On September 17th, 1787, thirty-nine delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completed and signed the U.S. Constitution. We observe this day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution and to think about how the U.S. Constitution affects us today.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 8:45 a.m. (EDT)
View a special flag raising ceremony on Independence Mall, and then join in as National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen leads a lively reading of the Constitution's preamble.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 12 p.m. (EDT)
Join the National Constitution Center’s in a special Student Town Hall with U.S. Supreme Associate Justice Neil M. Gorsuch. Justice Gorsuch will speak about his career, the role of the judicial branch, and what it’s like to sit on the Supreme Court. National Constitution Center President and CEO Jeffrey Rosen will moderate the discussion.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. (EDT)
Every four years in December, 538 electors cast their ballots for President and make official what America’s voters decided on election day in November. Are electors bound by their state’s majority vote? Has this system, created over 200 years ago as a compromise between Congress electing the President or election via popular vote, outlived its purpose? Should the U.S. President be elected by the Electoral College or the national popular vote, and is a current movement by some states to circumvent the Electoral College therefore unconstitutional? Panelists include Congressman Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Former Member of Congress Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), Georgetown professor of law Anthony Cook, and others.
Thursday, Sep 17, 2020 12:00 pm (CDT)
Join us for a lively discussion on the origins of the presidency, changes in the President’s roles over time, the benefits to and risks of strong executive authority, and possible responses to presidential overreaching or misconduct—all with a view to thinking about the best role for the President in our twenty-first century democracy, regardless of the outcome of the November election. Keynote speakers include Saikrishna Prakash and James Monroe.
Friday September 18, 2020, 7 p.m. (EDT)
1787. Two Nation Builders. Two opposing points of view. One document. To sign or not to sign? Witness history in the making as James Madison, referred to as the Father of the Constitution, and George Mason, the author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, debate the pros and cons of the U.S. Constitution.
Saturday September 19, 2020 7 p.m. (EDT)
The Constitutional Convention of 1787 brought together strong-willed representatives with opposing points of view on slavery and its future. To ensure passage of the Constitution itself, the representatives deemed it necessary to find a path forward that could be agreed to, with the understanding that the consequences of those actions would impact future generations. We are those future generations.
Thursday, September 17, 2020 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EDT)
In his book, OMG WTF Does the Constitution Actually Say? Ben Sheehan provides an entertaining and accessible guide that explains what the Constitution actually lays out while putting it in modern-day English so that it can be understood.
Welcome to the National Constitution Center’s virtual museum experience. Here, you can discover exhibits—both past and present—that were created by the National Constitution Center. From the constitutional conflicts of the Civil War to the vision and ambition of Alexander Hamilton, there’s plenty to learn right from your home!
Includes: Journals of the Continental Congress; Eliot's The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution; and Farrand's The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787
The American Treasures of the Library of Congress exhibition is an unprecedented permanent exhibition of the rarest, most interesting or significant items relating to America’s past, drawn from every corner of the world’s largest library.