Plessy’s place in the list of worst Supreme Court decisions

Brown v. Board: When the Supreme Court ruled against segregation

Are we in a Constitutional Crisis?

MSNBC, Ali Velshi: MO Pushes New Anti-abortion Law, Following Surge of ‘Heartbeat’ Bills

The man whose impeachment vote saved Andrew Johnson

Gallery Performances — Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: The Great Problem to be Solved

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

The Associated Press: Gorsuch Replaces Biden as Chair of Civic Education Group

Justice Neil Gorsuch Elected Honorary Chair of the National Constitution Center’s Board of Trustees

CSPAN, Washington Journal: Jeffrey Rosen on the Constitutional Battle Between Congress and the White House

The Mexican-American war in a nutshell

Looking back: A new Justice replaces a filibustered candidate

On this day, the Pullman Strike changes labor law

Bruce Ackerman: Revolutionary Constitutions

Swift ruling likely in first round of Trump financial records subpoena fight

Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Live at America’s Town Hall

Presidents Adams and the Problem of Democracy

The story behind the Join or Die snake cartoon

MSNBC, Ali Velshi: Where can the President assert executive privilege?

Civil War and Reconstruction: A Conversation with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

The House’s contempt powers explained

Philly.com: Constitution Center’s Bold New Exhibit Takes on the Civil War and Reconstruction

How a C-grade college term paper led to a constitutional amendment

Exclusive Members-Only Opening Week Tours- Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality-May 9

1787 Society Chairmans Circle

1787 Society

The day the Supreme Court killed Hollywood’s studio system

Assembly and Petition Discussion Questions

Day Ten: Classroom Exchange: a National Civil Dialogue on the First Amendment

Sign up for your classroom exchange today!

Students will apply the fundamental skills they have learned from previous lessons to discuss how the freedoms enshrined in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution apply in their world. Supported by the National Constitution Center, students will actively participate in a live, online Classroom Exchange. In the exchanges, classrooms across the United States are paired with one another to discuss a constitutional question that students have addressed in class. The exchange provides opportunities to discuss varying constitutional viewpoints with peers from across the country. Students are given opportunity to now embody the norms they previously established for a civil dialogue and engage in an inter-classroom discussion. Classroom Exchanges are moderated by legal professionals who are trained and approved by the National Constitution Center to engage students for healthy dialogue on the First Amendment.

Click here to get started!

Day Nine: Assembly and Petition

Day Eight: Civil Dialogue on Freedom of Religion

Discussion Questions:

Classroom Materials:

Download our handy Civil Dialogue Toolkit for all the resources you need to facilitate a dialogue in your classroom.

Download Now >>

A Dangerous Idea: The History of Eugenics in America

Day Seven: Religion-Free Exercise

Day Six: Religion-Establishment

Is Asking About Citizenship on the Census Unconstitutional?

Day Four: Press

First Amendment: Assembly and Petition

Essential Questions:

Get Started:

Classroom Materials

They will complete a close reading activity to compare and contrast ideas presented in the Interactive Constitution and describe the ways these rights have been interpreted by the Court and used by citizens at various points throughout U.S. history.

Lesson Plan

 

 

Explore The Interactive Constitution:

Common Interpretation Matters of DebateMatters of Debate


By John Inazu and Burt Neuborne


Beyond Speech and Association
By John Inazu


Reading the First Amendment as a Whole by Burt Neuborne

 

 

Continue the Conversation:

Sign Up for an Exchange

Continue Exploring

Sign up now to discuss big big constitutional questions with a classroom elsewhere in the United States.  The Center will pair you with a classroom, connect you with an expert moderator, and set up videoconferencing sessions.

Sign-up for more information >>

Explore more clauses of the First Amendment with our Two Week Plan of Study.

First Amendment: Religion-Free Exercise

Essential Questions:

Get Started:

Freedom of Religion Video Part Two:  Classroom Materials:

 

 

Download the Lesson Plan

Explore The Interactive Constitution:

Common Interpretation Matters of DebateMatters of Debate


By Frederick Gedicks and Michael McConnell


Religious Liberty Is Equal Liberty
By Frederick Gedicks


Free Exercise: A Vital Protection for Diversity and Freedom
By Michael McConnell

 

Continue the Conversation:

Sign Up for an Exchange

Continue Exploring

Sign up now to discuss big big constitutional questions with a classroom elsewhere in the United States.  The Center will pair you with a classroom, connect you with an expert moderator, and set up videoconferencing sessions.

Sign-up for more information >>

Explore more clauses of the First Amendment with our Two Week Plan of Study.

First Amendment: Religion-Establishment

Essential Questions:

Get Started:

Freedom of Religion Video Part One:  Classroom Materials:

Download the Lesson Plan

Explore The Interactive Constitution:

Common Interpretation Matters of DebateMatters of Debate


By Marci A. Hamilton and Michael McConnell


The Establishment Clause: A Check on Religious Tyranny
By Marci A. Hamilton


The Establishment Clause: Co-Guarantor of Religious Freedom
By Michael McConnell

 

Continue the Conversation:

Sign Up for an Exchange Explore the First Amendment

Sign up now to discuss big big constitutional questions with a classroom elsewhere in the United States.  The Center will pair you with a classroom, connect you with an expert moderator, and set up videoconferencing sessions.

Sign-up for more information >>

Explore more clauses of the First Amendment with our Two Week Plan of Study.

WAMU, 1A: Attorney General Bill Barr Testifies

J. Edgar Hoover: The library clerk who became America’s ‘most-powerful man’

National Constitution Center to Launch Constitutional Ambassadors Program September 2019

Constitutional Ambassadors Program

Day Three: Speech

Law Day: 10 famous people who were lawyers

Constitutional Ambassadors Program

Members-Only Civil War and Reconstruction Exhibit Tour

Members-Only After Hours Tour Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality

Forbes: So Much Fun In Philadelphia: Pleasures and Treasures Worth Traveling For

The most underrated Founding Father: Oliver Ellsworth?

10 birthday facts about President James Monroe

10 fascinating facts about President Ulysses Grant

First Amendment: Press

Day Five: Civil Dialogue on Freedom of Speech and Press

Classroom Materials:

Download our handy Civil Dialogue Toolkit for all the resources you need to facilitate a dialogue in your classroom.

Download Now >>

First Amendment: Speech

WHYY, Radio Times: Mueller Report Fallout

A Constitutional Recap of the Mueller Report

A bold new plea on religious rights

Day Two: Civil Dialogue Primer

Past Photos

Supreme Court hears extended arguments in 2020 census case

On this day, Supreme Court Justice William Brennan is born

Day One: Introducing the First Amendment

First Amendment: Plan of Study

New “Interactive Constitution: Classroom Edition” Coming Constitution Day 2019

Discover 10 treasures from the Library of Congress

MSNBC, Velshi and Ruhle: Why Does the Impeachment Process Exist?

James Buchanan’s troubled legacy as President

For Debate: Can the President Use Emergency Powers to Build the Wall?

Major rulings on gay and transgender rights coming

The Constitution and the Supreme Court census case

The New York Times: It’s U.S. vs. World as Big Tech Faces Specter of Limiting Speech Online

The day when America moved toward becoming a global power

Happy birthday, Justice John Paul Stevens

The Assange Indictment and the First Amendment

Five myths about the start of the Revolutionary War

Joan Biskupic: The Life and Turbulent Times of Chief Justice John Roberts

The Julian Assange Indictment and the First Amendment

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality Press Kit

Philanthropy Magazine: To Ourselves and Our Posterity

On this day, Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia

The changing narrative on the death penalty

Tax Day trivia: Why do we have the IRS (and other factoids)?

The forgotten man who almost became President after Lincoln

10 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination

10 facts about Thomas Jefferson for his birthday

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality
The National Constitution Center’s new permanent exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, is the first in America devoted to exploring how constitutional clashes over slavery set the stage for the Civil War, and how the nation transformed the Constitution after the war to more fully embrace the Declaration of Independence’s promise of liberty and equality. Through remarkable artifacts and rare documents from one of the largest private Civil War collections in America—the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia—and other partners, the 3,000 square foot exhibit brings to life the stories of Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Harriet Tubman, and other figures central to the conflict over slavery. The exhibit also features the inspiring stories of lesser known individuals to help shed light on the American experience under slavery, the battle for freedom during the Civil War, and the fight for equality during Reconstruction, which many call the nation’s “Second Founding.” In doing so, visitors will learn the history of three constitutional amendments added between 1865 and 1870, which ended slavery, required states to respect individual rights, promised equal protection to all people, and expanded the right to vote to African-American men. 

As visitors explore Civil War and Reconstruction, they will encounter a one-actor performance in the 14th Amendment section of the exhibit highlighting Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a key African-American figure from the Reconstruction era. Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a staunch abolitionist, suffragist, poet, teacher, writer, and public speaker, speaks out in this 1875 address to the Pennsylvania Society for Promoting the Abolition of Slavery, outlining the work yet to be done in the cause for African-American freedom. Performances will run two times an hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, May 9 through Memorial Day Weekend 2019, and be available on select dates throughout fall of 2019 and in February 2020. This performance is produced by the National Constitution Center, directed by Walter DeShields, performed by Nastassja Baset Whitman, and designed by Tara Webb and Sara Outing.

Artifact highlights include:

FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance
For a limited production run beginning on June 19 (Juneteenth)—the holiday that commemorates the emancipation of enslaved African Americans throughout the Confederate States of America—visitors can experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment. Through dramatic interpretation of original texts, such as Frederick Douglass’s open letter “To My Old Master,” the 30-minute performance will bring to life the leaders, influential figures, and everyday Americans who were central to the era. FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance will be performed in the Center’s Bank of America Theater—adjacent to the main exhibit space. After opening June 19,FOURTEEN will run two times a day June 20 – June 26 and will run four times a day June 27 – August 10. The performance will return in fall 2019 and spring 2020. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

FOURTEEN is created in collaboration and consultation with nationally recognized, award-winning artists and scholars, including Drama Desk Award-winning theater artist Suli Holum, Philadelphia Foundry member and theatre artist Alexandra Espinoza, script and research advisor, three-time Obie Award-winning playwright, director, and actor Ain Gordon; the internationally acclaimed theater company Elevator Repair Service and sound design by Tony Award-winning sound designer and composer Rob Kaplowitz and Barrymore Award nominated sound designer Daniel Ison. This production is led by the Center’s director of theatre programs Nora Quinn.

Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality is made possible thanks to a partnership among:

This exhibit gallery is made possible thanks to the generous support of:

Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation
The George Family Foundation
The Pew Charitable Trusts    |    William Penn Foundation
PECO    |    Crystal Trust    |    The McLean Contributionship
Otto Haas Charitable Trust, at the recommendation of John and Janet Haas
Board of Governors of the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Tourism Office
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development
Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program of the Commonwealth

Reconstruction and the 14th Amendment Theatre Programs, including the in-gallery performance, The Great Problem to be Solved, and FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance, are supported by:

 

Special thanks to Kurt Lash from the University of Richmond School of Law for generously sharing his research and offering his expertise to produce the original gallery interactive created to teach the drafting process of each Reconstruction Amendments’ text. Kurt Lash, The Reconstruction Amendments: Essential Documents (University of Chicago Press, 2019).

 

About the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia
The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia was chartered in 1888, but the museum’s history and its collection had their beginnings as the Civil War ended in 1865. The Civil War Museum of Philadelphia’s collection is one of the most significant of Civil War relics in the country. Comprising some 3,000 artifacts, several thousand photographs, hundreds of works of art, scores of maps and charts, and nearly 100 linear feet of letters, diaries, muster rolls, and other archival materials, the collections of the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia rank among the largest and most comprehensive in the United States. More than 80 percent of the materials came to the museum directly from Civil War veterans or their descendants. Since 2010 the collection has been cared for by the Gettysburg Foundation and stored at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center.

About the Gettysburg Foundation
The Gettysburg Foundation is a non-profit educational organization working in partnership with the National Park Service to enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg. The Foundation raised funds for and now operates the Museum and Visitor Center at Gettysburg National Military Park, which opened in April 2008. In addition to operating the Museum and Visitor Center, the Foundation has a broad preservation mission that includes land, monument and artifact preservation and battlefield rehabilitation—all in support of the National Park Service’s goals at Gettysburg.

Looking back at the day FDR died

Kisor v. Wilkie: A Case to Watch

The remarkable career of Charles Evans Hughes

An Evening with Former United States Attorney Preet Bharara

MUSEUM PROGRAMS INTERN

On this day, Supreme Court hears Loving arguments

INTERACTIVE CONSTITUTION: SECOND AMENDMENT

On this day, Lee surrenders at Appomattox

Eagle News Online: F-M Teacher Chosen for National Constitution Center Advisory Board

Constitutional Ambassador Program Signup

Constitutional Ambassador Program Signup

On this day, the 17th Amendment is ratified

The constitutional origins of National Beer Day

Shop for Materials

Pocket Constitution
Pocket Constitution
The Pocket United States Constitutions are 9-by-22 inches and fold into an approximately 3-by-3 inch square. Receive one FREE Classroom-Ready Resource when purchasing 150 or more Pocket Constitutions.
Constitution Day Kit
Constitution Day Kit
Everything you need for a Constitution Day lesson and activities. Comes with lesson plan, DVD, pocket constitutions and more!