Constitution Day

Chairman’s Remarks

Dr. William Adams, NEH Chairman

On February 12, 2015, NEH Chairman, William “Bro” Adams, was an invited speaker at the event, “Lincoln’s Legacy: The 13th Amendment, 150 Years Later” at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. His speech, recorded in video and in written transcription, speaks eloquently to the enduring importance of the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments to the American Constitution for the political, civic, and social lives of all Americans.

On this Constitution Day, in the sesquicentennial year of the 13th Amendment, EDSITEment would like to offer you Chairman Adams’s thoughts on the importance of the humanities to our national conversation around this founding document and to the National Endowment’s new initiative The Common Good: The Humanities in the Public Square, which seeks to bring the humanities directly to bear upon the grand challenges that we face in contemporary American life.

[Chairman Adams] Good evening and thank you so much for being with us here tonight. I want to thank and congratulate Jeff Rosen on this extraordinary initiative and thank him as well for inviting me to be here. I’m honored in several ways to be among the distinguished people you will hear from tonight: wonderful company—Sandra Day O’Connor in virtual space, and here physically, David Rubinstein and the distinguished panelists you’ll hear from in a minute, and our associations, secondly, with the broader project about which Jeff briefly spoke. Read more . . .

—William D. Adams
National Endowment for the Humanities

Photo Credit: Fred Fields, courtesy of Colby College