I went up to Philadelphia to join in the celebration of the 200th birthday of the U.S. Constitution. It's an event that not many people in the country are paying attention to, particularly since Jimmy and Tammy Bakker are celebrating their wedding anniversary and garnering all the headlines.
It's amazing how little we know about the Constitution.
For example, I found out that Independence Hall was originally constructed by the William Penn Insurance Company, and the Liberty Bell was rung every time a horse and carriage went over a cliff. The insurance company agreed to loan its property to the sovereign states on the condition that it would get to write Medicaid policies if a nation was ever born.
This is not known: The first Constitution was written as a TV sitcom for Bill Cosby. After all three networks turned it down, the writers decided to sell it to the United States as a possible blueprint for the law of the land.
This is not known: The second version of the Constitution was shredded by a young secretary who worked for a Colonel North on George Washington's National Security staff. When asked why she did it, the secretary said: "Ollie told me that sometimes there are things higher than the written law."
This was the smoking gun that Congress had been looking for and they demanded North testify.
It is not generally known, but Ollie said, "You can't call me as a witness because there is no Constitution that says you have the right to."
The convention delegates immediately passed a Constitution that they proudly showed to North. He read it and said, "I'll take this one here."
"What are you taking?" Alexander Hamilton wanted to know.
"The Fifth Amendment. The Founding Fathers wouldn't want me to incriminate myself, would they?"
Rufus King, the delegate from Massachusetts, was furious. "Who's the wise guy who inserted the Fifth?" he asked.
"I did," said Robert Morris of Pennsylvania. "But there is a loophole. We can always make North testify by giving him limited immunity."
"Aw," said Charles Pinckney of South Carolina, "this Constitution is full of loopholes. I'll vote for capital punishment and we'll hang North on the square. It's the kind of thing they would do in Philadelphia."
"The Constitution says you can't do that," said James McHenry of Maryland. "Where is the Constitution?"
"It's gone!" someone yelled.
"I know nothing about it," said George Washington. "But if someone on my staff took it I'm sure he had a very good reason."
It is not widely known, but Roger Sherman of Connecticut came stomping in and cried, "I have just found out where the Constitution is. It's in a numbered bank account in Switzerland."
"What's it doing there?"
"It was deposited by General Secord, who has been selling guns to the Indians."
"Let's go through Secord's house and find the number."
"We can't. That's unlawful search and seizure."
"Why did we put unlawful search and seizure into the Constitution?"
"Because we needed some boilerplate for the first page."