By Janelle Yahne
When I was in high school in the late 1990’s, I took an American History class that ignited my fascination with history. Moments that happened hundreds of years ago became lingering tales of impossible odds, what-if’s, and everyday people becoming infamous. Reading these stories gave me a connection to a history that seemed remote as a teenager. Reading my old notes from those days and seeing the supposedly minor historical moments with great repercussions it reminded me how important educating people about the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights. I will admit that my own knowledge of the writings has decreased over the years, and the resources listed below have been quite helpful. As we get closer to Election Day in November, it becomes more important to know the why’s and how’s our country came together.
Constitution Day, previously known as Citizenship Day, is a day of celebration and remembrance of the signing of the United States Constitution during the Constitution Convention. Here at GRCC, we will be celebrating Constitution Day on Tuesday, September 18th from 4-6 pm at the ATC auditorium. During that time you can register to vote, get a pocket sized copy of the constitution and enjoy a panel including political science professors. For more information, please see this press release.
To read the Constitution online, check out the National Archives Constitution page that includes links to the amendments along with an easy to use exhibit on the Founding Charters. At Library of Congress, there are links to primary documents from the birth of our nation. From the U.S. Senate, here is a handy link for a “plain English” version of the Constitution. To learn more about the Constitution and the development of our country on campus, please check out this list of books at the library. For a selection of materials that were referenced during the creation of the Constitution, please see below:
Leviathan, by Thomas Hobbes
Magna Carta, or, the great charter of King John
The Spirit of the Laws, by Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu
Two Treatises of Government: and a letter concerning toleration (e-book), by John Locke