Constitution Day

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:

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Two: Only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed: the 18th (Prohibition).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.

For more Constitution myth busting, read today’s blog post:


Happy 227th #ConstitutionDay!

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:

Have you ever been to the usnatarchives to see the Constitution in person?  

Bonus question - have you ever slept over in the same room as the Constitution?


Constitution of the United States

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.”

Celebrate Constitution Day with Chana Sangkagalo’s story of becoming an American citizen. And if you’re eligible, commit to becoming a citizen today, or help others who are ready to take this step.

President James Madison is coming to Brooklyn Federal Court — or at least the actor who plays the nation’s fourth President in the Broadway smash “Hamilton.”

Okieriete (Oak) Onaodowan will be the keynote speaker at the courthouse naturalization ceremony next week, it was announced Wednesday.

Onaodowan, the son of Nigerian immigrants, is the star attraction at the Sept. 16 ceremony which also commemorates Constitution Day, the day the U.S. Constitution was signed Sept. 17, 1787.

“What better way to celebrate Constitution Day than by naturalizing our country’s newest citizens who have given up so much to embrace the freedoms and rights that our Constitution guarantees,” Chief Judge Dora Irizarry told The Daily News.


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.

Read the full story on the Prologue blog.

Resources for Teaching about the Constitution

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.

More via Education Updates » Resources for Teaching about the Constitution


August 18th 1920: 19th Amendment ratified

On this day in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, thus enshrining women’s right to vote. The suffragette campaign stretched back into the nineteenth century, with the Seneca Falls Convention of 1848 listing male denial of women’s ‘inalienable right’ to vote as a crime against women. The focus on suffrage was promoted by the actions of feminist leaders like Susan B. Anthony, who was arrested in 1872 for voting in a presidential election. After the setback of the Civil War and the division of the feminist movement over issues of race and Reconstruction, feminist groups lobbied Congress for a constitutional amendment, which was first introduced in 1878 and defeated in 1886. The focus then shifted to state governments, with 22 states adopting female suffrage before 1919, and marches and pickets raising awareness of the cause. The suffragette movement was boosted by the involvement of women in the war effort during the First World War, and a proposed amendment was introduced in 1918, with the support of President Woodrow Wilson. This first attempt failed, but another amendment was eventually passed by Congress in June 1919, and narrowly ratified by the required number of states on August 18th 1920. The Southern states firmly opposed the amendment, and, one state short of ratification, it came down to Tennessee. Harry Burn, a 23-year-old state legislator in Tennessee, was convinced by his mother to break the tie and vote for the amendment, thus securing the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment; Burn declared that “a good boy always does what his mother asks him to do.” In the 1920 election, eight million American women voted for the first time. 

“The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.”

95 years ago

In honor of Constitution Day, we are featuring our lesson plan Teaching Six Big Ideas in the Constitution. In this lesson, students analyze the text of the Constitution in a variety of ways, examine primary sources to identify their relationship to its central ideas, and debate the core constitutional principles as they relate to today’s political issues. Give it a try and let us know what you think!