TRU Blog

TRU Blog

Celebrate America at the Truman Library on Constitution Day | September 9, 2016

Celebrate America on Constitution Day
Free museum admission, History Alive! programs, Preamble Challenge and more on
Saturday, September 17


“We venerate these documents not because they are valuable historical relics, but because they still have meaning for us. So long as we govern our Nation by the letter and the spirit of the Bill of Rights, we can be sure that our Nation will grow in strength and wisdom and freedom.”

—Harry S. Truman


On September 17, 1787, members of the Constitutional Convention signed the final draft of the Constitution. Join us at the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum as we commemorate this historic occasion and celebrate the birth of America’s governing document. The 2016 Constitution Day celebration includes the following free activities and events:

  • Free Museum Admission – a family of 4 saves up to $32
  • Free Pocket Constitution for the first 225 visitors, in honor of the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.
  • Be a Signer – Choose a feathered pen and add your name to the U.S. Constitution, alongside America’s forefathers.
  • Constitution Day Scavenger Hunt – use clues to hunt for the treasures of our democracy in the special exhibition, A More Perfect Union.
  • Preamble Challenge: Join Truman Library director Kurt Graham on the front steps of the Truman Library for the First Annual Preamble Challenge. The iconic passage – just 52 words starting with “We the People” – will be led by historical reenactors following a live performance of the National Anthem by Allegro Choirs, directed by Christy Elsner.
    º  9:30 a.m., Museum Entrance
  • History Alive! Free West Wing Simulation in The White House Decision Center.
    º  10 a.m. Session 1: Ending WWII
    º  1 p.m. Session 2: Civil Rights
  • History Alive! Founding Fathers Forum with John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by historical re-enactors George Baker and Patrick Lee. Although fierce opponents in the 1800 presidential election (some say we have these two to thank for mudslinging, slurs and negative campaigns) Adams and Jefferson have agreed to appear together to discuss politics, the presidency and the state of our democracy.
    º  10 a.m. & 1 p.m., Francis Families Theater

The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum is located in historic Independence, Mo. at 500 West U.S. Highway 24. The world-class museum attracts visitors from across the globe and has garnered numerous awards and distinctions, including TripAdvisor’s coveted Certificate of Excellence. Learn more at

Get Ready to Take the Preamble Challenge!

Preamble to the Constitution of the United States of America

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, 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.

Interview Opportunities

  • Kurt Graham, director, Harry S. Truman Library and Museum
  • John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by George Baker and Patrick Lee
  • Mary McMurray, director, The White House Decision Center

Event Sponsors

Celebrate America! Days are co-presented by the Truman Library Institute and Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, with generous support from the Arvin Gottlieb Charitable Foundation, UMB Bank, n.a., trustee. Celebrate America! events in 2016 are offered in conjunction with the Truman Library exhibition A More Perfect Union, now showing through December 31.

The Truman Library Institute is the member-supported, nonprofit partner of the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum, one of 13 presidential libraries of the National Archives. The Truman Library Institute draws on President Truman’s legacy to enrich the public understanding of history, the presidency and America’s unique form of government. This mission is achieved through the development and funding of world-class museum exhibits, a robust international research grant program, public forums and nationally acclaimed education programs serving nearly 40,000 students and teachers each year. Learn more at