding of how the Constitution influences their role and responsibility in the courtroom as well as in their daily lives. The discussion will be followed by a Q & A opportunity with the audience.
Kids Town Hall: The Making of the Bill of Rights
1:30 p.m., Kirby Auditorium
What really happened behind closed doors during the Constitutional Convention? Visitors will hear “firsthand” from some very special guests during this Kids Town Hall. Famous Founding Fathers like Benjamin Franklin and George Mason (in the form of reenactors) will discuss the debate surrounding adding a Bill of Rights to the Constitution and why it was initially left out when the Constitution was signed.
Judge Chats: A Closer Look at the Courts
9:30 a.m.-2:30 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.
For more details about the Center’s Constitution Week festivities, visit constititutioncenter.org/constitution-day.
Constitution Hall Pass: The Bill of Rights, with Live Blog!
Available online beginning September 10, 2015
Chat live with National Constitution Center Staff September 10 – September 23, 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.
Enjoy more Constitution Day episodes:
Would you have signed the Constitution 225 years ago? Why or why not?