Faces of Freedom: The Constitution at 225

In partnership with the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia
June 29, 2012 - June 11, 2013
Terminal A-East
Faces of Freedom: The Constitution at 225 is presented in partnership with the National Constitution Center, Philadelphia, and based on the Center’s permanent exhibit The American National Tree that spotlights 100 Americans whose actions have shaped America’s constitutional history. Faces of Freedom includes 46 of the 100 portraits on view at the National Constitution Center. Some of the individuals are famous while others are lesser known. But each has a unique story of freedom and, collectively, they illustrate the values that define the Constitution and exemplify our national spirit.
The year 2012 marks the 225th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 – a historic day at Philadelphia’s Independence Hall. In May 1787, some 55 delegates from 12 of the 13 original states gathered behind closed doors where for the next 4 months they debated, discussed, and eventually crafted the fundamental structure and rules for America’s new government.
Written just 4 years after America won independence from England, there was a pervasive sense of unrest and instability among the citizenry. Congress called delegates from all 13 states and with the leadership of General George Washington, the delegates of the Constitutional Convention met in Philadelphia. George Mason, delegate from Virginia, described their work ahead: “The Eyes of the United States are turned upon this Assembly and their Expectations raised to a very anxious Degree. May God Grant that we may be able to gratify them, by establishing a wise and just Government.” Realizing the magnitude and urgency of their task, the delegates penned “the supreme Law of the Land” that insightfully included a provision for future amendments to ensure its timeless relevance.
Since 1787, the United States has experienced dramatic changes – culturally, economically, geographically, globally, and technologically. The Constitution itself has changed with the ratification of the Bill of Rights in 1791 to the most recent amendment ratified in 1992. The Constitution has become a more inclusive document that strives to stay true to America’s founding principles while protecting the freedoms and rights of all American citizens. And it is the citizenry, “We the People,” whose voices and actions have defined and continue to shape the Constitution from 1787 to today.
 

 
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