Monday, September 17, 2012

Constitution Day 2012

225 years ago, on September 17, 1787, the final draft of the U.S. Constitution was signed by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention. For an informative snapshot, see the Library of Congress American Memory’s Today in History: September 17.

See also the University of Washington’s Constitution Day 2012 site for more campus events and resources.

But don’t stop with a click or two! Mark your calendars for the annual UW Reads the Constitution. In honor of today’s anniversary – but recognizing that fall quarter is not quite underway – the entire, unabridged Constitution will be read aloud on Thursday, October 4 from noon to 1:15 pm in Suzzallo Library, just outside the 3rd floor reading room.

100 readers are needed, so please sign up! You can find information for readers and see photos of past readings here.

It’s a great experience. I have read every year since the first event in 2006 and each time, my ears (and brain) catch something new. My husband is a high school teacher and he tells his students that the Declaration of Independence is the world’s most famous break up letter and the Constitution is our country’s owner’s manual. I get what he means, but do think it’s a bit funny since I don’t read our car’s owners’ manual out loud and think “this is amazing!” and “how did they know!” But I often think both those things when I hear the United States of America’s owner’s manual. And I am always, always impressed with the combination of excitement and reverence which UW students, faculty, and staff bring to this reading.

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