September 11, 2019
19-110

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

VSU Celebrates Constitution Day Sept. 17

VALDOSTA — Valdosta State University’s Odum Library will celebrate Constitution Day from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 17. This drop-in event is free of charge and open to the public.

Activities include signing a replica of the United States Constitution, taking home a pocket Constitution, and participating in a special Founding Fathers photo opportunity. Refreshments will be served.

More than 100 free pocket-sized copies of the Constitution have been made available this year by U.S. Rep. Austin Scott of Georgia’s 8th District. These booklets will be available during the event, as well as at the Odum Library’s first- and second-floor service desks.  

Odum Library is the only federal depository library located within Georgia's 8th District. Federal depository libraries make federal government publications freely available to the public.

Constitution Day at Odum Library is presented in partnership with the American Association of State Colleges and Universites' American Democracy Project.

Emily Rogers, Odum Library reference librarian and associate professor, said the purpose of this event is to promote awareness and understanding of the Constitution and of Constitution Day.

“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.

VSU will continue its celebration of Constitution Day with an exhibit of books, government documents, and media about the Constitution and its interpretation. These items are located in the reference area of the library and will remain on display throughout the month of September.

The U.S. Constitution may be read online at the National Archives website at https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs/constitution-transcript. An interactive Constitution is available at https://constitutioncenter.org/interactive-constitution courtesy of the National Constitution Center.

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

On the Web:

http://constitutioncenter.org/

https://www.aascu.org/ADP

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

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