STEUBENVILLE, Ohio - Historic Fort Steuben and the Fort Steuben Chapter of the Daughters of the the American Revolution will present "Celebrate the Constitution" Sept. 8-22 at the Fort Steuben Visitor Center to commemorate the 1789 signing of the U.S. Constitution.
"Constitution Day, Sept. 17, was the brainchild of Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia who was known to carry a copy of the Constitution with him at all times and was emphatic about making Constitution Day events a requirement for organizations that receive federal funds," said Fort Steuben Director Judy Bratten. "The Constitution that has been the foundation of our country for over 225 years was formed through agonizing debate and heated discussion and sacrificial concessions. The ideas and ideals that have become engraved in our national character were first expressed in this amazing document. Composed of only 4,440 words, it is both the shortest and oldest written constitution of any major government in the world."
The free exhibit includes information on the delegates to the Constitutional Convention of 1787 as well as on the significance of the development of the articles and the Bill of Rights. The display also offers visitors the opportunity to "sign the Constitution."
"Not every state was willing to adopt the Constitution initially, because it lacked a description of the specific rights guaranteed to citizens in the new country," said Bratten. "We take for granted our freedom of speech and the assurance of trial by jury, but only because they are enumerated in the Bill of Rights which was amended to the Constitution and ratified in 1791."
Bratten added that there will be a daily Constitution quiz question on Historic Fort Steuben's Facebook page beginning Sunday.
The Visitor Center is located at 120 S. Third Street and will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday. For information, call (740) 283-1787.