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Constitution Day
  September 14, 2006
Mike Stepanovich, 661/654-2456,,
or Jaclyn Loveless, 661/654-2138,

A California State University, Bakersfield political science professor will deliver a special Constitution Day lecture on Monday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. in Music Building 113 on the CSUB campus. The public is invited.

Dominque Apollon will discuss "The Founders, Michael Jackson, and the U.S. Constitution: Why...Why Is Our Political System Designed That Way."

"I really won't be talking too much about Michael Jackson," Apollon said, chuckling. "It's just a funny little title to give a hint about the broader subject of my lecture, which is human nature.

"The founders held very distinct views about human nature and its consequences for governance. Their vision impacted the design for the American political system. I'll be talking about some of the Federalist Papers, which discuss human nature and our political design; I'll also discuss some of the Constitution's critics at the time, known as the anti-federalists."

The Federalist Papers, principally written by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, "were campaign documents, really," Apollon continued. "They were part of the campaign to convince the American public to approve the Constitution. And there were no guarantees that it would be ratified or approved by the public. Hamilton himself was pessimistic."

But ratify it they did, on Sept. 17, 1787, and this Sunday marks the 219th anniversary of the ratification. The nationwide public celebration is scheduled Monday.

Constitution Day is the brainchild of U.S. Sen. Robert Byrd of West Virginia, whom, Apollon said, reputedly "keeps a copy of the Constitution in his pocket. He felt it was important for the American public, particularly those in universities and schools, to devote time to learn more about the Constitution. He's concerned about the widespread lack of knowledge about the Constitution, which is the core of our republic.

"I'm happy to do my part to lead a discussion, and help with furthering the understanding of the Constitution," Apollon said. "Hopefully my lecture will inspire and encourage people to do more research about the Constitution on their own."

For more information about Constitution Day, please go to Senator Byrd Website