As Constitution Day on September 17 approaches, be sure to think of the Library. We have some resources you can use to increase your understanding of this important document.
No time to read one of the many books available on the Constitution? No problem. Spend some time in the Issues & Controversies database with its multitude of articles on constitutional-related topics (free speech, gun control, protest movements, religion, tracking of suspects using GPS, state’s rights, super-PACs, and strip-searches, to name a few).
Take some time to read “’Living’ Constitution”, which asks the question: Should judges interpret the U.S. Constitution as a “living,” evolving document? Or, read “Judicial Activism” and come to your own conclusion on this question: Should judges have leeway in interpreting the U.S. Constitution?
There are many streaming videos available through two of the three services the Library subscribes to (Ambrose Digital and Films on Demand) on the Constitution and constitutional topics. For instance, searching for “constitution” in ‘Titles’, on the Films on Demand web site, retrieves 104 titles.
Of particular interest on this site is Bill Moyer’s In Search of the Constitution, a program first broadcast on PBS in 1987. This 11-part series, originally produced to mark the Constitution’s bicentennial, explores the meaning and impact of our founding document and shows how this brief text has shaped our nation and holds the power to change our lives. [The Library also has this series as a 4-disc set of DVDs: Media DVD 4567.)
A new video streaming service available from the Library, Ambrose Digital (from Ambrose Video Publishing), includes access to “A History of the United States Constitution,” a chronologically arranged, comprehensive series covering key events leading up to and following the creation of the U.S. Constitution. The eight programs, with 47 segments, show how this document has protected the American people from the abuses of power and tyranny. The final episode ends with the 2000 Presidential Election and the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore.
The eight programs in this series, and the time periods they cover, are:
- The Seeds of the Constitution [1619-1739]
- Founding the Constitution [1750-1774]
- Writing the Constitution and the Bill of Rights [1774-1791]
- Testing the Constitution [1793-1803]
- The Constitution Survives [1810-1861]
- The Constitution is Expanded [1865-1918]
- The Constitution in a Changing World [1919-1961]
- Constitutional Reform and Controversy [1961-2000]
Take advantage of these resources as you celebrate the U.S. Constitution on September 17.