Here ye, here ye, let it be known that today we celebrate the joining together of our nation under a single document. Today, we take part in Constitution Day, held annually on September 17. We also celebrate all those who have come to the United States and finally become citizens on this very day!
We commemorate the Constitutional Convention in 1787 when delegates gathered in Philadelphia, eventually signing the U.S. Constitution into effect. Over 200 years later in 2004, Constitution Day became a reality. Senator Robert Byrd passed an amendment that renamed the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” requiring public schools and institutions to teach about the history of our Constitution. Join with us as we celebrate our freedoms and our brand-new citizens, today!
When is Constitution Day 2019?
Constitution Day is celebrated every year on the same date: September 17, to commemorate the document’s signing. It’s easy to remember, so you can spend more time celebrating!
Constitution Day timeline
- April 30, 1789
After an election, George Washington is sworn in as the first President of the United State of America.
- June 21, 1788
9 of 13 states ratify the Constitution, rendering it officially established.
- December 7, 1787
Delaware Is the first
Delaware is the first state to ratify the Constitution.
- September 17, 1787
Constitution is signed
The approved Constitution is signed by 39 delegates from 12 states (all but Rhode Island).
- May 25 - September 17 1787
The Constitutional Convention
Delegates meet at Independence Hall in Philadelphia to draft the Constitution.
Constitution Day Activities
Find a James Madison impersonator
No, don’t picture a "James Madison" arriving to your party in the manner of an Elvis impersonator. Rather, there are James Madisons that travel and put on informational shows for both kids and adults. Whether it’s through your local government or your kid’s school, learn a bit more about our history and have fun while you’re at it.
Throw a Founding Fathers party
We tend to think of our founding fathers as stiff button-ups, and while they certainly were brilliant, they also liked to have a good time. Get your friends together, wear silly wigs and drink like the Founders. George Washington had his “Fish House Punch,” which was probably made of rum, beer and punch. Thomas Jefferson was the official Wine Advisor to the President, while James Madison was known to drink a pint of whiskey a day. Pick your presidential poison!
Review the basics
It’s easy to forget what we learn in high school, so try taking some time to review a few Constitution basics about how our government was meant to work and apply what you've learned to our nation, today. It’s important to be an educated, informed citizen — it’s exactly what the Founders intended!
Why Constitution Day is Important
It’s a living document
The Constitution is referred to as a "living document" because only a governmental process can amend it. In fact, the process for amending the Constitution can be found within the Constitution, itself. Our Founders worked to ensure that the government's power remained with the people.
It inspired the world
The idea that colonists could rise up against an empire and form a republic paved the way for countries around the world to revolt against oppression. The Americans inspired the French, who in turn, had a similar revolution, throwing out the monarchy. Like falling dominoes, other countries followed suit.
It created the Office of the President
As the Founders worked on the Constitution together, they quibbled over what title the head of government should have. After throwing out “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties,” “Electoral Highness” and “Excellency;” the delegates settled on "The President of the United States of America." Catchy!