On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.
What is Constitution Day?
Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd passed a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document. Senator Byrd once said, "Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world." He added the Constitution Day clause to his 2004 federal spending bill because he believed that all citizens should know about their rights as outlined in the Constitution. This clause mandates the teaching of the Constitution in schools that receive federal funds, as well as federal agencies. Visit the National Constitution Center website and learn more about Constitution Day.
Did you know?
- The Constitution was amended as recently as 1992.
- The Constitution has only been amended 17 times since the Bill of Rights was ratified in 1791.
- The Constitution originally made the 2nd-place finisher in the presidential election the Vice President.
- The Constitution originally allowed states to appoint their senators.
- The Constitution does not specify any requirements for being a Supreme Court Justice.
- The Constitution originally required the House to have one representative for every 30,000 people.
- The Constitution gives the president the power to both convene and adjourn Congress.
- The 9th Amendment says we may have rights that are not mentioned in the Constitution.
- The 21st Amendment is the only one that specifically overturns an earlier amendment (the 18th).
Test Your Knowledge
Religion, Press, Speech, Assembly, Petition.
Article 1, Section 8.
Confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.