Memorial Day Weekend 2019

Regular museum hours, Saturday, May 25 – Monday, May 27

Free with general admission

The National Constitution Center will honor America’s fallen military heroes over Memorial Day Weekend, Saturday, May 25, through Monday, May 27. Visitors can learn about how the Memorial Day holiday originated as “Decoration Day,” an occasion to honor soldiers who gave their lives during the American Civil War. Programming, which is presented in conjunction with the Center’s new permanent Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality exhibit, will examine what life was like for Civil War soldiers and take a look at some items they would have carried with them during the war. Family-friendly programs and activities will also include flag etiquette and flag folding workshops, arts and craft activities, 18th century games, and interactive shows.  

Throughout the weekend, visitors can also take a moment to write thank you letters to those who have served in the country’s armed forces at the Center’s Thank-A-Vet postcard writing station. Postcards can also be accessed online and downloaded by virtual visitors.


Memorial Day Weekend Programs

Patriotic Concert featuring the Air National Guard Band
Monday Only, 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., Front Lawn
The Air National Guard Band of the Northeast Ceremonial Band will perform a special concert of patriotic favorites on the Center’s front lawn. 

Flag Ceremonies
Saturday, 9:30 a.m. and 4:45 p.m., Sunday, 12 p.m. and 4:45 p.m., Monday, 9:30 a.m., 12 p.m., and 4:45 p.m., Front Lawn
The American flag will be raised every morning and lowered every evening on the museum’s front lawn. On Memorial Day, Monday, May 27, visitors can view a special ceremony at 12 p.m. as the Center’s education staff raises the flag from half to full staff, in accordance with U.S. tradition. 

Memorials: How a Nation Remembers Show
Daily, 12 p.m., Main Lobby
At this special program, visitors will learn about how the Memorial Day holiday originated as “Decoration Day,” an occasion to honor soldiers who gave their lives during the American Civil War. The program also illuminates America’s famous memorial sites, such as the Gettysburg Battlefield and the Lincoln Memorial, and explores how America remembers our nation’s heroes.

Flag Etiquette Workshop and Giant Flag Folding Challenge
Daily, 12:30 p.m., Front Lawn
Visitors can learn the history of the American flag and proper flag etiquette, and then help the Center’s education staff fold a 20-by-30-foot flag.

Artifact Spotlight Talks
Daily, 2 p.m., Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit
Visitors can learn about some of the most unique artifacts in Civil War and Reconstruction, including the rare, signed copy of the Emancipation Proclamation and the fragment of the American flag that President Lincoln raised at Independence Hall.

The Star-Spangled Banner: A History of Our National Anthem Show
Daily, 2:30 p.m., Main Lobby
Visitors can learn the story of Francis Scott Key, the Battle of Fort McHenry, and the flag that inspired the national anthem.

Civil War Artifact Cart
Daily, Available throughout the day, Main Exhibit
At this hands-on activity, visitors can act as history detectives—searching for clues that objects give us about the past—and examine Civil War-era artifacts up-close.


Admission during Memorial Day Weekend includes access to the National Constitution Center’s new permanent exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality; the interactive main exhibit, The Story of We the People; the signature multimedia, theatrical performance of Freedom Rising presented in the Sidney Kimmel Theater; and the iconic Signers’ Hall, featuring 42 life-size, bronze statues of the Founding Fathers.

Visitors also have access to the Center’s feature exhibits, including American Treasures: Documenting the Nation’s Founding, an intimate look at the rarest early drafts of the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights; Constituting Liberty: From the Declaration to the Bill of Rights, highlighting the three most important documents in American history; and the Center’s Hamilton: The Constitutional Clashes That Shaped a Nation exhibit, which highlights the competing ideas of Alexander Hamilton and his legendary rivals.

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