Constitutional Content

Town Hall Programs Manager

Looking at America’s forgotten War of 1812

On this day, the Statue of Liberty arrives in America

How Aaron Burr changed the Constitution

Civil War and Reconstruction Programs

In conjunction with the opening of the new permanent exhibit, Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, and the ongoing commemorations of the 150th anniversaries of the American Civil War and the Reconstruction period, the National Constitution Center will offer various onsite educational programs to engage visitors of all ages with this pivotal era in constitutional history.

The onsite experience will introduce visitors to central topics, including slavery in the Constitution, the Civil War and the role of the federal government, citizenship, the goals of Reconstruction and its successes and failures, key figures of the era, and the legacy of Reconstruction today.

Visitors will:

  • Explore Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, America’s first exhibit 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 freedom and equality.
  • Encounter a short, theatrical performance in the 14th Amendment section of Civil War and Reconstruction highlighting Frances Ellen Watkins Harper, a key African-American figure from the Reconstruction era.
  • Experience FOURTEEN, a moving theatrical performance that sheds new light on the Reconstruction era and the ratification of the 14th Amendment.
  • Participate in a series of onsite programs, including hands-on document and artifact workshops, engaging educator-led shows, exhibit tours, and reflective conversations.

 

Exhibit Gallery Talk
Main Lobby/Feature Gallery, available daily during regular museum hours

National Constitution Center museum educators will introduce visitors to key concepts presented throughout Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality. The goals of the gallery talk are to introduce visitors to the fundamental concepts to look for when exploring the Civil War and Reconstruction exhibit, including slavery in the Constitution, citizenship, and the goals of Reconstruction.

Exhibit Tour
Feature Gallery, booked based on availability and advanced reservations required
The Center will offer guided tours of Civil War and Reconstruction: The Battle for Freedom and Equality, presented by museum educators. The tour will explore American society prior to the Civil War, the events that led to the war, and the challenges, successes, and failures of the Reconstruction period. Visitors will learn more about this tumultuous period in American history as they take a look at several of the unique artifacts and documents on display at the Center.
 

Frances Ellen Watkins Harper: The Great Problem to be Solved
Feature Gallery, two times an hour between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays, May 9 through Memorial Day Weekend 2019, and available on select dates throughout fall of 2019 and in February 2020

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. 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. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance
Bank of America Theater, two times a day June 20 – June 26, four times a day June 27 – August 10, and available in fall 2019 and spring 2020.

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. This production has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.

Slavery in All But Name
Feature Gallery, feature program available on select dates

Exploring the “hard history,” this program examines how the Reconstruction efforts fell short following the passage of the 13th Amendment and how many formerly enslaved individuals later ended up incarcerated, their freedom taken away, and once again working without pay. The program will also look at contemporary issues and examine the legacy of the Reconstruction Amendments in society today.

The Road to Freedom: The Story of Slavery in America Program
Main Lobby, available daily at posted times

At this interactive program, visitors will learn about the story of slavery in America, from the period of the Constitution’s signing in 1787 up to the beginning of the American Civil War. The program will examine how the initial clauses and compromises over slavery were built into the original union and how these fractures would eventually become so wide that the nation as it had previously stood ceased to exist.

Examining the Four Harriet’s Program
Main Exhibit, available daily at posted times

Beginning in August: Visitors can explore the lives of four American women—Harriet Robinson Scott, Harriet Tubman, Harriet Jacobs, and Harriet Beecher Stowe—who confronted slavery through literature, lawsuits, and direct action in their efforts to free themselves and others from bondage.

Interactive Constitution Workshops: Reconstruction Amendments
Scheduled for groups upon request

Beginning in the fall: Students will discover how to use the Center’s Interactive Constitution to explore the constitutional history and modern debates of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments.

Exhibit Guide Available in the fall: There will be a printed guide to accompany the Civil War and Reconstruction onsite experience, available to all visitors.

The history of legal challenges to the Pledge of Allegiance

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Should Big Tech be Broken Up?

Donor Privacy Policy

Donor Privacy Policy

Privacy Policy

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On this day, Congress approved the 14th Amendment

Civil War Summer Programs 2019

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Members-Only Civil War and Reconstruction Exhibit Tour July 16

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The Constitutional Stakes of the 2020 Election

MSNBC: Why Fetal Personhood is at the Center of the Abortion Debate

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Members-Only Artifact Highlights Discussion

Members-Only Performances- FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Perfromance

New move to test the race bias issue on the 2020 census

World Premiere of FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance at the National Constitution Center on June 19

A last-minute feud over the 2020 census

Olmstead case was a watershed for Supreme Court

Contact

Thank you for your submission.

Accommodations

  More information coming soon!

FOURTEEN: A Theatrical Performance - FALL 2019

About

[email protected] celebrates the 100th anniversary of the federal statute creating the Supreme Court clerkships. It will be an opportunity for clerks across many years and many justices to come together to inspire the next generation of Americans to learn about and love the Constitution.

This event is a signature event for the National Constitution Center, and Members may be eligible. Find out more about how to support the National Constitution Center’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the U.S. Constitution among the American people.

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Headquarters for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire citizens and engage all Americans in learning about the U.S. Constitution.

Justices take on major states’ rights dispute

Bruce Ackerman: Revolutionary Constitutions

Contact

Registration information will become available closer to the event date.

If you are interested in more information about Clerks at 100, please contact [email protected].

Press interested in additional information should contact Annie Stone at [email protected]

Schedule

Check back for more details about the Clerks at 100 celebration, including registration information.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 4, 2019: ACADEMIC SYMPOSIUM

The George Washington Law School

We invite former Supreme Court law clerks to submit essays that will be published in a special issue of the GW Law Review. Former clerks may send essay proposals to [email protected], for sharing with the GW Law Review. Essays will need to be submitted by November 1.

Symposium details will be posted here as soon as available.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2019: CELEBRATION

National Portrait Gallery

Dinner and program featuring Clare Cushman, Supreme Court Historical Society

Isaac Lidsky, clerk to Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor

A conversation with special guests to be announced.

 

For questions, please contact [email protected].

Host Committee

The National Constitution Center thanks the following Supreme Court law clerks for their service on the Clerks at 100 Host Committee. These individuals clerked for a total of 23 justices over 36 terms.

Bradford Berenson

Justice Kennedy | 1992 Term

Senator Joshua Hawley

Chief Justice Roberts | 2007 Term

Erin E. Murphy

Chief Justice Roberts | 2008 Term

Ashby D. Boyle II

Justice O'Connor | 1990 Term

Chief Justice Burger | 1990 Term

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson

Justice Breyer | 1999 Term

Jane Nitze

Justice Gorsuch | 2016 Term

Justice Sotomayor | 2011 Term

Judge Guido Calabresi

Justice Black | 1958 Term

Jamil N. Jaffer

Justice Gorsuch | 2016 Term

Eloise Pasachoff

Justice Sotomayor | 2009 Term

Kelsi Brown Corkran

Justice Ginsburg | 2013 Term

Pamela S. Karlan

Justice Blackmun | 1985 Term

Eduardo M. Peñalver

Justice Stevens | 2000 Term

Paul D. Clement

Justice Scalia | 1993 Term

Neal K. Katyal

Justice Breyer | 1996 Term

Carter G. Phillips

Chief Justice Burger | 1978 Term

Susan M. Davies

Justice Kennedy | 1994 Term

Peter D. Keisler

Justice Kennedy | 1988 Term

Justice Kennedy | 1987 Term

Elizabeth Prelogar

Justice Kagan | 2010 Term

Justice Ginsburg | 2009 Term

Shawn Fagan

Chief Justice Rehnquist | 1995 Term

Ron Klain

Justice White | 1988 Term

Justice White | 1987 Term

Kannon K. Shanmugam

Justice Scalia | 1999 Term

D. Cameron Findlay

Justice Scalia | 1988 Term

Larry Kramer

Justice Brennan | 1985 Term

Paul M. Smith

Justice Powell | 1980 Term

Ivan K. Fong

Justice O’Connor | 1989 Term

Judge Cheryl Ann Krause

Justice Kennedy | 1994 Term

Kenneth W. Starr

Chief Justice Burger | 1975 Term

Noel J. Francisco

Justice Scalia | 1997 Term

Senator Michael S. Lee

Justice Alito | 2006 Term

Geoffrey R. Stone

Justice Brennan | 1972 Term

Julius Genachowski

Justice Souter | 1993 Term

Justice Brennan | 1992 Term

David G. Leitch

Chief Justice Rehnquist | 1986 Term

Aaron Streett

Chief Justice Rehnquist | 2003 Term

Heather Gerken

Justice Souter | 1995 Term

Lawrence Lessig

Justice Scalia | 1990 Term

Stephen D. Susman

Justice Black | 1966 Term

Elliot Gerson

Justice Stewart | 1980 Term

Jeremy C. Marwell

Justice Sotomayor | 2009 Term

Judge Jeffrey S. Sutton

Justice Scalia | 1991 Term

Justice Powell | 1991 Term

Jeannie C. Suk Gersen

Justice Souter | 2003 Term

Joshua Matz

Justice Kennedy | 2014 Term

Laurence H. Tribe

Justice Stewart | 1967 Term

Judge Douglas H. Ginsburg

Justice Marshall | 1974 Term

Deanne E. Maynard

Justice Breyer | 1994 Term

Justice Powell | 1993 Term

Justice Stevens | 1993 Term

Thiruvendran Vignarajah

Justice Breyer | 2006 Term

Abbe R. Gluck

Justice Ginsburg | 2003 Term

Christopher J. Meade

Justice Stevens | 1997 Term

Cecillia Wang

Justice Blackmun | 1996

Justice Breyer | 1996

C. Boyden Gray

Chief Justice Warren | 1968 Term

Deborah Jones Merritt

Justice O’Connor | 1981 Term

Helgi C. Walker

Justice Thomas | 1995 Term

Erin Hawley

Chief Justice Roberts | 2007 Term

Martha Minow          

Justice Marshall | 1980 Term

Judge Diane P. Wood

Justice Blackmun | 1976 Term

Clerks at 100

The National Constitution Center presents Clerks at 100

Saturday, October 5, 2019, Evening

National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C.

Inspiring the next generation of Americans to learn about and love the Constitution

A dinner and program in honor of the 100th anniversary of Supreme Court clerkships

Featuring Clare Cushman, Supreme Court Historical Society, Isaac Lidsky, clerk to Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sandra Day O’Connor, and a conversation with special guests to be announced

Please share photos! If you have photos from your clerkship, please send to [email protected] for display during the dinner program.

About Clerks at 100

Clerks at 100 celebrates the 100th anniversary of the federal statute creating the Supreme Court clerkships. The dinner and program will be an opportunity for clerks across many years and many justices to come together to inspire the next generation of Americans to learn about and love the Constitution. This event is a signature event for the National Constitution Center, and Members may be eligible for complimentary tickets. Find out how to become a Member and support the National Constitution Center’s efforts to increase awareness and understanding of the U.S. Constitution among the American people.

For questions about Clerks at 100, please contact [email protected].

About the National Constitution Center

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia brings together people of all ages and perspectives, across America and around the world, to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America’s leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its congressional charter “to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a nonpartisan basis.” As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America’s Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a Headquarters for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire citizens and engage all Americans in learning about the U.S. Constitution.

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A future American president’s deadly duel

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Philly.com: Why the Lies My Teacher Told Me About Race in America After the Civil War Matter in 2019

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Rediscovering the ancient “bill of attainder”

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Will Roe be Overturned?: Abortion and the Constitution Part 1

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Pay Tribute to America’s Fallen Military Heroes Over Memorial Day Weekend at the National Constitution Center

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On this day, the first Democratic Party convention

Women and the Civil War: The Untold Stories

Looking back at Romer, a key Supreme Court decision about gay rights

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

Are we in a Constitutional Crisis?

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

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

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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

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Uwishunu: Now Open: Groundbreaking Civil War and Reconstruction Exhibit at the National Constitution Center

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

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WHYY: Exhibit Takes Deep Dive Into Constitutional Debates That Formed Civil War-Era Amendments

Penn Live: 25 Must-See Artifacts at the New Civil War and Reconstruction Exhibit at the National Constitution Center

The Associated Press: Civil War Exhibit Opens at National Constitution Center

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

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

1787 Society Chairmans Circle

1787 Society

1787 Society: Philanthropic Support for the National Constitution Center

As a private nonprofit institution devoted to nonpartisan teaching about the U.S. Constitution, the National Constitution Center relies on the generous support of our annual donors. Philanthropic support from individuals, corporations, and foundations helps us thrive as America’s leading nonpartisan center for constitutional education and debate. Our 1787 Society, named for the year the Constitutional Convention proposed the U.S. Constitution, recognizes our most dedicated annual supporters. Every year, 1787 Society members make it possible for the Center to educate millions of learners of all ages across the country.

1787 Society Giving Opportunities

In recognition of their deep commitment to the Center’s mission, all of our 1787 Society Members enjoy core benefits such as:

  •  Exclusive communications from National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen
  • Complimentary tickets to America’s Town Hall events, hosted in Philadelphia and across the country
  • Invitations to programs and events with scholars, thought leaders, journalists, and policy makers
  • Complimentary admission to the National Constitution Center’s exhibits for 2 adults and 4 children
  • Public recognition for their support for the National Constitution Center in publications such as the annual report, programs for select events, on the Constitution Center’s website, and elsewhere

1787 Society Members enjoy additional benefits at different giving levels, including but not limited to the benefits described below:


$1,000 – Patrons’ Circle

  • Core 1787 Society benefits (see above)

$2,500 – Delegates’ Circle

Patrons' Circle benefits plus:

  • 1 named chair in the National Constitution Center’s Sidney Kimmel Theater
  • 2 complimentary tickets to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations
  • Private guided tour of the Center

$5,000 – Signers’ Circle

Delegates' Circle benefits plus:

  • 2 named chairs in the National Constitution Center’s Sidney Kimmel Theater
  • Lunch with President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen
  • 4 complimentary tickets to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations

$10,000 – Presidents’ Circle

Signers' Circle benefits plus:

  • Invitations to author meet-and-greets, and dinner conversations with Jeffrey Rosen and guests
  • 6 complimentary tickets or one table to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations

$25,000 –Drafters’ Circle

Presidents' Circle benefits plus:

  • Invitation to the annual Board of Trustees Dinner with distinguished guests including scholars, thought leaders, journalists, and policymakers
  • 8 complimentary tickets or one table with preferred seating to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations

$50,000 – Constitution Circle

Drafters' Circle benefits plus:

  • Dinner with President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen
  • 16 complimentary tickets or two tables with preferred seating to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations

$100,000 – Leadership Circle

Constitution Circle benefits plus:

  • Exclusive recognition and hospitality opportunities throughout the year
  • 16 complimentary tickets or two tables with premier seating to signature events such as the Liberty Medal or Clerks at 100 Celebrations

Click here to learn more about educational initiatives your gift supports.

For more specific details on the benefits for each giving level, and to learn more about the 1787 Society and the giving level that is right for you, please contact Rebecca Bolden, Senior Director of Development at 215-409-6741 or [email protected].

 

A portion of 1787 Society membership gifts are not tax-deductible. For more information and to waive 1787 Society benefits, please contact Rebecca Bolden.

Under IRS rules, donors may not receive benefits as a result of a gift made through a third-party funding source (i.e. donor advised funds, family foundations, United Way). Payments cannot be made toward the tax-deductible portion of a gift through a third-party when there is an associated non-deductible portion. If you wish to participate in the 1787 Society and receive benefits, you may not make the payment through a third-party; the entire amount must be paid personally. If you choose to waive benefits, you may make payment through a third-party but must confirm in writing that no benefits will be received. 

The day the Supreme Court killed Hollywood’s studio system

Assembly and Petition Discussion Questions

  • How has the Supreme Court changed the rights to assembly and petition with its expansive speech right, known as “freedom of expression?”
  • In what ways has technology changed the way we petition our elected officials?

  • When does the government have the ability to restrict collective activity in order to keep public order and safety?

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:

  • What do you think the clause means when it refers to the establishment of a religion?
  • Can your town council lead off its sessions with sectarian prayer? (Could give the specific example of a Christian prayer using “Jesus Christ.”)
  • Can your public school give a religious group access to the school’s classrooms for meetings outside of school hours? (And/or the flipside, can they exclude them?)

Classroom Materials:

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

Download Now >>

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