PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 19, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, birthday cake to feed thousands, and an all-new Interactive Constitution are all part National Constitution Center's plans for its annual celebration of Constitution Day, Thursday, September 17.
The event is expected to attract more than 3,600 visitors this year. Admission and all activities, including Justice Breyer's talks, are FREE courtesy of the PNC foundation.
Editors please note: A press preview of the National Constitution Center's new Interactive Constitution will be held at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 17.
The educational fun will begin at 8:30 a.m. on the Front Lawn with a rousing reading of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution led by National Constitution Center president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen. Visitors will then be among the first to test out the Center's new online Interactive Constitution before launching into a full day of games, shows, and activities. This year's celebration will focus on the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment, which formally abolished slavery in the United States and launched the beginning of the Reconstruction Era—a turning point in Constitutional History.
At 12 noon, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will hold a Kids' Town Hall. Later, at 2:00 p.m., he'll hold an event for adults to discuss his new book The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities. Both of Justice Breyer's talks will be livestreamed.
Timeline of Constitution Day Events
Flag Raising Ceremony
Visitors can join the Sons of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the American Revolution for a patriotic flag raising ceremony.
Press Conference: Introducing the Interactive Constitution
Bogle Chairman's Room
National Constitution Center's president and CEO Jeffrey Rosen unveils the Center's new, online Interactive Constitution, made possible by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation.
Eighteenth Century Games
9:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Visitors try their hands at graces, hoop and stick, nine pin and other popular Revolutionary Era games.
Judge Chats: A Closer Look at the Courts
10:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12 noon
Bank of America Family Theater
Students and teachers speak with judges about the interpretation of law and about how the Constitution affects everyday life.
American National Tree Induction Ceremony
Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibition Hall
Visitors take part as the Center inducts a new individual to its American National Tree. The Tree, a popular exhibit inside The Story of We the People, tells the stories of more than 100 Americans whose actions have helped shape the Constitution over time. This year's inductee, Thaddeus Stevens, was a member of the U.S. House of Representatives during Lincoln's presidency. He fought to abolish slavery and helped draft the 14th Amendment during Reconstruction.
Separation of Powers show
10:00 a.m., 11:00 a.m., 12 noon, 2:00 p.m.
Grand Hall Overlook
This educational tug-of-war game between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches teaches visitors about the system of checks and balances inherent in the U.S. Constitution.
Pass the Citizenship Test Show
10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m.
Grand Hall Overlook
Visitors learn about the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and gain insight into our country and our freedoms.
10:30 – 11:30 a.m.
F.M. Kirby Auditorium
Fifty immigrants from across the globe will take the Oath of Allegiance to officially become citizens of the United States. United States Federal Judge John R. Padova will preside over the ceremony and U.S. Representative Brendan Boyle (PA-13) will keynote.
Who wants to be a "Bill"ionarie?
10:45 a.m., 11:45 a.m., 12:45 p.m., 1:45 p.m.
Richard and Helen DeVos Exhibit Hall
In the Center's fast-paced game show, visitors test their Bill of Rights knowledge.
Kids Town Hall: Justice Breyer
12 noon, Kimmel Theater
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will speak about the ins and outs of his job, and answer students' questions. Tune into constitutioncenter.org/constitution-day for a livestream of this event.
The Constitution's Birthday Celebration
12:30 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.
Visitors take part in a birthday celebration, complete with cake, to celebrate the anniversary of the Constitution's signing. Includes appearances by the Center's mascots Donnie the Donkey and Ellie the Elephant. Presidents Washington and Lincoln will also join the celebration.
Justice Breyer Book Event
2:00 p.m., Kirby Auditorium
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer discusses the increasingly global scope of the work of the high court. Tune into constitutioncenter.org/constitution-day for a livestream of this event.
Celebrate in the Classroom
Students across the country can join in on Constitution Day by tuning in to the National Constitution Center's popular FREE online video lesson series, Constitution Hall Pass, available starting September 10, 2015, at constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday. The latest webisode "Constitution Hall Pass: The 13th Amendment," provides a behind-the-scenes look at the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 13th Amendment and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era—a turning point in Constitutional History. Members of the Center's education staff will be available for online live chats with students and teachers from September 10 – September 23, 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. EDT (live chat on weekdays only).
As the nation's leading Constitution Day resource, the National Constitution Center website also includes educational tools and lesson plans, online versions of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' naturalization test, previous Constitution Hall Pass episodes, and the "Which Founder Are You" quiz, which allows users to compare their personality traits with those of the men who wrote the Constitution. The Center's social channels—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and YouTube—offer opportunities for followers to learn about some of the famous and lesser-known Founding Fathers, test their Constitution knowledge, and go behind the scenes on September 17.
About the PNC Foundation
The PNC Foundation actively supports organizations that provide services for the benefit of communities in which it has a significant presence. The foundation focuses its philanthropic mission on early childhood education and community and economic development, which includes the arts and culture. Through Grow Up Great, its signature cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. For more information, visit www1.pnc.com/pncfoundation/.
About the National Constitution Center
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia inspires active citizenship as the only place where people across America and around the world can come together to learn about, debate, and celebrate the greatest vision of human freedom in history, the U.S. Constitution. A private, nonprofit organization, the Center serves as America's leading platform for constitutional education and debate, fulfilling its Congressional charter "to disseminate information about the U.S. Constitution on a non-partisan basis." As the Museum of We the People, the Center brings the Constitution to life for visitors of all ages through interactive programs and exhibits. As America's Town Hall, the Center brings the leading conservative and liberal thought leaders together to debate the Constitution on all media platforms. As a center for Civic Education, the Center delivers the best educational programs and online resources that inspire, excite, and engage citizens about the U.S. Constitution. For more information, call 215-409-6700 or visit constitutioncenter.org.
Source: National Constitution Center