VSU Celebrates Constitution Day with Exhibit in Odum Library

September 13, 2012

Jessica R. Pope Communications Specialist

VSU Celebrates Constitution Day with Exhibit in Odum Library


VALDOSTA -- In recognition of Constitution Day, Valdosta State University’s Odum Library has put together an exhibit of Constitution-related government documents in the second floor reference area. The items will remain on display through Oct. 17.

Highlights of the exhibit include books about civics lessons, the architectural history of the nation’s Capitol, how laws are made, and the U.S. Constitution; the Articles of Confederation and the American’s Creed; and information about the U.S. Patriot Act, recent Supreme Court decisions, and the Voting Rights Act.

Emily Rogers, reference librarian, said Odum Library will also have a website and a blog post focusing on various constitutional resources, including information about Georgia’s signers of the U.S. Constitution.

“On Sept. 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history -- the United States Constitution,” according to the National Constitution Center. “This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that ‘We the People’ enjoy today.”

U.S. Senator Robert Byrd, a Democrat from West Virginia, designated Sept. 17 as a day to recognize all who have become citizens, either by birth or naturalization, and to learn more about the formation of the nation’s founding document. Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004.

“Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world,” Byrd reportedly once said.

In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.

Visit www.valdosta.edu/library/find/gov/ConstitutionDay2012.shtml to view Odum Library’s special Constitution Day website.

Contact Emily C. Rogers at (229) 245-3748 or ecrogers@valdosta.edu to learn more.

On the Web:

Visit http://www.flickr.com/photos/valdostastate/sets/72157631535339248/ to view more photos.

Constitution Fast Facts

• The U.S. Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington received his commission as commander of the Continental Army. Now called Independent Hall, the building still stands today on Independent Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the National Constitution Center.
• Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on Sept. 17. But it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.
• The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.
• Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments became known as the Bill of Rights.
• Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39 signed and three dissented. Two of America’s “founding fathers” didn’t sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing his country in France, and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.
• Established on Nov. 26, 1789, the first national “Thanksgiving Day” was originally created by George Washington as a way of “giving thanks” for the Constitution.
• Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.
• At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention, and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.
• The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
• More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified, and 27 have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.
Source: National Constitution Center