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Constitution Day and Constitution Week

A More Perfect Union: The Creation of the U.S. Constitution

Our United States Constitution was created during the long hot summer of 1787, at the State House in Philadelphia. From the Charters of Freedom, A New World Is At Hand, in the National Archives:

May 25, 1787. Freshly spread dirt covered the cobblestone street in front of the Pennsylvania State House, protecting the men inside from the sound of assing carriages and carts. Guards stood at the entrances to ensure that the curious were kept at a distance. Robert Morris of Pennsylvania, the “financier” of the Revolution, opened the proceedings with a nomination–Gen. George Washington for the presidency of the Constitutional Convention. The vote was unanimous. With characteristic ceremonial modesty, the general expressed his embarrassment at his lack of qualifications to preside over such an august body and apologized for any errors into which he might fall in the course of its deliberations.

To many of those assembled, especially to the small, boyish-looking, 36-year-old delegate from Virginia, James Madison, the general’s mere presence boded  well for the convention, for the illustrious Washington gave to the gathering an air of importance and legitimacy But his decision to attend the convention had been an agonizing one. The Father of the Country had almost remained at home.

Suffering from rheumatism, despondent over the loss of a brother, absorbed in the management of Mount Vernon, and doubting that the convention would accomplish very much or that many men of stature would attend, Washington delayed accepting the invitation to attend for several months. Torn between the hazards of lending his reputation to a gathering perhaps doomed to failure and the chance that the public would view his reluctance to attend with a critical eye, the general finally agreed to make the trip. James Madison was pleased.

Continue reading the story at Archives.gov.

The Daughters of the American Revolution have long promoted the Constitution, and in 1929 dedicated their Constitution Hall in tribute to the Constitution. In 1955, the DAR petitioned Congress to set aside the week of September 17-23 each year, to be dedicated for the observance of Constitution Week. The resolution was later adopted by the U.S. Congress and signed into public law on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.  Saturday, the DAR will host ceremonies all across the United States to honor and read the U.S. Constitution.  The aims of the DAR during the Constitution Week celebration are to:

  • Emphasize citizens’ responsibilities for protecting and defending the Constitution.
  • Inform people that the Constitution is the basis for America’s great heritage and the foundation for our way of life.
  • Encourage the study of the historical events which led to the framing of the Constitution in September 1787.

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See here, for a splendid recitation of the Preamble to the Constitution.

See also Constitution Day

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“We the People … “

Here’s your assignment: Memorize the Preamble to the Constitution.

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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.

September 16 is Constitution Day, so I think it would be nice if We the Posterity said the Preamble together. Noon—if that works for you. But anytime is fine.

I was never good at memorizing things, so I will use my standard procedure and write it out in longhand (there’s a quaint old-fashioned word for you—kind of like posterity) over and over again until I can say it from memory.

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The Daily Flag News—September 19, 2007

Today’s news is brought to you with limited interruption and without commentary.

Monday, September 17th, was Constitution Day as reported in The Daily Flag. With the passing of a law in 2004, U.S. Schools are to present programs about the Constitution on that day.

These stories are recaps of some of a few schools participating in the program. I’m glad to see them teaching about this important document.

Constitution Day & Flag Etiquette – News – WTVQ 36 – Lexington, Kentucky
vfw-lexingtonky.jpgTwo hundred and twenty years ago Monday our nation’s Constitution was signed.

So in honor of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, students at Winburn Middle School are paying tribute to the symbol of our country.

Representatives from the Veterans of Foreign Wars helped teach students flag etiquette.

They also retired the school’s torn and faded flag, and raised a new one donated by the VFW.

Tulsa World : Constitution Day lets students wave the flag
tulsaworldconstitutionday.jpgMcKinley Elementary School celebrated the 220th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Monday with help from the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 1.

Students received a primer on the five freedoms protected by the First Amendment and a refresher course on the Pledge of Allegiance at a morning assembly.

Sara Amberg, educational services coordinator for the Tulsa World, a sponsor of the event, broke down the freedoms of religion, speech, press, assembly and petition in language the students could understand and with the help of photographs to which they could relate.

Carroll County Times: Westminster, Maryland
carrolcountyconstitutionday.jpgHAMPSTEAD — North Carroll Middle School’s sixth-grade class became a human flag Monday.

The demonstration was the culmination of a series of lessons on the preamble to the Constitution, “The Star-Spangled Banner” and the Constitution that gives students the history behind Constitution Day.

Two hundred twenty years ago, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution of the United States of America.

A law establishing Sept. 17 as a holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Sen. Robert Byrd, D-W.Va.

Celebration Helps Defray Flag Controversy: North Carolina
hobbtonisdconstitutionday.jpgA celebration of the U.S. Legislature and Constitution held yesterday at Hobbton Middle School was significant given the flag controversy last week at neighboring Hobbton High School, Sampson County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Stewart Hobbs said.

Monday’s event, organized in August and featuring U.S. Rep. Bob Etheridge, came almost a week to the day after some Hobbton students were asked on Sept. 11 to change or cover T-shirts depicting the American flag.

The controversy stemmed from the school’s earlier ban on apparel featuring flags of any nation following allegations that some students were wearing foreign flags as a sign of gang affiliation. The ban garnered national attention.

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Most students draw a blank on Constitution Day

Yes, today is Constitution Day, a day set aside to learn about the Constitution of the United States of America. On September 17, 1787, the members of the Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution, and in 2004 Congress established Constitution Day to commemorate the historic day.

Most students draw a blank on Constitution Day | Chron.com – Houston Chronicle
WASHINGTON — Constitution Day is here and many teenagers know little about commemorating the document’s signing.

A study being released Monday by a foundation that focuses on journalism and the First Amendment found that 51 percent of high school students questioned had not heard of the day when they are required by law to learn about the Constitution.

The occasion is usually observed on or around Sept. 17, the day the document was adopted in 1787.

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