Happy Constitution Day! The Constitution is 226 years old, and is the oldest written constitution still in use today. It is on permanent display at the National Archives in Washington, DC. You can see a high-res image and read a transcript of the Constitution here: http://go.usa.gov/D5VR
Top Five Facts about the Constitution!
Five: The Constitution has 4,543 words, including the signatures. It takes about 30 minutes to read.
Four: Two of the first 12 amendments submitted were rejected; the remaining ten became the Bill of Rights.
Three: The Chief Justice is mentioned in the Constitution, but the number of Justices is not specified.
Two: Only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed: the 18th (Prohibition).
One: The Constitution does not give us our rights and liberties, but it does guarantee them.
September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Learn more about the U.S. Constitution through programs, and resources from the National Archives:
Item From: General Records of the United States Government. (05/14/1787- 09/17/1787)
The Federal Convention convened on May 14, 1787 in Philadelphia’s Independence Hall to revise the problematic Articles of Confederation. Since only two states had delegations present, any substantive debate was postponed until a quorum of seven states was attained on May 25th. After exhaustive deliberation well into the middle of June, the Convention concluded that the Articles were not salvageable and needed to be replaced with something that represented their collective interests while ensuring their continued independence.
Through subsequent closed sessions, the delegates continually debated, drafted and redrafted the articles of this new Constitution until it resembled the one we have today. The main points of contention were how much power was apportioned to the Federal Government, how many Congressional representatives were allotted to each state, and whether these representatives would be directly elected by their constituents or appointed by their state legislatures.
This new Constitution was the cumulative result of many minds coming together to conceptualize and debate the future course of the country. Through subsequent generations it has been amended and reinterpreted many times, but its continued success stems from adherence to these early promises of representation and compromise.
“The reasons that so many immigrants came to America are the same reasons that each and every one of us should feel grateful for — freedom — freedom of religion — to escape poverty and oppression — a better future for our families. In short — opportunity.”
Although the National Archives Building was nearly completed in 1935, the Rotunda sat empty. The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were still at the Library of Congress.
Then, on December 13, 1952, an armored Marine Corps personnel carrier made its way down Constitution Avenue, accompanied by two light tanks, four servicemen carrying submachine guns, and a motorcycle escort. A color guard, ceremonial troops, the Army Band, and the Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps were also part of the procession. Members of all the military branches lined the street.
Inside the personnel carrier were six parchment documents. The records were in helium-filled glass cases packed inside wooden crates resting on mattresses.
The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were finally going to the National Archives.
September 17 is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. The National Archives is the permanent home of the U.S. Constitution.
Here we’ve compiled some resources from the National Archives and some of our partner organizations that you can use for teaching about the Constitution.
May 3rd is a Polish national and public holiday that celebrates the declaration of the Constitution of May 3, 1791. The festivities became an official holiday only in 1919, after Poland regained independence as the Second Polish Republic.
Today the 17th of May is the Norwegian constitution day.
Hurray for Norway! and to my Norwegian followers: Gratulerer med dagen!
The day for parades, ice cream, marching bands, traditional costumes and all the other fun stuff is here. Google is already celebrating it. For those who might be wondering about the history of this day can you have a look here.
According to federal law, September 17th is Constitution Day – a day that all federally financed educational and governmental institutions must teach about the Constitution.
When is the last time “We the People” read the Constitution—all 4400 words? How much do we “citizens” know about its original history, the need for a Bill of Rights, or the impact of the Fourteenth Amendment? And, perhaps most importantly, what is the document’s influence on our daily lives? If you are like most people, the answers are likely disheartening, as is evidenced by embarrassing test results about civic knowledge and a general ignorance that borders on constitutional illiteracy.
This constitutional illiteracy, and the apathy it seems to indicate, is odd, because the United States Constitution defines our national identity. In fact, this document’s pride of place in our cultural heritage is part of what makes the country unique: Constitutional values, and not race, ethnicity, or religion bind us together as a nation. We are “Americans” because of a shared belief system, and that belief system begins with those first, inspiring words etched in the Constitution.
So how do we make the Constitution relevant to our daily lives? How do we connect to the Constitution?
The first space shuttle built was supposed to be named Constitution. However, thanks to a successful petition, it was named Enterprise instead after the famous Constitution-class starship from Star Trek.