A More Perfect Union: How Critical Presidential Elections Reshaped the Constitution
In an election year, you can’t pass up the Harry S. Truman Library and Museum’s special exhibition “A More Perfect Union,” available until January 1, from 9am-5pm at 500 West U.S. Highway 24 in Independence. It’s just a short drive from your hotel and is the perfect predecessor to the November election. The way we vote today has little in common with how George Washington became president in 1789. However, the Constitution which defined the procedures has changed minimally since then.
The first 10 amendments of the Bill of Rights in 1791 have experienced just 225 ratifications and 17 additions to the amendments since then. Still, the U.S. has changed to the extreme, yet the Constitution remains durable. In celebration of the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights, the exhibit looks at the elections today and how they interact with the amendments.
How did some of our past presidents change the election process? Lincoln was the catalyst for the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments while Roosevelt and Wilson were the kickstarters for the 16ththrough 19th ratifications. The 1800 election of Jefferson was the springboard for the 12th amendments and Roosevelt was the inspiration for the 22nd.
The exhibit is part of the museum admission, so carve out a full day of exploration to really see it all!