Constitution Day

Constitution Day

September 16, 2016

Do-Now Discussion

Would you have signed the Constitution 225 years ago? Why or why not?

Constitution Day  Friday, September 16, 2016
Every year, the National Constitution hosts the best Constitution Day Celebration in the country.  The National Constitution Center will observe Constitution Day on Friday, September 16, 2016.
Admission to the museum is FREE for our Constitution Day festival!  Spots fill quickly—to make a reservation call Group Sales at 215-409-6800.

About Constitution Day

Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document. Senator Byrd once said, "Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world." He added the Constitution Day clause to his 2004 federal spending bill because he believed that all citizens should know about their rights as outlined in the Constitution. This clause mandates the teaching of the Constitution in schools that receive federal funds, as well as federal agencies.

At the Museum

Constitution Day Live Blog
7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Google Lab
Visitors can watch as our team of constitutional experts chat live with students and teachers across the country, answering all of their Constitution Day questions!

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.

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, featuring a live performance of the Star-spangled banner!

Constitution Day Games, Activities, and Crafts
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Front Lawn and Grand Hall Lobby and Overlook
Try your hand at graces, hoop and stick, nine pin, and other games popular during the Revolutionary era. Then check out our giant version of the U.S. Constitution and sign your names alongside Washington, Franklin, and Madison. Plus, take part in arts and crafts projects, and join in calligraphy demonstrations!

Judge Chats: The Courts in the Community
10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
Bank of America Family Theater and Freedom Classroom
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. Advanced reservations required. Contact group sales to book your group.

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 a United States Federal Judge. All of the new citizens will be given lifetime memberships to the National Constitution Center.
Seating for this event is limited. Priority will be given to immigrants and their families.

The Constitution’s Birthday Celebration
12 p.m.
Grand Hall 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, and even a historic president or two.

Bill of Rights show
Throughout the day
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.

Separation of Powers show
Throughout the day
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
Throughout the day
Grand Hall Overlook
Do you know what it takes to become an American citizen? During this engaging program, students learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and gain insight into our country and our freedoms.

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


Visit our Constitution Day website to find fantastic classroom resources:

Interactive Constitution
Explore the best, non-partisan, interactive Constitution on the web, featuring explanatory materials for students in grades 8-12, written by the top constitutional scholars in the country from across the political spectrum—a must-have tool for every classroom!
Made possible by the generosity of the John Templeton Foundation and developed in partnership with the College Board.

Constitution Hall Pass
Give your students a “hall pass” to travel through American history without leaving the classroom! Our Constitution Hall Pass video lesson series has been watched by millions of students and teachers nationwide.  It’s also a three-time Telly Award winner for excellence in education.  Our Fifth Anniversary Edition, features clips from our most popular episodes—it’s the ultimate Constitution Day lesson!

Plus Watch Previous Constitution Day Episodes

•    Constitution Day 2014: The Bill of Rights
•    Constitution Day 2013: The Legislative Branch
•    Constitution Day 2012: The Presidency
•    Constitution Day 2011: Freedom of Expression
•    Constitution Day 2010: The Judicial Branch

Constitution Day Live Chat
Our experts are answering all of your Constitution Day Questions!  Ask us about the Interactive Constitution, the Constitution Hall Pass videos, events at the museum, and more! Available weekdays September 10-23, 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. EDT.

Lesson Plans, Games, and Activities

From Our Partners at iCivics

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