Interacting with the Constitution
The National Constitution Center goes beyond the traditional “museum” to educate both locally and nationally.
Twenty-two million unique visitors have viewed its online Interactive Constitution. For virtually every clause of the Constitution, two of the country’s top experts from different points of view, nominated by the Federalist Society and the American Constitution Society, explain where they agree and where they disagree. On Constitution Day 2019, NCC will launch a Classroom Edition with lesson plans, videos, and virtual exchanges that link classrooms nationwide in constitutional conversations.
In Philadelphia, the NCC’s Constitutional Ambassadors Program immerses students in the basic principles of the Constitution. Students and teachers prepare with curated lesson plans, then come for a day-long intellectual, social, and skills-based experience.The program inspires Philadelphia students from diverse backgrounds to become ambassadors for constitutional principles and civil dialogue. Students also are nationally networked through the Center’s Constitutional Exchanges, where students practice civil dialogue through constitutional conversations with peers from different perspectives across the country. The National Constitution Center and The College Board also developed a two-week module on the First Amendment for high school students after their Advanced Placement exams. Using the Interactive Constitution, students examine their legal rights and moral responsibilities as they prepare to enter adult society.
NCC’s newest onsite exhibit focuses on the Civil War and Reconstruction period, exploring the nation’s constitutional clashes over slavery and how the Constitution transformed after the war to more fully embrace the Declaration of Independence’s promises of liberty and equality.
Also on Constitution Day 2019, the Library of Congress launched Constitution Annotated, a comprehensive explanation of how each article, amendment, and clause in the Constitution has been interpreted by the Supreme Court. This monumental product, a century in the making, is searchable, indexed, hyperlinked, authoritative, and objective. Congressional Research Service (CRS) staff will update it regularly as new Supreme Court opinions are issued. Since 1800, the Library has grown to hold about 40 million books and more than 100 million additional items. It sees about 2 million visitors per year.
National Constitution Center
Annual expenditures: $15 million
President and CEO: Jeffrey Rosen
Library of Congress
Librarian of Congress: Carla Hayden