Cameron University to commemorate Constitution Day with discussion of Abraham Lincoln’s America and the Constitution

Cameron University will join colleges and universities across the nation to celebrate Constitution Day on Thursday, Sept. 17, commemorating the 1787 signing of the Constitution of the United States of America. Sponsored by the CU School of Liberal Arts, the Department of History and Government, and the Lawton Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, CU will mark Constitution Day with a discussion of Abraham Lincoln's America and the U.S. Constitution. The event takes place in CU's Shepler Ballroom at Noon and is open to the public at no charge. Copies of the U.S. Constitution and commemorative bookmarks will be distributed.

Dr. Aaron Mason, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Northwestern Oklahoma State University, will address the topic "Lincoln, Civil Liberties and the Constitution." Dr. Mark Stegmaier, Professor of History, Cameron University, will speak on "Slavery and the Constitution: The Attitude of Lincoln and the Republicans," and Dr. Justin Wert, Assistant Professor of Political Science, University of Oklahoma, will present "Nothing New Under the Sun: Habeas Corpus and Civil Liberties During War."

Constitution Day commemorates September 17, 1787, a key point in U.S. history, when the 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document that defined and separated powers of the federal government. Voting, debating the issues, gathering to meet in public and in private, criticizing or praising your government, observing a religion of choice and pursuing an education and a career are just a few of the pursuits guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

This celebration of Constitution Day also serves as the first meeting of the academic year of the Cameron University Political Science Forum.

For more information on this event, contact Tony E. Wohlers, Assistant Professor of Political Science, at 580-581-2496 or awohlers@cameron.edu, or Jeffrey Metzger, Assistant Professor of Political Science, at 580-581-2494 or jmetzger@cameron.edu.

For more information about Constitution Day, go to www.constitutioncenter.org.

Fast Facts about the U.S. Constitution

  • The U. S Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington received his commission as Commander of the Continental Army. Now called Independence Hall, the building still stands today on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the National Constitution Center.
  • Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on September 17; it wasn't until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.
  • The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.
  • Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments became known as The Bill of Rights
  • Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39 signed and three delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing his country in France, and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.
  • Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving thanks" for the Constitution.
  • Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.
  • At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention, and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.
  • The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
  • Of the more than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress, only 33 have gone to the states to be ratified. Of these, 27 have received the necessary approval from the states to become amendments to the Constitution.

Source: National Constitution Center 

August 28, 2009
PR# 09-174