Constitution Day 🌠 Open Thread πŸŒ 



When Constitution Day falls on a weekend or on another holiday, schools and other institutions unofficially observe the holiday on an adjacent weekday. Thus Constitution Day 2016Β is generally observed on Friday, September 16.

The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004. Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day”.

In addition to renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.

In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind. This holiday is not observed by granting time off work for federal employees.

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.

Fascinating Facts about the U.S. Constitution

The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world.”

Of the spelling errors in the Constitution, Pensylvania above the signers names is probably the most glaring.

Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution. He was in France during the Convention, where he served as the U.S. minister. John Adams was serving as the U.S. minister to Great Britain during the Constitutional Convention and did not attend either.

The Constitution was penned by Jacob Shallus, A Pennsylvania General Assembly clerk, for $30 ($802 today).

Since 1952, the Constitution has been on display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. 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.

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17, the anniversary of the day the framers signed the document.

The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens, and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924.

James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” was one of the first to arrive in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. He arrived in early May, bearing the blueprint for the new Constitution.

Of the forty-two delegates who attended most of the meetings, thirty-nine actually signed the Constitution. Edmund Randolph and George Mason of Virginia and Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts refused to sign due in part due to the lack of a bill of rights.

When it came time for the states to ratify the Constitution, the lack of any bill of rights was the primary sticking point.

The Great Compromise saved the Constitutional Convention, and, probably, the Union. Authored by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman, it called for proportional representation in the House, and one representative per state in the Senate (this was later changed to two.) The compromise passed 5-to-4, with one state, Massachusetts, divided.

Patrick Henry was elected as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, but declined, because he smelt a rat.

Because of his poor health, Benjamin Franklin needed help to sign the Constitution. As he did so, tears streamed down his face.

Gouverneur Morris was largely responsible for the wording of the Constitution, although there was a Committee of Style formed in September 1787.

The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81).

The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (26).

When the Constitution was signed, the United States population was 4 million. It is now more than 322 million. Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city, with 40,000 inhabitants.

A proclamation by President George Washington and a congressional resolution established the first national Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1789. The reason for the holiday was to give thanks for the new Constitution.

The first time the formal term “The United States of America” was used was in the Declaration of Independence.

It took one hundred days to actually “frame” the Constitution.

There was initially a question as to how to address the President. The Senate proposed that he be addressed as His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties. Both the House of Representatives and the Senate compromised on the use of “President of the United States.”

James Wilson originally proposed the President be chosen by popular vote, but the delegates agreed (after 60 ballots) on a system known as the Electoral College. Although there have been 500 proposed amendments to change it, this indirect system of electing the president is still intact.

George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.

In November of 1788 the Congress of the Confederation adjourned and left the United States without a central government until April 1789. That is when the first Congress under the new Constitution convened with its first quorum.

James Madison was the only delegate to attend every meeting. He took detailed notes of the various discussions and debates that took place during the convention. The journal that he kept during the Constitutional Convention was kept secret until after he died. It (along with other papers) was purchased by the government in 1837 at a price of $30,000 (that would be $666,000 today). The journal was published in 1840.

You can find more “fascinating facts about the Constitution” here

There is little more I can add to this post except my love for the Constitution and my eternal gratitude that some of the wisest men to ever assemble in one place constructed and ratified this miraculous document. For over 200 years it has made us the freest nation on earth.

If the politicians and other rapscallions that infest our country have their way it will not last except as a historical document meaning nothing. Every one of those elected swears to uphold this document and few keep their word.

We can only pray that enough people in this country care about freedom to preserve it. Otherwise we may be the last generation to know what freedom in the USA means.


14 Responses to “Constitution Day 🌠 Open Thread πŸŒ ”

  1. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Wonderful, wonderful post, Marge. Thank you so much for this. I LOVED all of the facts abt the Constitution and how it was crafted.

    I did think it was funny that someone from Pennsylvania misspelled Pennsylvania” in the document! πŸ™‚

    I love this Constitution and the Bill of Rights, too. It is so sad to me to see how little regard is given to this amazing document, a word that does not do justice to what it is: the foundation of the greatest country in the world.

    Oh, and Benjamin Franklin having tears stream down his face as he signed it is indicative of just how weighty the Constitution is in the formation of the United States. Wow…

    Thank you!

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I love doing posts like this because I always learn something. I do love and respect the Constitution but am still woefully ignorant of many of the facts from thought to finish.

      Sadly my ignorance makes me look like a Rhodes Scholar compared to the majority of the citizens in this country that don’t know or understand the enormous freedom they take for granted, and are loosing little by little, come from the Constitution.

      I am a big fan of James Madison but I didn’t know that he alone attended every single meeting. That’s dedication. My respect grew from thinking he was great to thinking him awesome!

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        That really is amazing, isn’t it? That Madison attended every single meeting? Back in those days, that must have taken quite a lot of effort.

        And you aren’t only kidding abt the vast majority of people in the USA today. It is STAGGERING to see these videos of people who don’t even know from whom we declared or independence, or even which CENTURY it was. WOW.

        I love when you do these posts too because I also learn something new! Thanks again!

  2. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    THANK YOU US Soccer! Thank you for standing up for our country and our liberties by issuing a statement on the “honor” and “privilege” of playing on the National Team when schmuck Megan Rapinoe took a knee IN UNIFORM at an international event:

    It’s abt damn time someone stood up for this country. If Rapinoe cannot see how fortunate she, as an out lesbian, is to be able to be a professional soccer player, play for the US National team, and marry whomever she wants, then she is nothing but an idiot, a petulant entitled child, and ungrateful as hell. She should resign from the National Team, or be fired from it. Either way works for me.

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I just don’t understand all these people who seem to have gotten what they wanted in life being so angry at the symbol of the country that allowed them to thrive. It doesn’t make sense to me.

      • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

        RIGHT?? It doesn’t make sense to me, either. I mean, really – what the hell more could Rapinoe WANT from the US?? She was talking last month abt the liberties she doesn’t have, and I cannot imagine what, at this point, she could mean.

        I wish NFL had taken the same stand – people can protest all they want ON THEIR OWN TIME. But once you are in uniform, you act accordingly, ESPECIALLY when you have on the uniform to represent your country. Seriously wish they would fire her…

  3. kenoshamarge Says:

  4. kenoshamarge Says:

    Four in Five Americans Support Voter ID Laws, Early Voting

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — As partisan-fueled court battles over state voting laws are poised to shape the political landscape in 2016 and beyond, new Gallup research shows four in five Americans support both early voting and voter ID laws. A smaller majority of 63% support automatic voter registration.

  5. kenoshamarge Says:

    • Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

      EXACTLY. It makes me NUTS when these groups act as if the prohibition is against religion in general. NO.That is a complete misrepresentation of the whole “separation of church and state” requirement. Thanks for this!

  6. GinaR Says:

    This is an incredible post, Marge, thank you! Amazing facts that I didn’t know anything about. I can just picture Franklin, with tears streaming down his face as he signed the Constitution. I imagine he thought he’d ever see such a day in his lifetime and there he was, being an integral part of it all. I wonder though, how many schools actually adhered to the mandate that “all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day.”

    • kenoshamarge Says:

      I also wonder how many schools adhered to the mandate. My guess, and I’m an old cynic so take it with a grain of salt, is that far more are concerned with making sure girl’s bathrooms are open to any student that thinks he is a girl today than were taught about the Constitution.

      But then as I said, I’m an old cynic.

  7. Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy Says:

    Excellent piece in The Federalist today about the nine steps our Founders took in crafting the Constitution. They seem like rules to live by in many instances:

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