Retired Supreme Court justice to visit Anchorage

Sandra Day O'Connor will promote online civics program.

Associated PressAugust 13, 2012 

Sandra Day O'Connor, the first woman justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, will be in Anchorage for a series of appearances on Sept. 5.

The purpose of O'Connor's visit is to promote her iCivic program, said Barbara Hood of the Alaska Court System, which is sponsoring O'Connor's trip along with the Alaska Bar Association.

iCivics is an interactive online program that O'Connor founded "to promote civic education around the country," Hood said. "She was concerned that young people didn't seem to understand how our government works."

The program includes games for the judicial, legislative and executive branches of the government and is designed primarily for a middle school audience, Hood said. "But other people also have fun with it. There've been judges who go into classrooms and play the games with students."

O'Connor will attend an iCivics session in the computer lab at Central Middle School as part of her trip. Central was chosen in a drawing from other area schools that had taken part in the iCivics program.

O'Connor is scheduled to speak at Central at 9:50 a.m. and at West High School at noon. Both school events are by invitation only, Hood said, and not open to the public.

The public at large can attend a reception at 5 p.m. at the Dena'ina Civic and Convention Center. O'Connor will present remarks on "Revitalizing Civic Education in America." Admission to that event will be $49. Those attending must preregister by Aug. 29. Registration can be done online at alaskabar.org. Click on the calendar, go to Sept. 5 and follow the prompts.

O'Connor was nominated to the Supreme Court by President Reagan in 1981. She retired in 2006.

She previously visited Alaska. She was a guest at the bicentennial celebration of the Constitution in Anchorage in 1987 and at the state Bar Association convention in Juneau in 2005. Her only public appearances on this trip will be in Anchorage, Hood said.

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