DAR chapter observes Constitution Week

Published 4:22 pm Thursday, September 15, 2022

The Col. William Allen Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution has a number of activities planned to observe Constitution Week.

DAR national headquarters covers an entire block in the center of Washington, D.C., between C and D streets and 14th and 15th. The address is 1776 D Street and the building is open to the public for tours. 

“DAR Constitution Hall is a memorial to that immortal document, the Constitution of the United States, in which are incorporated the principles of freedom, equality, and justice for which our forefathers fought and sacrificed,” said Kimberly A. Newman of the local chapter. “DAR Constitution Hall is the only structure dedicated to the U.S. Constitution.” 

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In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to dedicate Sept. 17-23 of each year to the commemoration of Constitution Week. Congress adopted the resolution and on Aug. 2, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed Public Law #915. 

“We celebrate this week to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution and signing on September 17, 1787, 235 years ago; to remind the public that the Constitution is the basis of Americans’ great heritage and foundation for its way of life; and to emphasize each citizen’s responsibility to protect, defend and preserve this most important document,” Newman said.

Each year, the Colonel William Allen Chapter of DAR strives to promote, educate and participate in Constitution Week. This year, that includes:

  • On Saturday, Sept. 17, at 4 p.m. (the time and day of the signing of the Constitution), church bells will be rung 13 times for the original 13 colonies. Residents are encouraged to ring their bells as well. There will be a short ceremony on the steps of the 1750 courthouse on Main Street in Downtown Smithfield to commemorate the occasion.
  • Patriotic painted rocks (approximately 40) have been hidden in and around downtown. Find one and return it to the Isle of Wight County Museum for a prize. Parents of children are asked to sign a photo release for any pictures taken. 
  • Constitution displays will be placed in area libraries and schools.
  • Also on Sept. 17, the chapter will have a booth at the Smithfield Farmers Market across from the Smithfield Inn with displays, fun facts, book marks, pencils and candy. DAR information will also be available.
  • On Sept. 23, participating local schools will be visited by James and Dolley Madison from Montpelier. Group games with prizes will be awarded and each student will receive a copy of the Constitution. 

“When prospective members take the oath to become “Daughters,” they promise to uphold the Constitution,” Newman said. “We hope you will too.”