Public Programs

United States Constitution

Visitors to the Kennedy Institute from Friday, September 14, through Monday, September 17, can take part in Constitution Weekend 2018 activities, including the nationwide Preamble Challenge, sponsored by Institute partner the Civics Renewal Network. The Preamble Challenge is to take the 52 words in the Preamble of the Constitution and find a new way to recite them, turn them into a song, perform, deliver, and share them on social media with the hashtags #RenewCivics, #PreambleChallenge, and #ConstitutionDay.

The Preamble is:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

See what each visitor experiences at the Institute including learning about the history and signing of the Constitution, and the opportunity to consider the Constitution’s legacy today as they cast a vote on Supreme Court Justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh in the Today’s Vote program.

More about Constitution Day and Constitution Weekend activities. Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is a day of observance recognizing the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is normally observed on September 17, the day in 1787 that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the document in Philadelphia. The law establishing the present holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus Spending Bill of 2004.

On Friday, September 14, Worcester State University and the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate celebrate Constitution Day by leading a day-long series of learning activities in civic education. Faculty, staff, and students from Worcester State University, UMass Boston, Leicester High School, and West Springfield High School will join together for the day’s programs.

In the morning, groups will participate in a Conference Committee program and in the afternoon, college students will mentor high school students in a simulated constitutional convention where amending a core feature of the U.S. Constitution is formally debated. The topic for Constitution Day 2018 is Ranked Choice Voting and whether changing the way voters express their preferences on election day can yield more democratic outcomes.

On Monday, September 17, Winchester High School will visit the Kennedy Institute for a Senate Immersion Module and will also host St. Kevin’s School from Melbourne, Australia.

Additional Resources

  • Smithsonian magazine Museum Day

    The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate is pleased to participate in Museum Day on Saturday, April 4, 2020. Museum Day is an annual celebration hosted by Smithsonian magazine. Participating museums and cultural institutions across the country provide free entry to anyone presenting a Museum Day ticket. The Museum Day ticket provides free admission for two people on April 4. Tickets will be available to download starting February 27, 2020.

  • First Saturday Drop-in Tours

    Join the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for Drop-In tours on the first Saturday of every month at 1 p.m. This discussion-based tour with a thematic focus offers deeper insights into the Institute’s exhibits and programs. Tours will lead into the Today’s Vote program where visitors can debate and vote on Senate legislation.

  • Kids’ Climate Convention

    How can kids help care for the planet? Join us for a day of family-friendly activities themed around preserving our Earth for future generations of kids. Vote for the best climate action invention in a special program held in the Institute’s replica Senate Chamber, visit the maker studio to do a project with recycled materials, and learn about important climate issues.