Dramatic, Star-Studded Reading of Constitution


Contact: Nathan Richter or Peter Montgomery at People For the American Way Foundation

Email: [email protected]

Phone Number: 202/467-4999

Rare 1787 copy of Constitution, early Bills of Rights to be available for viewing

New York, NY – On the evening of September 1st, 2004, People For the American Way Foundation (PFAWF) will sponsor a reading of the U.S. Constitution, free to the public, in the historic Great Hall of Cooper Union. Some of the country’s leading figures from the worlds of film, art, politics, theater, music and sports will participate in reading portions of our founding document. Also participating are community activists and representatives from New York Police Department and New York Fire Department. It is sure to provide one of the most memorable sights of the convention week.

Attendees will also have the extraordinary opportunity to see up-close an exceedingly rare edition of the U.S. Constitution, a first printing of the third edition from 1787. Also available will be both House and the Senate versions of the Bill of Rights from the same time period.

“At a time when many of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution are under attack, this reading and viewing will help to remind the country and our leaders of their responsibility to uphold the principles that guide us as a nation,” said Barbara Handman, PFAWF Senior Vice President and the lead organizer of the event. “We are not just gathering celebrities here, we are trying to make this document live.”

Cooper Union is a particularly apt location for this event. In addition to being just blocks away from the site of the RNC convention, it is also where President Lincoln gave an 1860 speech against slavery that helped thrust him into national prominence. By adhering to principle and arguing that the Constitution gave the federal government the power to prohibit the expansion of slavery, Lincoln demonstrated his willingness to risk his own political fortunes to stand up for the highest constitutional ideals.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 1, 2004 beginning @ 5 pm

WHERE: The Great Hall at Cooper Union in New York City, entrance on 7th Street & 3rd Avenue


Alec Baldwin Judge Jack Weinstein
Victor Navasky Kathleen Turner
Blair Brown Joel Grey
Bob Balaban John Guare
Bill Irwin Khalia Ali
Martina Navratilova Richard Gere
Chuck Close Mandy Patinkin
Roger Rosenblatt Walter Bernstein
Senator Robert Byrd James Naughton
Sidney Lumet Christine Baranski
Sam Waterston B.D. Wong
Aasif Mandvi Officer Tim Duffy
Walter Cronkite Congressman Robert Menendez

More Speakers T.B.A.