U.Va. Center for Politics celebrates Constitution Day
Historical actors, 800 local students gather at Cabell Hall to discuss America's history
The Center for Politics organized a Constitution Day event at Old Cabell Hall Tuesday morning for middle- and high-school students throughout the Charlottesville community to celebrate the adoption of the U.S. Constitution.
Historical performers portraying Alexander Hamilton and Patrick Henry spoke to students about aspects of the Constitution and answered questions. Students were also able to propose changes to the Constitution in response to current issues the country faces today.
Mark Greenough and Ian Rose, the actors portraying the Founding Fathers, cracked jokes while explaining the different sections of the Constitution. But beneath the theatricality, “Hamilton” and “Henry” shared a deep conviction about the importance of the event.
“The best reason for having a program of this kind is making sure the citizens are well informed,” Greenough said. “To quote Thomas Jefferson, ‘Whenever the people are well informed, they can be entrusted with their own government.’”
Students asked the historical performers about modern controversial issues which they believed required amendments to the Constitution — specifically, issues of affirmative action, unequal rights for LGBTQ communities and involvement in foreign countries. When the proposal to stop capital punishment was brought up, Hamilton joked, “Well how would we get rid of pirates?”