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SBM President Urges Lawyers and Public to Celebrate Constitution Day on September 17

8/30/06

Sunday, September 17 is Constitution Day, in recognition of the date in 1787 when 39 men signed the Constitution in Philadelphia. In an effort to increase public awareness of the significance of this date, the State Bar is urging its members to work with their communities to commemorate this historic occasion.

"The observance of this watershed event in our nation's history will give all Americans an opportunity to better understand the significance and relevance of our nation's founding documents," said Thomas W. Cranmer, president of the State Bar of Michigan. "The Constitution is the most significant guarantee of our freedoms, and it is imperative that we help members of the public learn more about its importance in our democratic way of life."

A federal law sponsored by Senator Robert Byrd last year declared September 17 as "Constitution Day" and required that every federally funded school teach the Constitution on that day. Since September 17 falls on a weekend this year, celebrations can occur the week before or after.

Constitution Day resources, such as links to websites with extensive teaching materials including lesson plans for kindergarten through high school, are posted on the State Bar website. Also included on the website are relevant videos. Titles include:

  • The Korematsu vs. U.S. Government Legal Milestone video—Defining Moments from the Past with Lessons for a Post 9/11 World, an extensive teaching curriculum on the World War II internment of Japanese Americans;
  • “And Justice For All” a roundtable discussion with a jury diversity curriculum;
  • “Information on Family Legal Issues” with a student search and seizure component.

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State Bar of Michigan
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