On Monday, September 16, 2019, 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 Alan Taylor, the Thomas Jefferson Foundation Chair in the Corcoran Department of History at the University of Virginia, entitled “Competing Constitutions: North America, 1783-1795.”

We thank the Jack Miller Center for their support!

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1:00 pm UGA Chapel Display of historical documents and materials related to the American founding and U.S. Constitution in the front of the UGA Chapel.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 Alan Taylor entitled “Competing Constitutions: North America, 1783-1795,” followed by a short, moderated question and answer session


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

Alan Taylor is the Thomas Jefferson Chair in American History at the University of Virginia and a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.  He was born in Portland, Maine in 1955 and graduated from Colby College in 1977. After serving as a researcher for historic preservation in the United States Virgin Islands (1977-79), he pursued graduate study at Brandeis University, receiving his Ph.D. in American History in 1986.  After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Institute of Early American History and Culture (Williamsburg, Virginia), he taught in the history department at Boston University from 1987 to 1994.  Since 1994, he has been a professor at the University of California at Davis, where he teaches courses in early North American history, the history of the American West, and the history of Canada.

He is also active in California State Social Science and History Project.  This project provides curriculum support for K-12 teachers in history and social studies.  In 2002 he won the University of California at Davis Award for Teaching and Scholarly Achievement and the Phi Beta Kappa, Northern California Association, Teaching Excellence Award.

Taylor is the author of seven books: Liberty Men and Great Proprietors: The Revolutionary Settlement on the Maine Frontier, 1760-1820 (1990); William Cooper’s Town: Power and Persuasion on the Frontier of the Early Republic, (1995); American Colonies (2001); Writing Early American History (2005); The Divided Ground: Indians, Settlers, and the Northern Borderland of the American Revolution (2006); The Civil War of 1812: American Citizens, British Subjects, Irish Rebels, & Indian Allies (2010); The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia (2013).

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 Kalah Mingo at [email protected] by Friday, August 30, 2019 for specific requests.

Relevant Links
Previous Constitution Day Events