Constitution Day 2016

September 16, 2016

  • Constitution Day will be observed on Friday September 16, 2016
  • Museum admission is FREE
  • Spots fill quickly!  Call 215-409-6800 to make your reservation

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 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 Press Conference and Awards Presentation
10 a.m.
Bogle Chairman’s Room
The National Constitution Center will announce new resources and initiative, as well as the winners of our Civic Literacy Contest.

Constitution Day Games and Outdoor Activities
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Front Lawn and Grand Hall Lobby and Overlook
Visitors can  try their hand at graces, hoop and stick, nine pin, and other games popular during the Revolutionary era.  At Historic Character Meet and Greets, visitors can interact with famous figures  from history, then, visitors can participate in Historic Demonstrations, where they can learn trades for yesteryear, like Candle making and Calligraphy, and more!  Afterwards, visitors themselves can don colonial outfits at our Dress Up station, and pose for one-of-a-kind photos!

Constitution Day Arts and Crafts
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Grand Hall Lobby and Overlook
Guests  can 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., 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 12 p.m., 12:30 p.m.
Bank of America Family Theater and Private Dining Room
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 are required for this program.  Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.

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.  The keynote address will be delivered by NBC 10’s Vai Sikahema.
*Seating for this event is limited. Preference will be given to the familes of our new citizens.  

The Constitution’s Birthday Celebration
12 p.m.
Grand Hall Overlook Stage
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 Father of the Constitution James Madison.  

Interactive Constitution Workshop
12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m.
F.M. Kirby Auditorium
Join the Center’s constitutional experts as we showcase our Interactive Constitution, the online resource hailed by USA Today as an “internet sensation”.  It is the best, non-partisan, interactive Constitution on the web, and features 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!  This special workshop will help students and teachers learn to use this great resource, and also highlight our newly added provisions!

Constitution Day Concert
12:30 p.m. to 1:15 p.m.
Front Lawn
Enjoy a picnic lunch on Independence Mall as you listen (or even sing along) to some of American’s favorite patriotic tunes!  Featuring the Blue Skies Band.  

Kids Town Hall with Kenneth Davis
1 p.m.
F.M. Kirby Auditorium
Historian Kenneth Davis, author of the popular Don’t Know Much About series, and regular guest on WXPN’s Kids Corner, will be at the museum this Constitution Day to discuss his new book, In the Shadow of Liberty: The Hidden History of Slavery, Four Presidents, and Five Black Lives.  Visit for more information!
*Advanced reservations are suggested for this program.  Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.

Mark Thompson: What’s Gone Wrong with the Language of Politics?
2 p.m.
F.M. Kirby Auditorium
New York Times Company CEO Mark Thompson provides a wide-ranging, provocative examination of free speech and political rhetoric – from FDR and Churchill to that of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. A book sale and signing of Enough Said with Thompson will follow the program.
*Advanced reservations are suggested for this program.  Speak to a Group Sales Representative at 215-409-6800.

Bill of Rights Show
10:15 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 1:15 p.m.
Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall; Domestic Tranquility
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.

Flag Etiquette Workshop and Giant Flag Folding Challenge
10:15 a.m., 12:15 p.m., 2:15 p.m.
Front Lawn
Our knowledgeable education staff will lead workshops showcasing the fascinating history of our American flag, and give visitors tips on how to follow proper flag etiquette.  The visitors will use their new skills to help fold our 20’X30’ flag!

Separation of Powers show
10 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m.
Grand Hall Overlook Stage
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., 12:30 p.m., 2 p.m.
Grand Hall Overlook Stage
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.







In the Classroom

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
Video Lessons
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 special Fifth Anniversary Edition, featuring clips from our most popular episodes—it’s the ultimate Constitution Day lesson!
PLUS: Watch previous 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.

For Lesson Plans, Games, and Activities please click here.


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