Constitution Day celebration to include lecture, Preamble reading

Shippensburg University will be celebrating Constitution Day with a reading of the Preamble, a lecture and discussion session and a library display.

Constitution Day celebrates the day in 1787 when the Constitution Convention met in Philadelphia and sent the newly-drafted Constitution to begin the ratification process by the states, according to political science professor Steven Lichtman.

“It had been a minor holiday for many years, but then in 2004, West Virginia Sen. Robert Byrd sponsored legislation which required that any school receiving federal funding should offer educational programming about the Constitution on Sept. 17,” Lichtman said.

Lichtman pointed out that there is a bit of irony in the legislation. The Constitution has a free speech clause that means people are, most of the time, not able to be forced to say what they do not want to say, but now Constitution Day forces people to say something.

However, if the 17th falls on a weekend, the day will be celebrated on either the Friday or Monday closest to the 17th.

The lecture and discussion session will be held on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. in the Grove Forum. Lichtman will be giving a talk on religion and the Constitution. SU President Laurie Carter will be reading the Preamble to Grace B. Luhrs Elementary School students on Sept. 19 at 10 a.m.

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