2015 Press Releases

The National Archives Celebrates U.S. Constitution's 228th Anniversary September 17
Press Release · Thursday, September 17, 2015

Washington, DC

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Washington, DC…On Constitution Day, Thursday, September 17, 2015, the National Archives celebrates the 228th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution with free programs and a special Family Day. The National Archives has the original U.S. Constitution on permanent display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom of the National Archives Museum. Museum hours are 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. due to the morning naturalization ceremony.

These programs will be webcast live on the National Archives YouTube Channel. The programs are free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC (unless otherwise noted). Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

Naturalization Ceremony

Thursday, September 17, at 10 a.m., Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom

Note: The ceremony is open for press coverage, but not members of the public. Press RSVP to: public.affairs@nara.gov

The Honorable Christopher R. Cooper, United States District Court for the District of Columbia, will preside as 31 petitioners for United States citizenship take the oath of citizenship in front of the original "Charters of Freedom" (The Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights) in the Rotunda of the National Archives Museum. The ceremony includes a welcome from Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero. This program is presented in partnership with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia and the Department of Homeland Security U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

BOOK TALK: Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America's Founding Document
Thursday, September 17, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) tells dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution's most indispensible provisions and explains why some of today's issues are the direct result of how the courts, Congress, and the executive branch have minimized or ignored them. A book signing will follow the program.

PROGRAM: The Young Madisons: Why a New Generation Is Standing Up for the Constitution
Thursday, September 17, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
A rising generation of civic leaders, shaped by the digital revolution, is reaffirming its commitment to the rights-based principles of the U.S. Constitution. The ninth annual State of the Constitution Lecture at the National Archives, presented in partnership with the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier, focuses on the voices of young leaders in the spheres of policy, governance, and citizen engagement who are shaping America's future as a constitutional democracy. Panelists include C. Douglas Smith, Vice President for the Center for the Constitution at Montpelier; Mary Katharine Ham, Fox News; and Steven Olikara, Millenium Action Project. This event is free, but advance registration is required.

FAMILY DAY: Constitution Day Family Activities
Thursday, September 17, 1 p.m.–4 p.m., Boeing Learning Center
On this day 228 years ago the founders of our nation signed the U.S. Constitution. Celebrate with us in the home of this important document by participating in exciting, hands-on activities.

Made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of John Hancock Financial.

Related program: The Constitution: An Introduction
Wednesday, September 30, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Practically every aspect of American life is shaped by the Constitution. This vital document, along with its history of political and judicial interpretation, governs our individual lives and the life of our nation. Yet most of us know surprisingly little about the Constitution itself. In his book The Constitution, professor Michael S. Paulsen, one of the nation's leading scholars of constitutional interpretation, has written a lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution's history and meaning in clear, accessible terms, and provides us with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues. A book signing will follow the program.

Educational Resources

The National Archives offers numerous opportunities for learning about the Constitution online or on mobile devices.

  • See online resources for teaching about the Constitution
  • DocsTeach Constitution Day webpage helps educators locate primary sources from the National Archives that document the creation and structure of our government. DocsTeach is an online teaching tool that helps educators to find and create interactive learning activities.

Find the special Constitution iBook for iPad and other resources are available for download from iTunes U and in the iBookstore at Teaching & Learning Resources.

The National Archives is an independent Federal agency that preserves and shares with the public records that trace the story of our nation, government, and the American people. From the Declaration of Independence to accounts of ordinary Americans, the holdings of the National Archives directly touch the lives of millions of people. The National Archives carries out its mission through a nationwide network of archives, records centers, and Presidential Libraries, and online at www.archives.gov.

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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