NATIONAL CONSTITUTION CENTER TWEETS
REENACTMENT OF CONSTITUTIONAL CONVENTION
Daily tweets from insider delegate offer challenge to the public:
Who is the mystery tweeter?
Philadelphia – 223 years ago, the Constitutional Convention convened in Philadelphia in strict secrecy. Today, the National Constitution Center is reenacting the events of the Convention on Twitter through the perspective of a secret delegate, intent on giving the public a glimpse into the private proceedings. The public is challenged to guess the identity of the mystery tweeter, who will begin tweeting clues on May 25 – the day the Convention began in Philadelphia. The “Twitter Convention” will conclude on September 17, Constitution Day – the anniversary of the signing of the Constitution – when the rogue delegate will be revealed.
The Twitter Convention feed, located at www.twitter.com/SecretDelegate, will feature imaginative, educational tweets from the secret delegate, one of the 55 men who attended the Constitutional Convention. The daily tweets will give followers insight into the disagreements, compromises, and lighthearted moments of the Convention, and will provide clues as to the identity of the tweeter. Followers should e-mail their guesses to ConstitutionDay@constitutioncenter.org to find out if they are correct.
In conjunction with the Twitter Convention, the Center is producing trading cards depicting 12 of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Each card will detail the delegate’s biographical information and key contributions to American history – helpful tidbits for discovering the identity of the secret tweeter. These cards will be distributed throughout the summer around Independence National Historical Park and at National Constitution Center events. Visitors are encouraged to collect all 12 cards.
In addition to the Twitter Convention, the Center will host an array of activities in celebration of Constitution Day on Friday, September 17, 2010 . [See below calendar for event listings.]
The Center also continues to serve as the nation’s central resource for education on the Constitution through its Constitution Day website at www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday. This interactive site provides a variety of resources for educators, students, community leaders, and government officials to promote the historic day. The website includes video clips of Constitution Day events at the Center, educational resources and lesson plans, online versions of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ naturalization test, and the “Which Founder Are You?” quiz, allowing users to compare his or her personality traits with the men who wrote the Constitution.
Additionally, educators can purchase the Center’s “To Sign or Not to Sign” Constitution Day lesson plan, which teaches students about the revolutionary document that established our nation’s government. With activities designed at the elementary, middle, and high school levels, the lesson invites students to role-play as delegates to the Constitutional Convention and analyze arguments for and against ratification. The lesson plan is part of the Center’s Constitution Day Kit, which also includes a 31-inch by 55-inch laminated copy of the Constitution’s original articles and its 27 Amendments, the “Creating the Constitution” DVD, and a special marker for signing the Constitution. The kit costs $30 in the museum store and $35 at www.constitutioncenter.org/constitutionday.org.
The National Constitution Center, located at 525 Arch St. on Philadelphia’s Independence Mall, is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents. The Center serves as a museum, an education center, and a forum for debate on constitutional issues. The museum dramatically tells the story of the Constitution from Revolutionary times to the present through more than 100 interactive, multimedia exhibits, film, photographs, text, sculpture and artifacts, and features a powerful, award-winning theatrical performance, “Freedom Rising.” The Center also houses the Annenberg Center for Education and Outreach, which serves as the hub for national constitutional education. Also, as a nonpartisan forum for constitutional discourse, the Center presents – without endorsement – programs that contain diverse viewpoints on a broad range of issues. For more information, call 215.409.6700 or visit www.constitutioncenter.org.
CONSTITUTION DAY CALENDAR OF EVENTS
FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 2010
223: The Preamble Challenge, 8:30 a.m., FREE
223 students from Constitution High School will gather at the Center to recite from memory the Preamble of the Constitution.
Virtual Field Trip: Signing the Constitution, 9:00 a.m., FREE
Classrooms around the country can join the Center via live webcast for a special demonstration in Signers’ Hall about the signing of the Constitution. Participants will also learn about the Center’s virtual field trip program. Educators can register at www.constitutioncenter.org.
Preamble Printing and Calligraphy Demonstrations, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., FREE with museum admission
Guests can visit the Center’s old-fashioned print shop, complete with a replica printing press from the 1700s, to print a copy of the Preamble in the same way Claypool and Dunlap did when they printed the Constitution. Visitors can also join in calligraphy demonstrations and learn about the Copperplate printing technique used to sign the Constitution.
Constitution Birthday Party, Noon, FREE with museum admission
Visitors are invited to a birthday party for the Constitution, complete with cake! To commemorate the Constitution’s 223rd year, guests will sing “Happy Birthday” and indulge.
Constitution Celebration, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., FREE with museum admission
Visitors can learn about the three branches of government during the interactive Balance of Powers Demonstration and the Separation of Powers Show. Visitors can also participate in a special Decoding the Document Workshop to discover more about the Pennsylvania Packet printing of the Constitution, which is on display in the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People. In addition, visitors can compete in a race to reassemble the words of the Preamble during the Preamble Scramble. The Center will also offer special tours of Signers’ Hall, focusing on the leadership styles of the Founding Fathers.
Naturalization Ceremony, FREE
Program times vary; check the visitor guide upon arrival for daily show times
Immigrants from across the globe will take the Oath of Citizenship to officially become citizens of the United States. Opening remarks will be made by a prominent naturalized citizen, and the Honorable Mary A. McLaughlin, federal judge on the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, will preside. This moving ceremony is a meaningful welcome to our newest citizens, providing an opportunity to honor the talents, skills, and cultural heritages they bring to our nation.
American National Tree Induction Ceremony, FREE with museum admission
Program times vary; check the visitor guide upon arrival for daily show times
A special honoree, still to be announced, will be inducted into the American National Tree, a popular exhibit inside the Center’s main exhibition, The Story of We the People, which tells the stories of over 100 Americans whose actions have helped write the story of the Constitution.
The Center, in partnership with Scholastic Inc. and the Alliance for Young Artists and Writers, will select a high school student as the winner of the 2010 M.R. Robinson National Constitution Center American National Tree Award, to author the biography of the inductee.