Sunday, September 17, 2006

WE the People CAN celebrate our 1st United States Constitution Day - Sept 17, 2006

The National Archives celebrates the United States Constitution this month with public programming and with a special family event on Constitution Day—September 17.

The original document continues to be safely preserved and displayed in the Rotunda of the National Archives Building. Parts of the building, however—including the new William G. McGowan Theater—were badly damaged by flooding that occurred this past June. Repairs are under way, but the theater will not be ready in time for this month’s programs.

Our neighbors at the United States Navy Memorial have generously donated the use of their Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater, in the Memorial’s Naval Heritage Center, for the programs below.

The Memorial, which honors the men and women of the United States Navy—past, present, and future—is located on Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, across the street from the National Archives Building. It is open to the public Monday–Saturday, 9:30 a.m.–5 p.m. For more information, call 202-737-2300 or visit


Thursday, September 14, at 7 p.m.
Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater
United States Navy Memorial
Students’ Right to Free Speech

A Constitution Day Partnership Program with the Newseum
In 1965, Mary Beth Tinker, her brother John, and their friend Christopher Eckhard wore black armbands to school to honor the dead on both sides of the Vietnam War. They were suspended under a new policy banning armbands at school. Lower courts supported the policy. However, in the 1969 ruling Tinker v. Des Moines, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the students, saying that students do not “shed their constitutional rights when they enter the schoolhouse door.” Although later rulings defined students’ rights more narrowly, the Tinker case remains a landmark ruling.

Where do students’ rights to free speech stand today? Join moderator Frank Bond, Newseum producer and former WUSA-TV reporter and anchor, in a discussion of student free-speech rights with Mary Beth Tinker, former student activist; Francisco Negron, general counsel for the National School Boards Association; and Mark Goodman, executive director of the Student Press Law Center. Current high school student leaders also will be part of the panel.

This program is presented in partnership with the United States Navy Memorial.


Monday, September 18, at 7 p.m.
Arleigh and Roberta Burke Theater
United States Navy Memorial

The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency
A Constitution Day Partnership Program with Oxford University Press
How do we balance personal liberty against public safety in the face of grave national danger? Are there inevitable trade-offs, and, if so, when must we let the Constitution bend and when must we insist that it stand firm?

Are censorship measures justified in wartime that would not be justified in times of peace? Should “enemy combatants” be indefinitely detained without a hearing? Should executives be able to restrict civil liberties for reasons of national necessity, as President Lincoln did when he suspended habeas corpus during the Civil War? How can constitutional law best remain responsive to current events?

Join two of the most prominent legal scholars in the nation, Judge Richard Posner and Geoffrey R. Stone, as they debate these issues that are crucial for our time. Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Posner is the author of Not A Suicide Pact: The Constitution in a Time of National Emergency, inaugural volume in the series Inalienable Rights, a new 14-volume series from Oxford University Press. Stone, series editor, is the Harry Kalven, Jr., Distinguished Service Professor of Law at the University of Chicago and the author of Perilous Times: Free Speech in Wartime from the Act of Sedition of 1798 to the War on Terrorism. Allen Weinstein, Archivist of the United States and author of The Haunted Wood, a study of espionage during the Cold War, will moderate the discussion.

This program is presented in partnership with the United States Navy Memorial.


Constitution Day Family Celebration
Sunday, September 17, noon–3 p.m.
Happy Birthday, U.S. Constitution!
Constitution Day Family Celebration

View the film The Road from Runnymede, 1992, 57 minutes (Jefferson Room, noon and 1 p.m.)

Have a piece of birthday cake and meet President James Madison, Father of the Constitution (Washington Room, 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.)
Meet Syl Sobel, author of The U.S. Constitution and You (Washington Room, 1 p.m.–2:30 p.m.)
Sign the Constitution (Presidential Conference Room Lobby, noon–3 p.m.)
Take a guided tour of 600 years of political struggle—from Magna Carta in 1215 to the Philadelphia Convention in 1787—in The American Constitution: The Road from Runnymede, a film for young viewers. Then join the National Archives in singing, “Happy Birthday, U.S. Constitution!” Enjoy “Constitution cake,” and talk with President Madison, the “Father of the Constitution.” Put your own signature on a facsimile of the Constitution. Chat with the author of a children’s book about the Constitution.


Capitol Hill staffer Cathy Travis has written Constitution Translated for Kids, a book that frames the basic document of American government in easy-to-understand language. It might help some adults see the issues a bit more clearly, too.

Senator Robert C. Byrd - "Because checks and balances are necessary."

Sen Byrd - My Son and I Thank You for your responsible and insightful leadership!

May God Bless you and our Great Nation on this day of very significant American history.


Stephen Rene - Family Law Reform - HealthCare Reform - E-commerce Reform
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