The 917 Society’s mission is to give Tennessee students a better understanding of the freedoms provided to them by the U.S. Constitution.
“Nothing is more important to our freedoms than providing our students with an intimate knowledge of the wisdom of our U.S. Constitution,” Crowe said. “It is the foundation upon which this nation is built and upon which all our laws rest. It is critical to our country’s future that students fully understand it and the many sacrifices made which put this amazing document in place.”
In the press release, Crowe said he is dedicating the 917 Society effort to the memory of World War II veteran and POW David Purner of Johnson City. Upon barely surviving the war, Purner dedicated his life to purchasing and personally delivering pocket constitutions to local students.
The organization’s name "917" comes from the date of the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
Crowe and the organization aspire to provide every 8th grader in the state with a copy of the U.S. Constitution as a “rite to passage” into American citizenship.
Sen. Crowe delivered the first round of contributions to Mary Jane Allen and her 8th-grade students at Jonesborough Middle School on Wednesday. The remainder of the more than 1,000 pocket constitutions will be delivered to 8th graders in the senatorial district represented by Crowe later this month.