September 12, 2013. The government won’t remind you. The corporate media will black it out. So, if you like the US Constitution, including those Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights, be sure to show it next week during the annual Constitution Week holiday. Events and celebrations are scheduled from coast to coast.
Constitution Week is Sept. 17-23 with events in towns and cities across the country. Image courtesy of ConstitutionWeekUSA.com.
Constitution Week is an official US government observation begun in 1956. The result of legislation drafted and championed by the Daughters of the American Revolution, the week of September 17 – 23 was officially designated ‘Constitution Week’ to commemorate the signing of the US Constitution and the creation of the United States of America.
A dormant and forgotten holiday throughout the end of the 20th century, it wasn’t until the attacks of September 11, 2001 that the holiday was dusted off and used by the US government to harness the patriotism sweeping the nation. In 2002, President George W Bush reintroduced the holiday week to America and it’s grown like wildfire every year since.
To show just how bad the American education system is, here’s a simple, basic question for our readers. On what date was the United States born and what body of men created it? One would think that would be the most taught piece of history in America’s schools since it literally created the USA. In fact, the vast majority of Americans, including most of our readers, would answer those questions with the answers July 4, 1776 by the Continental Congress. But they’d be wrong on both counts.
The United States of America was officially created on September 17, 1787 when the American Congress of the Confederation approved the document called the US Constitution. Immediately, ten Amendments were added titled The Bill of Rights. They guaranteed the protection of ideals such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and freedom of the press. As the years went on, more Amendments were added, creating the document we have today – the oldest and longest still-governing Constitution in the world.
Local events and celebrations
With thousands of local one-day and week-long events planned to celebrate Constitution Week next week, it would be impossible to list them all. But here are just a few samples.
Arizona is home to one of the most festive and well-known Constitution Week celebrations. The main attraction this year will be the Constitution Fair held all week in Gilbert, Arizona. Among the activities are art contests for both adults as well as school children. Scout clinics will also be held at the local high school where scouts can work toward Constitution-related merit badges.
Another interesting and fun activity at this year’s Arizona Constitution Fair are their assortment of quizzes and brain teasers made up from facts relating to the birth of America and the enactment of the US Constitution. Word games and other fun activities for the kids are broken up between Kindergarten through grade 6, and grade 5 through 12. Topics include the Preamble to the Constitution, early colonial government, the Declaration of Independence and more. A fine art contest will also be held for amateur and professional artists who create the best patriotic or Constitution themed painting. First prize is $250 and some of the past years’ entries are simply breathtaking.
Organizers of the Gilbert, Arizona Constitution Week celebration will also be visiting the local schools in full 18th century dress just as they have each year since 2003. There, they will give students a brief education on the founding of America that is sorely lacking in our nation’s schools today. The local week-long event will culminate with a town-wide scavenger hunt. Clues will all be related to the people and events that lead to the creation of the US Constitution.
For more information on the Arizona Constitution Week events, visit ConstitutionWeekUSA.com.
Other Constitution Week events
For readers who live in the Oklahoma City area, the University of Central Oklahoma will be holding events in commemoration of Constitution Week. As part of the school’s American Democracy Project, organizers will hold voter registration drives and question-and-answer sessions with local candidates for office.
Bishopville, South Carolina will also be celebrating Constitution Week next week. The local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution will hold a special ceremony outside the Bethlehem United Methodist Church in which the church bells will ring at precisely 4:00pm on September 17 to mark the signing of the US Constitution. The local high school choir and JROTC unit will also participate.
On the other side of the country in Temecula, California, another Constitution Week celebration will be held. With church bells ringing at 1:00pm local time on September 17, organizers will join thousands of other churches across the country who will also be ringing their bells at the same moment. The tribute to the signing of the Constitution has become known as ‘Bells Across America’. Once again, the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution are organizing the events. They will include official proclamations by a number of surrounding towns and cities recognizing the importance and significance of Constitution Week and the US Constitution.
Also in California, Cal State University Sacramento will be holding a number of events each day of Constitution Week. While each of the school’s individual departments are developing their own themed activities and educational projects, some of the events already announced are a voter drive, lectures, film series and even a US Constitution IQ Bowl. Contestants can win prizes by demonstrating their knowledge of the US and California Constitutions.
Not to be outdone, the nationwide student campus organization Young Americans for Liberty is encouraging and assisting each of its hundreds of college and university chapters across the country to participate in Constitution Week. The student group offers three programs for the week-long celebration. One focuses on free speech on campus. One protests the illegal spying on Americans by the federal government. And the final activity includes the production of giant Constitutions that can be signed by students. In 2011, the group used a 17-foot-tall Constitution. How big will it be this year? Visit your local college campus and find out.
Perhaps the most educational and inspiring Constitution Week celebration will be held in the birthplace of the US Constitution – Philadelphia. The National Constitution Center is housed on Independence Hall in historic Philadelphia and it bills itself as, ‘the first and only nonprofit, nonpartisan institution devoted to the most powerful vision of freedom ever expressed: the US Constitution.’
Open year-long, but most especially during Constitution Week, the National Constitution Center will celebrate the week-long tribute with hundreds of interactive exhibits, films, rare artifacts from the era, a 360-degree theatrical production, and more. Most unique is the Center’s ‘Signers Hall’ exhibit. Guests can sign a replica of the US Constitution surrounded by 42 life-size bronze statues of our nation’s founding fathers.
Readers may notice over the coming days that America’s corporate-owned media is giving Constitution Week much less coverage than it deserves. This is nothing new. But don’t be fooled. Constitution Week celebrations are being held in almost every town and city across the country. To find one in your area, simply Google you town and the words ‘Constitution Week’.
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