On September 15, 2017, the American Founding Group and the School of Public and International Affairs hosted a celebration of Constitution Day. The centerpiece of these festivities was a lecture by Professor Michael J. Klarman, the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School and an award-winning teacher and scholar in the areas of Constitutional law and Constitutional history. The lecture entitled “The Constitution as a Coup Against Public Opinion” and moderated question and answer session were held at 2 pm in the UGA Chapel, and was followed by a dessert reception in Candler Hall. In addition, historical documents and materials related to the American founding and U.S. Constitution were on display at the Chapel from the Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library.
Constitution Day Itinerary
|1:30 pm||UGA Chapel||Display of historical documents and materials related to the American founding and U.S. Constitution in the front of the UGA Chapel. Hosted by the Hargrett Rare Book and Manuscript Library
|2:00 pm||UGA Chapel||Keynote Lecture “The Constitution as a Coup Against Public Opinion” by Professor Michael Klarman, followed by a short, moderated question and answer session
|3:15 pm||Candler Hall||Dessert reception
What is Constitution Day?
Constitution Day is the annual celebration of the day that representatives to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia completed and signed the U.S. Constitution in 1787. The observance of this day began as “I am an American Day” in 1940 and later as Citizenship Day in 1952 when the celebration was moved to September 17 to commemorate the signing of the original document. Constitution Day as we observe it today was recognized as a federal holiday in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and to thoughtfully engage with the nation’s founding document.
About the Speaker
Professor Michael J. Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He received his B.A. and M.A. (political theory) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1980, his J.D. from Stanford Law School in 1983, and his D. Phil. in legal history from the University of Oxford (1988), where he was a Marshall Scholar. After law school, Professor Klarman clerked for the Honorable Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1983-84). He joined the faculty at the University of Virginia School of Law in 1987 and served there until 2008 as the James Monroe Distinguished Professor of Law and Professor of History.
Klarman has also served as the Ralph S. Tyler, Jr., Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School, Distinguished Visiting Lee Professor of Law at the Marshall Wythe School of Law at the College of William & Mary, Visiting Professor at Stanford Law School, and Visiting Professor at Yale Law School.
Klarman has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship, which are primarily in the areas of Constitutional Law and Constitutional History. In 2009 he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences.
Klarman’s first book, From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality, was published by Oxford University Press in 2004 and received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History. He published two books in 2007, also with Oxford University Press: Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement and Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History, which is part of Oxford’s Inalienable Rights series. In 2012, he published From the Closet to the Altar: Courts, Backlash, and the Struggle for Same-Sex Marriage. In 2016, Oxford University Press published his comprehensive history of the Founding, The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the US Constitution.
Map of North Campus
The North Campus Parking Deck offers convenient pay-by-the-hour parking for Constitution Day events. Visitors should enter the parking deck’s main entrance on 230 S. Jackson Street. View Google Map
For alternative parking options, please consult UGA Parking Services’ Visitor Parking Information page.
Access provided for people with disabilities. Contact Lauren Ledbetter at email@example.com or 706-542-6511 by Friday, September 1, 2017 for specific requests.
American Founding Group
Hargrett Rare Book & Manuscript Library
Transcript of the U.S. Constitution at the National Archives
The National Constitution Center