From the preamble and the Bill of Rights to the 27th Amendment, the U.S. Constitution will be read out loud beginning at noon on Thursday, Sept. 17, in the Cody Commons of Fort Hays State University's Memorial Union.
"America Reads the Constitution" is a national event sponsored by the National Constitution Center Philadelphia, Pa. The readings will be kicked off by U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, FHSU President Edward H. Hammond and FHSU Provost Larry Gould.
The reading is part of an effort organized by the constitution center to increase the nation's awareness of America's founding document and history and to help schools and federal agencies fulfill the goals of a law passed in late 2004 requiring constitutional education on Constitution Day, Sept. 17.
"As Horace Mann once explained, since our government is based on the consent of the governed, the American people must be educated about the U.S. Constitution," said Michael Tweed, instructor of political science at FHSU. "In the absence of such education, we face the hazard of succumbing to demagoguery and become susceptible to believing whatever politicians choose to tell us."
Former Political Science Department Chair Dr. Richard Heil will moderate and the national anthem will be performed by the Fort Hays Singers. Another feature is the "Thoughts on Democracy" exhibition created by 60 leading contemporary artists and designers at the invitation of the Wolsonian Museum at Florida International University and posters created by students of Karrie Simpson Voth, associate professor of art at FHSU.
Also participating in the reading are Kansas State Sen. Janis Lee, State Rep. Eber Phelps, District Court Judge Edward Bouker, Hays Daily News Editor Pat Lowry, Ellis County Democratic Party Chair Glenn Staab, Ellis County Republican Party Chair John Pyle, students and teachers from area schools and many more.
The National Constitution Center is an independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing public understanding of the U.S. Constitution and the ideas and values it represents.