2016 Press Releases

National Archives Launches New Exhibit with Programs on the Bill of Rights (March 10) and the Constitutional Convention (March 11)
Press Release · Thursday, March 3, 2016

Washington, DC

“Amending America” exhibit invites visitors to discover the opportunities and challenges of changing our Constitution


See the Amending America online Press Kit

National Archives celebrates the opening of its new exhibition “Amending America,” with an evening discussion on March 10, titled “Why the Bill of Rights Was Made,” and a noontime lecture and booksigning on March 11, with author Mary Sarah Bilder discussing her book Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention. Opening on Friday, March 11, “Amending America” reveals the stories behind why some proposed amendments successfully became part of the Constitution.

Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Why the Bill of Rights Was Made

The National Archives presents a panel of experts discussing the story behind the Bill of Rights, the Ratification of the Constitution, and the First Federal Congress. Moderated by John Milewski, Director of Digital Programming, Executive Producer and Managing Editor of Wilson ON DEMAND for the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, panelists include Joseph Ellis, Pulitzer Prize-­winning historian and Professor, University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Jack Rakove, Professor at Stanford University, and Pulitzer Prize winning author; Mary Sarah Bilder, Professor, Boston College Law School, and author of Madison’s Hand, Revising the Constitutional Convention; and Kenneth Bowling, Co-editor of the George Washington University: First Federal Congress Project. Presented in partnership with The Constitutional Sources Project.

Friday, March 11, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Madison's Hand: Revising the Constitutional Convention

James Madison’s Notes on the 1787 Constitutional Convention has acquired nearly unquestioned authority as the description of the Constitution’s creation. But by drawing on digital technologies and traditional textual analysis, Mary Sarah Bilder reveals that Madison revised the Notes to a far greater extent than previously recognized and offers readers a biography of a document that, over two centuries, developed a life and character all its own. A book signing follows the program.

“Amending America,” a new exhibit celebrating the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, from March 11, 2016, through September 4, 2017.

Featuring more than 50 original documents from the National Archives, this exhibit highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form "a more perfect union." Amending America is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of AT&T, HISTORY®, and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

Read more about the exhibit in Prologue Magazine: “Amending America” Exhibit Shows How Changes in the Constitution Affect the Way Our Democracy Works

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station. National Archives Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25. For information on National Archives public programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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

Visitors are invited to share their thoughts on social media using hashtag #AmendingAmerica.

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