The Freedom Shrine is an impressive, permanently mounted collection of 30 of the most important and historic American documents, including the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States and the Gettysburg Address. They show our nation's youth the strength and courage of their forefathers by allowing them to read, with their own eyes, the immortal words of inspired Americans who so decisively changed the course of history.
Exchange would like to see a Freedom Shrine installed in every junior and senior high school in the nation. Freedom Shrines have also found places of honor in universities, libraries, state capitols, airports, city halls and other public places where they can be studied and admired. To view a virtual Freedom Shrine, visit the Virtual Freedom Shrine website, hosted by the Exchange Club of Salem, N.H.
List of Freedom Shrine Documents
To order the 20-piece Freedom Shrine click here.
To order the 30-piece Freedom Shrine click here.
To view sample speeches for a Freedom Shrine Dedication click here.
To view a sample program of a Freedom Shrine Dedication Ceremony click here.
Developed by the National Exchange Club, the Freedom Shrine originated from the Freedom Train that toured the nation in 1947 carrying an exhibit of historic documents. The purpose of the Freedom Shrine is twofold. It puts before young Americans proof that the freedom and greatness we enjoy today were not purchased easily and reminds them that these gifts must be cherished and protected. Painstakingly researched to guarantee absolute authenticity, the 28 historical American documents that comprise the Shrine were carefully chosen to exemplify the beginnings of our nation and those subsequent turning points of importance which shaped our national character and eminence. The documents of the Shrine, although culled from the past, represent foundation stones which permit the present, as we know it, to exist and the future, as we dream it, to be attainable.
Thousands of Shrines have been dedicated throughout the United States and Puerto Rico in universities, libraries, schools, state capitals, city halls and at American outposts scattered throughout the world.
The Shrine is a display of historical documents photographically reproduced from the originals and permanently laminated to individual non-warping plaques. It is used by teachers, students, study groups and other clubs to further study American history. Exchange prints a study tool called the Freedom Shrine Documents Textbook which contains the texts of the documents of the Shrine. It can be used to inspire essay and speech contests, and to prepare for the Milestones of Freedom quiz. For more information on Freedom Shrines, request a free kit from your National Headquarters.
Although the Shrine is an exclusive project of Exchange Clubs, they could not have accomplished the task alone. Hundreds of businesses, industries and private individuals have provided financial assistance. They have helped to buttress the foundation stones of America by planting the seeds of our heritage in young minds to ensure a rich harvest of citizenship in the future.
The Shrine is a beneficial community relations project. It provides a company with an opportunity to present a community with a gift of value and prestige. A cosponsor shares the spotlight of public attention during the ceremonial dedication of the Shrine. The name of the cosponsor can be permanently displayed with the Shrine on a bronze plaque.
For more information on how to secure cosponsors in your community, refer to the publication titled "An American Partnership: The Freedom Shrine Cosponsorship Program," that is included in the Freedom Shrine kit.
The Milestones of Freedom Quiz is a great program to implement after your club has dedicated or rededicated a Freedom Shrine in your community.
The set of 50 multiple choice questions is based on Freedom Shrine documents. There is no cost to the students, parents or schools. Youth receive a book entitled "The Freedom Shrine Documents Text Book" which contains the printed texts of all of the 28 historic American documents displayed on the Freedom Shrine and, in some cases, the entire texts of some documents which are only partially displayed. The book is theirs to keep.
Each student takes the Milestones of Freedom Quiz and then Exchangites grade them. The winners can be recognized at your next club meeting. Prizes of a liberty bell medallion (sold by the Supply Department) or a U.S. savings bond can be awarded to the winners.