UA Journey

History of Constitution Hall

In November 1955, some 55 elected territorial delegates assembled in the new building to draft a constitution for Alaska, with the hopes of reviving the stalled statehood movement. The delegates were able to draft a constitution written by and for the people rather than special interests because no lobbyists were present. The delegates spent 75 days that winter working on the document in the Student Union Building and signed it, in what is today Signers' Hall, on Feb. 8, 1956. The Student Union Building was rededicated later in 1956 as Constitution Hall in honor of the document created there.
Congress ratified the state constitution in 1958. President Eisenhower signed it in January 1959, and Alaska was admitted as the 49th state in the union.
 


Sources: “The Cornerstone on College Hill,” by Terrence Cole; “1959-60 University of Alaska Catalog;” Facilities Services Web page, 2002-03 Construction Overview; University Relations Tour Script 2002

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