“It was a big treasure hunt is what it was,” explained Ken Foss as he uncovered historic artifacts on a table in his Mt. Morris business, “this was the icing on the cake here.”
From wooden crates came a big discovery for Foss.
“This is we the people,” said Foss as he uncovered an original lithograph plate of the US Constitution created by a Czechoslovakian immigrant nearly a century ago. Foss and his business partner made the discovery decades later while cleaning out a warehouse in Kingston.
A historical gold-mine: plates of both the constitution and, “this is the only one in the world, this is the 1903 negative of the Declaration of Independence.”
That negative was used by Theodore Ohman to craft 11-thousand prints, and by Foss to spread patriotism.
“[Ohman’s] goal was to have these in all of the schools across America and it’s kind of cool to pick up his dream,” said Foss.
So to kick off 2016, Foss has started the ‘Million Constitution Challenge’. It offers up buyers a chance to purchase a digitally photographed version of Ohman’s constitution and Declaration.
“For every constitution that we sell, you’re also going to get a declaration with the constitution, and then we’re going to give you another set to give to a school, to a veteran, to a library,” as Foss rattled off the opportunities. “We’d like to sell a million constitutions and give a million constitutions away.”
Oregon resident Carol Daniels is Foss’s first buyer.
“People that came over were very sincere and conscious about what our country was going to be,” said Daniels as she stared at her copies. Daniels plans to donate both. She wants one to rotate at local businesses in the area, and the Mt. Morris Junio High School to take the other. Exactly where Foss says Ohman would’ve wanted it to go, and where he believes Daniel’s copy and others need to go.
“I don’t think the younger generation is taught enough to appreciate it,” said Daniels, “and that’s why I would like to see these in the schools.”
“If anyone has any enthusiasm about the history of their country, the education of their children in schools, they should consider doing this because it’s well worth every cent you put into it,” said Daniels.
Click here for a link to Foss’ website where you can make a purchase toward the ‘Million Constitution Challenge’. Let Eyewitness News Anchor Christie Nicks know who you donated or gifted the second copy to on her Facebook page.