Local DAR chapters note Constitution Week

Carol Rolf/Contributing Writer Published September 17, 2017 at 12:00 a.m.
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Carol Rolf/Contributing Photographer

Katie Opris of Conway, far right, takes a look at the Constitution Week display at the Faulkner County Library in Conway with her children, Adrielle, 6, Elias, 5, and Arlon, 2. Joyce Rossi, also of Conway, joined the family to learn more about the U.S. Constitution. The Cadron Post Chapter, National Society Daughters of the American Revolution, set up the display, as well as similar displays at the branch libraries in Greenbrier, Mayflower and Vilonia and at the Faulkner County Fair.

CONWAY — Today is the 230th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, which was adopted at the Constitutional Convention on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Members of area chapters of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution will join approximately 185,000 other DAR members in all 50 states and 14 foreign countries in celebrating Constitution Week, which continues through Friday.

Cadron Post Chapter members in Conway gathered Tuesday at the Faulkner County Courthouse to hear County Judge Jim Baker read a proclamation declaring the observance of the week in the county.

“Read the Constitution,” Baker said. “It is the framework of our government.”

Baker’s proclamation will be on display at a Constitution Week exhibit at the Faulkner County Fair.

Conway Mayor Bart Castleberry, Greenbrier Mayor Sammy Hartwick, Mayflower Mayor Randy Holland and Vilonia Mayor James Firestone have also signed proclamations declaring the observance of Constitution Week. Those proclamations are displayed in exhibits set up at the Faulkner County Library’s main branch in Conway and at branch libraries in Greenbrier, Mayflower and Vilonia.

Octavia Baldridge, regent of the Cadron Post Chapter, said it plans to sponsor public-service announcements about Constitution Week on local radio stations.

Members of the Dardanelle

Rock Chapter will have a PowerPoint presentation available at the public library in Dardanelle and provide copies of a “Fun Facts” leaflet to patrons. The public library in Russellville will post the PowerPoint presentation and leaflet on the library’s Facebook page.

Judith Baker, regent of Dardanelle Rock Chapter, said Dardanelle has a unique connection to the signing of the Constitution. A man named David Brearley of New Jersey was one of the original signers of the document in 1787. Descendants of that Brearley family are credited with helping establish the city of Dardanelle in 1847, and in 1851, the family donated lands for the Brearley Cemetery just south of town.

Mara Cawein, regent of the General William Lewis Chapter in Morrilton, said, “We plan to have a display at the library and participate in a lunch-and-learn there to celebrate the occasion.”

Carolyn Marshall, regent of the Maria Van Buren Chapter in Clinton, said her DAR chapter will put up a display at Simmons Bank in Clinton.

Members of the Cadron Post, Dardanelle Rock, General William Lewis and Maria Van Buren DAR chapters will attend the Quapaw District Meeting and Constitution Day Luncheon on Sept. 23 at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church in Little Rock. Other chapters in the Quapaw District include Major Jacob Gray in Jacksonville; Captain Basil Gaither, Gilbert Marshall and Little Rock-Centennial, all in Little Rock; and Prudence Hall in North Little Rock.

NSDAR President Ann Dillon said DAR initiated the observance of Constitution Week in 1955, when the organization petitioned the U.S. 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 it into Public Law No. 915.

Dillon said the celebration’s goals are threefold: to encourage the study of the historical events that led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787; to inform people that the Constitution is the basis of America’s great heritage and the foundation of Americans’ way of life; and to emphasize U.S. citizens’ responsibility to protect, defend and preserve the Constitution.

“DAR has been the foremost advocate for the awareness, promotion and celebration of Constitution Week,” Dillon said. “This annual observance provides innumerable opportunities for educational initiatives and community outreach, two mission areas of crucial importance to the National Society’s work. By fostering knowledge of and appreciation for the Constitution and the inalienable rights it affords to all Americans, DAR helps to keep alive the memory of the men and women who secured our nation’s independence, whose bravery and sacrifice made possible the liberties we enjoy today.”

For more information about DAR and its programs, visit the website www.dar.org.