January 19, 2017

45 On 45: Show Us How You Interpret The First Amendment

By Gabe Bullard

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.”

–The First Amendment to the United States Constitution

The First Amendment, 1A‘s namesake, is 45 words long. Donald Trump is the 45th President of the United States. A vinyl record single spins at 45 revolutions per minute. We’re combining all of these with a new project called 45 on 45.

In the first 45 days of the new administration, we want to create a new single out of the First Amendment, something that shows the continued relevance and importance of the five freedoms it enshrines — speech, religion, press, assembly, petition — to the country and the world.

Because the First Amendment protects free expression, you can interpret those 45 words however you’d like: You can set them to music, make a mural, or do something we haven’t yet even imagined. Participate solo or with your friends. Enlist your high school drama club. Grab your college newspaper staff. Convince your debate team to try. Recruit your children’s glee club or your adult choir. All we ask is that the 45 original words of the First Amendment are in it somewhere. You can’t protect the First Amendment if you don’t know the First Amendment, and 1A wants to hear how you emphasize these 45 words.

Send us your interpretations on Twitter with the hashtag #45on45, or email them to 1A@wamu.org with 45on45 in the subject line. Until March 6, we’ll be featuring some of our favorites online and on air.

45 on 45 was created by listener Jan Zauzmer in conjunction with 1A.

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