There are two documents of paramount importance to American history: the Declaration of Independence, which forged our national identity, and the United States Constitution, which set forth the framework for the federal government that is still in use today. While Independence Day is a beloved national holiday, fewer people know about Constitution Week, an annual commemoration of the living document that upholds and protects the freedoms central to our American way of life.
The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) initiated the observance in 1955, when the organization petitioned the U.S. Congress to dedicate September 17–23 of each year to the commemoration of Constitution Week. Congress adopted the resolution, and on August 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into Public Law #915. The celebration’s goals are threefold: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787; to inform people that the Constitution is the basis of America’s great heritage and the foundation of our way of life; and to emphasize U.S. citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution.
DAR has been the foremost advocate for the awareness, promotion and celebration of Constitution Week. This annual observance provides innumerable opportunities for educational initiatives and community outreach, two mission areas of crucial importance to the National Society’s work.
Locally, the Old Glory Chapter will be hosting several events highlighting Constitution Week this year. Both the Williamson County Mayor, Rogers Anderson, and the Franklin City Mayor, Dr. Ken Moore, will sign proclamations officially designating September 17 – 23 as Constitution Week. The proclamations will be presented to Old Glory Chapter Regent, Anna Shaffer, in special ceremonies. For the second year in a row, the chapter will partner with Williamson County elementary schools with a guest reader program featuring the book We the Kids. The commemorative events will continue on Sunday, September 17, with the ringing of downtown Franklin church bells at 3:00 pm. Immediately following the bell ringing, the public is invited to join in a Constitution Week patriotic program at the Historic Franklin Presbyterian Church, featuring our most inventive founding father Ben Franklin. At the conclusion of the program, there will be a demonstration by Ben Franklin of his many inventions at the Williamson County Public Library.
One of the largest patriotic women’s organizations in the world, DAR has more than 185,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters across the country and even in numerous foreign countries. DAR strives to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism via commemorative events, scholarships and
educational initiatives, citizenship programs, service to veterans, meaningful community service, and
more. For additional information about DAR and its programs, visit www.dar.org. ##