Most agencies are planning some kind of program to commemorate the bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution, according to a report by the Congressional Research Service.
It is expected that the president, the chief justice of the United States and the speaker of the House will participate in ceremonies at the National Archives in September 1987, opening an 87-hour vigil honoring the Constitution.
The Archives, where the original Constitution is on display, will be the focus of a number of activities, including seminars on constitutional issues.
It has prepared four documentary history projects on the years when the U.S. government was created. These include a documentary history of the Supreme Court, the First Congress, the first federal election and the ratification of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. The first two will be at George Washington University, the others at the University of Wisconsin.
The National Endowment for the Humanities has set up a special bicentennial office to coordinate its activities.
Its programs will include:
Grants for projects focusing on seven themes: the history of the period, constitutional principles, the Constitution and the world, individual rights, the character of democracy, American federalism, and political institutions and constitutional interpretation.
A special fellowship program for college professors and independent scholars that will pay $27,500 for six to 12 months of full-time study and research.
Long-range collaborative projects designed to revive out-of-print or hard-to-find publications on the American political system.
A rundown on other agencies:
Senate: Plans to prepare a comprehensive biographical guide to past and present members of the Senate, compile a guide to old Senate records at the Archives, microfilm Senate records from the first 14 Congresses and develop a touring exhibit.
House: Plans a touring exhibit on the history of the House, a 200th-anniversary edition of the Biographical Directory of the American Congress (last published in 1971), an illustrated history of the House, a nationwide survey of libraries and archives that hold the papers of former members, audio-visual material on the history of the House, and a quarterly newsletter, "History of the House."
Supreme Court: Plans exhibits on the court's role in interpreting the Constitution and on the drafting of the Constitution.
Library of Congress: Plans to publish "The Records of the Federal Convention of 1787."
Smithsonian Institution: Plans to revive the 1976 exhibit "After the Revolution: Everyday Life in 18th-Century America" and sponsor a major international symposium, "Our Constitutional Roots," and traveling exhibits.
National Park Service: Is working with local groups to develop plans for Independence National Historic Park in Philadelphia, the site of the Constitutional convention. A research group will compile a "Daybook" of entries from the convention and a comprehensive, computerized bibliography of works about the convention and its participants.
U.S. Marshals Service: Plans a museum to commemorate the agency's 200-year history.
Census Bureau: Plans to survey socioeconomic changes in the United States that were influenced by the Constitution.
U.S. Information Agency: Plans a program of traveling scholars, educators and students under the banner "Project '87."