While the signing of the United States Constitution took place 236 years ago this coming Sunday, Purdue University Fort Wayne will observe the occasion a day later.
Emily Tock, Helmke Library’s reference and instruction librarian, has asked university and Fort Wayne dignitaries to participate in ceremonies from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday. Along with an opening presentation by Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry, the highlight of the event will be two readings of the Constitution in front of the library on Mastodon Way. There will also be several stations, including one that will involve a discussion led by the Department of Political Science on what the next amendment should be.
There’s always been a Constitution Day display presented inside the library, but Tock wants to push the observance to the next level. She’s encouraging participants to wear clothing of the appropriate time period, or whatever they choose that shows patriotism. She’ll wear her own 18th-century colonial garb.
The event includes free pocket-sized copies of the Constitution, coloring pages, and candy. There’s also a chance the readings will be livestreamed.
“I’m envisioning this as a way to get people to talk to each other,” Tock said. “That’s why I’m extending the call-out to so many different groups on campus.”
The Constitution, whose preamble begins with the famous words “We the people,” includes the seven articles that took effect in 1789. Twenty-seven amendments were added between 1791 and 1992; the first 10 are known as the Bill of Rights. The last amendment adopted prevents Congress members from granting themselves pay raises during the current session.