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Law Library to Commemorate Constitution Day with Book Talk

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Image Courtesy of Oxford University Press

At 230 years old, the United States Constitution is the oldest surviving written charter of government in the world. The “Framers” signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787. The document defines the powers and limits of the executive, judicial and legislative branches of government, and the fundamental rights of all Americans.

The Law Library of Congress will commemorate the signing of this living document at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 12 with a book talk by Michael J. Klarman, constitutional law professor at Harvard Law School. Klarman will discuss and sign his book, “The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the United States Constitution” (Oxford University Press, 2016), which is a comprehensive history of how the Framers drafted and ratified the United States Constitution despite their clashing interests. The book was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize and the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award.

This event will take place in Room LJ-119 of the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C., and serve as the Law Library’s annual commemoration of Constitution Day. The event is free and open to the public; tickets are not required.

Professor Klarman is the Kirkland & Ellis Professor at Harvard Law School, where he joined the faculty in 2008. He has won numerous awards for his teaching and scholarship in the areas of constitutional law and constitutional history.  In 2009, he was inducted into the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He is also author of several books including “From Jim Crow to Civil Rights: The Supreme Court and the Struggle for Racial Equality” (Oxford University Press, 2004), which received the 2005 Bancroft Prize in History; “Brown v. Board of Education and the Civil Rights Movement” (Oxford University Press, 2007) and “Unfinished Business: Racial Equality in American History,” (Oxford University Press, 2007), 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” (Oxford University Press, 2012).

We hope you can join us! If you are unable to join us in-person, you can view this event live on the Library of Congress Facebook page or on the Library of Congress YouTube channel.

Comments (4)

  1. Who came up with a holiday called Constitution day?

    • Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia, included key provisions designating September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005. You can read more about the history of Constitution Day on the Law Library’s commemorative page at:

  2. Will an archived version of the presentation be available?

    • Yes, the Library of Congress will post a video of this event on our main website and the Library’s YouTube page. We will also show this event live on the Library’s Facebook and YouTube channel. We hope you can join us in-person or virtually.

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