Multiple Ways to Commemorate Constitution and Citizenship Day Online This Year

September 17, 2020

Each September 17, the nation celebrates Constitution and Citizenship Day. The day commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787 and also celebrates those who have become American citizens.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted a number of in-person observances of this day, many events are still being held online in Tennessee and the nation as a whole.

What follows is a partial list of these online observances, each of which affords an opportunity to reflect on what the Constitution and citizenship have meant throughout our country’s history.

Events in Tennessee:

Blount Mansion and the Knoxville History Project

Lecture: Born into Sin: Slavery and the Creation of Tennessee

Description: Stewart Harris, a constitutional law professor at Lincoln Memorial University’s Duncan School of Law, will deliver the Blount Mansion’s annual Dr. Paul H. Bergeron Constitution Day Lecture, discussing the establishment and evolution of slavery in East Tennessee. Prof. Harris is also the host of a weekly public radio program covering Constitutional issues, Your Weekly Constitution.

Time: 6 p.m. ET

More information:

Zoom link:


Columbia State Community College

Lecture: Sufferin’ Suffrage: The Meanest, Angriest, Ugliest Elections in U.S. History

Description: Associate Professor Dr. Thomas Flagel will highlight the history of incivility in American campaigns.

Time: 4 to 5 p.m. CT

More information:

Zoom Link:


Federalist Society, Memphis Lawyers Chapter

Lecture (1 hour CLE): The Constitution as a Legal Document

Description: This event will be a Zoom presentation by Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law professor John O. McGinnis.

Time: 11:50 a.m. CT

More information:

Registration link:


Middle Tennessee State University

Panel Discussion: Voting Access, Equity, Justice: Beyond Celebration

Description: A distinguished group of panelists will discuss “the efforts toward and the aftermath of the passage of the 19th Amendment.” Panelists include Dr. Aleia Brown, assistant director of the African American Digital Humanities Initiative at the University of Maryland’s Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities; Dr. Laura Free, chair of the Department of History at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, and author of “Suffrage Reconstructed: Gender, Race and Voting Rights in the Civil War Era;” Dr. Tiffany Momon, visiting professor of history at Sewanee: The University of the South; Dr. Minoa Uffelman, a history professor at Austin Peay State University and co-editor of the second volume of “Tennessee Women in the Progressive Era. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Karen Petersen, dean of MTSU’s College of Liberal Arts and a professor of political science.

Time: 3 p.m. CT

More information:

Event Link:


Tennessee Tech University

Lecture: How American Women Won the Vote

Description: 19th Amendment expert and educator Paula F. Casey will speak. Casey was the editorial coordinator for the book The Perfect 36: Tennessee Delivers Woman Suffrage, and she is also a co-founder of the Tennessee Woman Suffrage Heritage Trail.

Time: 6 p.m. CT

More information:

Registration Link:


Vanderbilt University

Event: A Constitution Day Conversation with Elaine Weiss

Description: Weiss is the author of The Woman’s Hour: The Great Fight to Win the Vote, about the effort to ratify the 19th Amendment. Also participating in the event are Bonnie Dow, professor of communications studies and dean of academic affairs for Vanderbilt University’s College of Arts and Sciences, and student panelist Sydney Taylor.

Time: 5:30 p.m. CT

More information:

Webinar registration:


National Events:

National Constitution Center

Event: Student Town Hall with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch

Description: Justice Gorsuch will discuss his life and career, including his thoughts on serving on the U.S. Supreme Court. The discussion will be moderated by Jeffrey Rosen, National Constitution Center President and CEO.

Time: 12 p.m. ET

More information:

Webinar registration link:

YouTube page (event will be livestreamed here as well):


Event: 2020 Liberty Medal Ceremony

Description: U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruther Bader Ginsburg will be the recipient of the National Constitution Center’s 32nd annual Liberty Medal. The program will feature performances by opera singers and tributes from friends of Justice Ginsburg.

Time: 6:30 p.m. ET

More information:

Livestream: The event can be livestreamed at the link above