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Take a closer look at how states have defined constitutional rights for nearly 250 years in connection with the Museum’s summer 2021 special exhibition Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today. 

In July 2021, Dr. James F. Hrdlicka, lecturer at Arizona State University and author of Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic, joined Museum Curator of Exhibitions Matthew Skic for a conversation about the remarkable documents on loan from the Dorothy Tapper Goldman Foundation, including a copy of the first printing of the proposed United States Constitution from 1787. This lively discussion explored the questions Americans tried to resolve while writing constitutions during the Revolutionary, Civil War, and Progressive eras and uncovered key differences in government on the state level that have influenced the United States Constitution.  

The Museum's summer 2021 special exhibition, Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today, open June 12-Sept. 6, 2021, showcases dozens of rare American flags alongside historic early state constitutions and the first printing of the proposed U.S. Constitution of 1787 to shed light on the triumphs and tensions that the United States faced as new states joined the Union.

The Colonists, Citizens, Constitution book is available for purchase in-store and online from the Museum Shop.

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Flags and Founding Documents, 1776-Today

June 12 - Sept. 6, 2021
The Museum's summer 2021 exhibit showcased dozens of rare American flags alongside historic early state constitutions and the first printing of the proposed U.S. Constitution of 1787 to shed light on the triumphs and tensions that the United States faced as new states joined the Union.
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The image depicts Colonists Citizens Constitutions book cover by James Hrdlicka. It is a blue cover with a photo of the first few lines of the constitution. “We, the people of the United States,” is a visible.
 

Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions

Read an excerpt from James Hrdlicka's exhibition book Colonists, Citizens, Constitutions: Creating the American Republic.
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A Revolutionary Summer

Throughout A Revolutionary Summer, the Museum's special events and exhibits offered visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore the American Revolution and its ongoing relevance.
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