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Civics 101: A Constitution Day Special Broadcast

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Sara Plourde
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In honor of Constitution Day, Civics 101, the podcast refresher course on American democracy, shares the story of the two most important documents for the foundation of the United States: the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Listeners can join hosts Nick Capodice and Hannah McCarthy for this special broadcast on NHPR on Friday, Sept. 17 at 1 p.m., covering The Takeaway. The special is also available for stations to carry free of charge on Constitution Day this year and in future years.

EPISODE RUNDOWN

After just six years under the Articles of Confederation, a committee of anxious delegates agreed to meet in Philadelphia to amend the government. The country was in an economic crisis — citizens couldn’t pay their debts, the government couldn’t really collect taxes, and rebellions were cropping up in states across the nation. The existing government had the potential to drive the country to ruin. So fifty-five men gathered to determine the shape of the new United States.

The document that emerged after that summer of debate was littered with masterful planning, strange ideas and unsavory concessions. The delegates decided they'd be pleased if this new government lasted fifty years. It has been our blueprint for over two centuries now. This is the story of how our Constitution came to be.

And: The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to our Constitution. Why do we have one? What does it 'do'? And what does it really, really do?

Our guests are Linda Monk, Alvin Tillery, David O. Stewart, Woody Holton, David Bobb, and Chuck Taft.

To learn more about Civics 101 and listen to new episodes:

Follow Civics 101 on Twitter and Facebook for the latest updates.