FHSU celebrates constitution day

BY AUSTIN RUFF

Students met in the south study area of Forsyth Library on Friday to participate in a presentation to commemorate Constitution Day.

Constitution Day is a federal observance that recognizes the day that the delegates to the Philadelphia Constitutional Convention signed their names to the document.

That is why, every Constitution Day, institutions like FHSU arrange for speakers and provide information on the Constitution for students. This year, FHSU invited Assistant Professor of political science, Dr. Christopher Olds, to speak to students about the Constitution.

During his presentation, Olds allowed students to voice their opinions on the topic, and provided them with information about the history and significance of the document. 

“The document really was to protect the people from a tyrannical government,” Olds said during his presentation, “They were really worried about a powerful central government.”

He allowed students to propose changes to the constitution, which included changes to the electoral college, the amendment process, and the judicial system.  

Constitution Day itself has its origins in Iowa, which first recognized Constitution Day in 1911. However, a national day wasn’t popularized until the 1939 New York World’s Fair, when NBC, ABC, and Mutual promoted an “I am an American Day” during the fair. It was such a success that newspapers were able to convince President Roosevelt to make the day official. By 1949, governors in all 48 states had issued Constitution Day proclamations, and Congress had renamed “ I am an American Day” to Citizenship Day.

It wasn’t until 2004 that West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd attached an amendment creating a combined Citizenship-Constitution Day observance to the 2004 Omnibus Spending Bill. The bill also stipulated that any and all publicly funded educational institutions provide their students with information on the American Constitution on that day.  

Students who attended were provided with lunch, as well as pens, buttons, and a free t-shirt.

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