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Constitution Day Guide

Consitution Day is celebrated on September 17 of each year.

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Constitution Day: September 17, 2017

hand-written constitutionIn 2004 Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia passed a law designating September 17th as Constitution Day. Constitution Day is a federal observance that recognizes the signing of the United States Constitution. On September 17, 1787 the Constitution was signed by the delegates to the United States Constitutional Convention at the State House in Philadelphia, the same place where the Declaration of Independence had been signed 11 years earlier.  For four months, 55 delegates from several states met to frame a Constitution for a federal republic that would last into "remote futurity." 

Fast Facts

  • The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.
  • Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.
  • The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
  • Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first ten amendments became known as The Bill of Rights
  • Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39 signed and 3 delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing his country in France and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.
  • Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving thanks" for the Constitution.
  • At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.
  • More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty three have gone to the states to be ratified and twenty seven have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.