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September 15, 2022

SIU Morris Library display commemorates Constitution Day

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. — An exhibit that chronicles that controversy surrounding the appointment of Roland W. Burris to the U.S. Senate in 2009 is available for viewing as Southern Illinois University Carbondale celebrates Constitution Day on Saturday, Sept. 17.

The exhibit from Morris Library’s Special Collections Research Center “Conflict and the Constitution” looks at the controversy of Burris’ appointment to fill the vacancy created by the election of then-U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, as president in 2008. The exhibit is in the Hall of Presidents and Chancellors. Burris, a former Illinois comptroller, attorney general and SIU Carbondale alumnus, filled the seat until a special election in 2010.

Walter Ray, the library’s political papers archivist, said the exhibit is on display from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday during the fall semester.

“From this episode we can learn about how the U. S. Constitution helps shape and resolve political conflict,” Ray said.

Constitution Day marks the anniversary of delegates to the Philadelphia Convention completing and signing the U.S. Constitution in 1787. All educational institutions that receive federal funding must annually deliver programs on the U.S. Constitution.