A&M-Texarkana distributes Constitutions to high schools in celebration of Constitution Day
TEXARKANA, Texas – As part of its celebration of Constitution Day, Texas A&M University-Texarkana distributed free pocket Constitutions to Texarkana high schools.
Constitution Day is a federal holiday marking the signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. This is the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
The required number of states – nine of 13 – ratified the Constitution by 1788. The new U.S. government started operations in 1789. The first Congress passed the Bill of Rights in 1789 and states ratified the first 10 amendments in 1791.
A&M-Texarkana’s newly-formed College of Arts, Sciences and Education (CASE) purchased the pocket Constitutions for the Political Science program from the non-partisan National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
Created by Congress, the National Constitution Center opened its doors in 2003. It is two blocks from Independence Hall in Philadelphia, where the delegates drafted and signed the Constitution.
One side of the folding Constitution has the text of the original Constitution along with its preamble and names of the signers, and the other side has all 27 amendments, including the Bill of Rights. Brackets mark passages in the text that amendments have changed. Unfolded, the pocket Constitution is 9 by 21 inches, and it is just 3 by 3 inches when folded.
Political Science professor Gary Bugh and Education professor Abbie Strunc worked together to deliver 200 Constitutions to each high school in Texarkana—Arkansas, Liberty-Eylau, Pleasant Grove and Texas.
“The small size of the folding Constitution shows students that this important document is actually very short,” said Dr. Bugh. “At just over 7,500 words, including the amendments, it’s shorter than the sports section of most newspapers.”
Dr. Strunc also feels strongly about the Constitution.
“It’s really important for students to see that they can hold in their hands a copy of the document that established our government. It’s remarkable, really,” Dr. Strunc said.
The professors hope to continue the giveaway in the years to come, providing more of the folding Constitutions to each school and to a greater number of schools.
Dr. Bugh is the university’s Political Science program coordinator and pre-law adviser. Dr. Strunc coordinates the Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction program and specializes in social studies education.
Photo: U.S. Constitution (pocket-sized)