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Celebrate Constitution Day on Sept. 17

Photo by Evan Krape

Honoring the signing of the U.S. Constitution

Constitution Day honors the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. This Thursday marks  the 233rd anniversary of that historic event, and special activities and resources at the University of Delaware offer an engaging way to celebrate and learn more about this historic document that guides our nation.

The U.S. Constitution lies at the heart of discussions in this fall’s National Agenda 2020 series, entitled “We Are the People.” Presented by UD’s Center for Political Communication, the series is focusing on the power of the citizens of the United States and the liberties granted to them by the Constitution. The theme references the preamble to the Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

In this presidential election year, the 10th annual National Agenda speaker series involves prominent political insiders, journalists, humorists, media figures and others tackling many of the pressing questions of the day and other issues facing the nation.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions, the free public series will be live-streamed, beginning at 7:30 p.m. on seect Wednesdays. Delaware Debates will also be held on Tuesday, Oct. 13, and Wednesday, Oct. 14.

Opening the series at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 16, will be Scott Dikkers, co-founder and longest-serving editor-in-chief of The Onion humor website. The topic is “Satire or Fake News?”

“Fact vs. Fiction” will be the subject of the second program on Sept. 30, featuring distinguished political minds from Washington, D.C., and Hollywood discussing portrayals of the White House compared to the real thing. Speaking will be Howard Gordon, a critically acclaimed television writer and producer, of Homeland and 24 fame; John Mankiewicz, an Emmy-nominated television and film executive producer and screenwriter, of House of Cards fame; Steve Schmidt, UD alumnus and CPC founding senior fellow and one of the country’s premier public affairs and campaign strategists; and Eric Deggans, National Public Radio’s first full-time TV critic.

Future National Agenda programs will include:

  • Delaware Debates 2020 on Oct. 13 and 14, featuring Delaware’s candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races
  • “The Room Where It Happened,” Oct. 28, with Mary Louise Kelly, co-host of NPR’s award-winning All Things Considered, discussing covering the Trump White House
  • “Interference: The Role of Russia in U.S. Politics,” Nov. 11, with Julia Ioffe, correspondent at GQ Magazine and a leading authority on Russia-U.S. relations
  • “Election Aftermath,” Nov 18, with Steve Scully, C-SPAN’s senior executive producer, political editor and host of the morning call-in show Washington Journal; and Yamiche Alcindor, White House correspondent for PBS NewsHour

All programs in the National Agenda series are free and open to the public, but advance registration is required to participate. Details on how to register are available on the National Agenda website.

Research guide

Want to learn more about Constitution Day? The University’s Library, Museums and Press has posted an online research guide, gathering helpful links to a variety of resources.

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