We celebrate Constitution Day on September 17 of each year. This day commemorates the September 17, 1787, signing of the United States Constitution. Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004.
Facts about the U.S. Constitution
- 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.
- The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81) and the youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (26).
- George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
- Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution because he was in France during the Convention serving 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 Constitutional Convention
The Constitutional Convention was the hundred day debate that was one of the most momentous occurrences in United States Constitutional History. The events that would take place in the Pennsylvania State House during that time would set the United States on the course towards becoming a true Constitutional Republic.
As history played out, the consequence of the Constitutional Convention was the United States Constitution. However, it wasn’t an easy path. The drafting process was exhausting. They wanted the supreme law of the United States to be flawless.
Constitution Day Resources
Here is a list of helpful resources on Constitution Day:
- The National Archives website
- The Library of Congress American Memory site provides numerous resources on the Constitution
- The National Endowment for the Humanities provides content on the Constitution through the EDSITEMENT website
- The U.S. Senate has posted Constitution Day material from the Legislative Branch
Constitution Day Event
What: “Is the First Amendment Under Attack? A Claremont Discourse Constitution Day Panel”
When: Tuesday September 26, 2017 – 4:15PM to 6:30PM
Where: Founders Room, Honnold/Mudd Library
Given the current climate in the United States, this year on Constitution Day, we must ask “Is the First Amendment Under Attack?” How should free speech, a guaranteed constitutional right, be defined? Should there be limits on what is protected? We have invited a panel of Claremont Colleges faculty to explore these complex and consequential questions.
Julie Liss, SCR, Moderator
Mark Golub, SCR
Lily Geismer, CMC
Jean Schroedel, CGU