happy constitution day“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure 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…” –Preamble to the Constitution

September 17 marks the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. The notion of commemorating this historic day was first thought up by patriotic individuals at the turn of the 20th century, including Calvin Coolidge and John D. Rockefeller. To celebrate this big anniversary, we’ve compiled 13 interesting facts, representing the 13 original colonies:

  1. When the Constitution was signed, the United States population was around 4 million. In 2017, it is now over 326 million.
  2. Since the Constitution was signed 230 years ago, there have only been 27 amendments approved and added.
  3. There were only 3 delegates at the Constitutional Convention that were dissenters.
  4. The delegates met in Philadelphia for 4 months before the Constitution was approved!
  5. Since 1952, the Constitution has been on display in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C. Currently, all four pages are displayed behind protective glass framed with titanium. To preserve the parchment's quality, the cases contain argon gas and are kept at 67 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 40 percent.
  6. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are celebrated together on September 17. The day commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787 and is dedicated to all U.S. citizens. Additionally, Citizenship Day specifically recognizes all those who have become U.S. citizens either by birth or naturalization.
  7. At 4,543 words, the Constitution is the shortest written document adopted by any major government in the world.
  8. It is also the oldest written Constitution of any major government in the world.
  9. 9 is the number of states, out of 13, required to ratify the Constitution.
  10. The first ten amendments are collectively known as the Bill of Rights.
  11. Since its conception in 1787, there have been 11,372 proposed amendments proposed in Congress.
  12. Because of his poor health, Benjamin Franklin needed help to sign the Constitution. As he did so, tears streamed down his face. At 81 years old, Benjamin Franklin was also the oldest framer to sign the Constitution.
  13. Initially, there was a disagreement within the Constitutional Convention as to how the president should be addressed. There were supporters of the title “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties”. Eventually (and thankfully) their compromise was the title that we all know as “President of the United States.”

 

Constitution and Citizenship Day may typically be overlooked thanks to the more known, patriotic holiday of the Fourth of July. While the Fourth of July is special in that we are commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence, and thus our freedom as a nation from Great Britain, this really just sparked a high fatality, long lasting Revolutionary War, leaving our young and very unprepared country underprivileged and struggling as a new nation without a guided government or democratic direction. This is why the signing and ratifying of the Constitution is such a major deal! The signing of our “supreme law of the land” on September 17, 1787 was the key to the representative democracy that still stands today.

Happy Constitution Day and Citizenship Day!

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