Constitution Week Begins September 17 In Downtown Dandridge

On September 17 two hundred thirty-five years ago, 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the United States Constitution at the Pennsylvania State House (now known as Independence Hall). This year that event will be commemorated in Dandridge with a celebration organized by the Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter (MDW), National Society, Daughters of the American Revolution (NSDAR).

Each year, Constitution Week (September 17-23) kicks off from coast to coast with Constitution Day celebrations including parades, speeches, and the ringing of Bells Across America.

According to Rebecca Lee, Chairman of the MDW Constitution Week Committee, packets containing a Constitution lesson plan, bells, Constitution facts, and Constitution activities have been distributed to every eighth-grade student in Jefferson and Grainger counties. The Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter has partnered with the 917 Society to provide copies of the United States Constitution to these students. Moreover, the book We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States, along with an associated lesson plan and other activities, has been shared with the first-grade classes.

All children are invited to decorate their bicycles with patriotic themes and join in a procession at 2:00 p.m. from the Point parking lot, across the gleaming new Dandridge Bridge spanning the east end of Douglas Lake to the 177-year-old Dandridge Courthouse for a short program. Jefferson County Mayor Mark Potts will address the public at 2:30 p.m. and proclaim September 17-23 Constitution Week in Jefferson County.

Following the program, celebrants will gather in front of the Jefferson County Board of Education Building to ring the large, black bell. Small, handheld bells will be distributed to the crowd so that everyone can participate. The public is invited to join in the festivities.

For further information about the Constitution Week events, call Chairman Lee at (865) 471-2160. For information about the DAR, contact MDW Registrar Karen McFarland at (865) 258-8670 or Regent Janet Guyett at (865) 712-8782.

Kaise Dewayne Young is ready to ride in the bicycle parade across the Dandridge Bridge to the Historic Courthouse for the Constitution Day Celebration and ringing of Bells Across America organized by the Martha Dandridge Washington Chapter, NSDAR. Kaise is the son of Jefferson County Assistant Public Defender Cashauna Lattimore.

Source: Submitted by Jane Busdeker