On Monday, September 17, 2018, 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 Carol Berkin, Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York entitled “Born in Crisis: The Emergence in the 1790s of an American Identity.”

Constitution Day Itinerary
1:00 pm UGA Chapel Display of historical documents and materials related to the American founding and U.S. Constitution in the front of the UGA Chapel.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


1:30 pm UGA Chapel Keynote Lecture by Professor Carol Berkin entitled “Born in Crisis: The Emergence in the 1790s of an American Identity,” followed by a short, moderated question and answer session


2:45 pm Candler Hall Dessert reception to immediately follow the lecture


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

Carol Berkin is Presidential Professor of History Emerita at Baruch College & the Graduate Center, City University of New York. She is the author of several books, including  First Generations: Women in Colonial America; A Brilliant Solution: Inventing the American Constitution ; Revolutionary Mothers: Women in the Struggle for America’s Independence; Civil War Wives: the Life and Times of Angelina Grimke Weld, Varina Howell Davis, and Julia Dent Grant; Wondrous Beauty: The Life and Adventures of Elizabeth Patterson Bonaparte; The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America’s Liberties; and most recently, A Sovereign People: The Crises of the 1790s and the Birth of American Nationalism. 

Berkin is a frequent contributor to PBS and History Channel television documentaries on early American and Revolutionary Era history and edits the Gilder Lehrman online journal, History Now. She serves on the scholarly boards of several professional organizations including The National Museum of Women’s History, The New York Academy of History, and the New-York Historical Society’s Center for American Women’s History.

Map of North Campus

Event Parking

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 protected] or 706-542-6511 by August 31, 2018 for specific requests.

Relevant Links
Previous Constitution Day Events