The annual exhibit, Celebrate the Constitution, sponsored by Historic Fort Steuben and the Fort Steuben Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, opens at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center on Monday, September 6.
The exhibit highlights the signers, the details and the history of America’s founding document which is commemorated every year on September 17, Constitution Day. Included in the exhibit is The Bill of Rights & You, created by the National Archives Traveling Exhibits Service.
“The Constitution of the United States is a document that everyone should be familiar with explained Paul Zuros, Executive Director of Historic Fort Steuben and the Visitor Center. “Our objective is to give all citizens, young and old, a better understanding of the origins and significance of the Constitution and its relevance in our society 21st century.”
Zuros noted that learning what the founders discussed, debated, and argued over as they decided how the new nation would govern itself is important for appreciating the rights and privileges we have today.
“Our exhibit gives information on the Constitution and on some of those people influential in its writing. The video A More Perfect Union demonstrates the often volatile debates that raged as the delegates tried to balance the concerns of each region.”
The exhibit includes a display on the Bill of Rights – the first ten amendments – that ensured the rights that weren’t detailed in the original document.
“The framers of the Constitution realized that as the country grew, the government would need to adapt and so designed a way to do it through the amendment process. Their foresight prevented the violence that often occurred in other nations when changes were necessary,” he added. “Proposing an amendment is easy, but two-thirds of both houses of Congress and three-fourths of the states must approve the change before it is added to the Constitution. That is why, out of more than 11,000 attempts to amend the Constitution, only 27 have been successful.”
The exhibit also offers visitors the opportunity to sign a replica of the Constitution and receive a free pocket Constitution. Puzzles, information and quiz sheets are available to take home as well.
Constitution Day was the brainchild of Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia who always carried a copy of the Constitution with him and was emphatic about making Constitution Day events a requirement for organizations that receive federal funds.
Individuals, families, school groups and civic organizations are invited to visit the free exhibit that runs until September 18th. The Visitor Center is located at 120 S. 3rd Street in Steubenville and open from 10-4, Monday through Saturday, and 11-4 on Sunday. For more information call 740-283-1787.