The United States Constitution

The History of Constitution Day


Citizens of the United States have celebrated Independence Day and Presidents’ Day since the 1870s, and in 2005, the nation began to celebrate Constitution Day. Also know as Citizenship Day, Constitution Day is an American holiday honoring the day 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution. This historic date was September 17, 1787.

In 1939, the New York City news tycoon William Randolph Hearst suggested the creation of a holiday to celebrate American citizenship. Not only did Hearst have a wide readership of his many daily newspapers, but he had significant political connections, and in 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” President Harry Truman present the resolution, setting aside this date in honor of the American people, especially those who had recently become citizens of the United States.

The holiday quickly gained support and popularity through the efforts of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. Additionally, in 1944, Hearst sponsored a 16 minute film titled I Am an American, which was featured in American theaters, and subsequently became a top news story. It was an immediate hit. Within 5 years, the governors of the existing forty-eight states had issued state proclamations in agreement with the national holiday.

One of the most significant individuals in the development of the holiday was a Louisville, Ohio resident named Olga T. Weber. In 1952, she petitioned the leaders of the municipality to change the date of the holiday to correspond with the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Once they agreed to it, she didn’t stop there, and took her requests to the State, who also approved. In 1953, Olga went to United States Congress, and both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved her requests. The original resolution was overturned and a new law took its place. After Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it, the “I am an American Day” observation became “Citizenship Day” and moved to September 17.

Louisville, Ohio was the first city in the United States to celebrate Citizenship Day on September 17, 1952.

Another important figure in the creation of Constitution Day is Louise Leigh. Leigh, after taking a course in Constitutional History with the National Center for Constitutional Studies, was inspired to spread her newfound love of the Constitution throughout the country. In 1997, she founded a nonprofit organization called Constitution Day, Inc. to help encourage recognition of the importance of this national holiday.

Through her efforts, Constitution Day became an official holiday alongside Citizenship Day in 2004 when, with the help of support from Senator Robert Byrd, the “Constitution Day” amendment to the Omnibus Spending Bill passed. In May 2005, the United States Department of Education backed the law when it announced that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind.

The two allowances of the law were that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational materials concerning the Constitution on 17th of September and that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every Constitution Day.

 

The Constitution


Constitution Day, along with Independence Day and Presidents’ Day, is an important part of the cultural heritage of the United States of America, because it recognizes the value of the American experiment, and the success of a nation of free people whose rights and liberties are protected by a written Constitution.

The Constitution consists of a preamble, seven original articles, twenty-seven amendments, and a paragraph certifying its enactment by the constitutional convention.

The Constitution of the United States of America is the supreme law of the United States. It is the foundation and source of the legal authority underlying the existence of the United States of America and the Federal Government of the United States. It provides the framework for the organization of the United States Government and for the relationship of the Federal government to the States, to citizens, and to all people within the United States.

The Constitution defines the three main branches of government: a legislature, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate; an executive branch led by the President; and a judicial branch headed by the Supreme Court. The Constitution outlines the powers and duties of each branch.

The United States Constitution was adopted on September 17, 1787, 224 years ago, by the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and ratified by conventions in each U.S. state in the name of “The People”. The Constitution has been amended twenty-seven times; the first ten amendments are known as the Bill of Rights.

The United States Constitution is the shortest and oldest written constitution in the world.

The Constitution has a central place in United States law and political culture. The handwritten, original document is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, D.C.

Articles of the Constitution


The Constitution consists of a preamble, seven original articles, twenty-seven amendments, and a paragraph certifying its enactment by the constitutional convention.

Preamble: Statement of purpose

The Preamble states:

” We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the Common Defense, promote the General Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America. ”