We celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th 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
- The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words.
- 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 nickname for the U.S. Constitution is “Bundle of Compromises.”
- The U.S. Constitution is currently considered the shortest governing document of any nation.
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
Celebrate Constitution Day with The Claremont Colleges Library’s 24 year old faculty lecture series, Claremont Discourse.
This year, there are many ways to participate:
- Pick up a free copy of the Constitution of the United States on September 16th. Available at the Main Services Desk while supplies last.
- Revisit the Constitution Day lectures from years past, including Dr. Jean Schroedel’s presentation on Voting Rights and the Constitution.
- Explore Constitution Day guide for resources about the Constitution of the United States, current issues and upcoming elections.
Established in 1998, the Claremont Discourse lecture series is a forum for faculty at The Claremont Colleges to present current research, publications, and creative projects from a wide variety of disciplines. For more information or if you would like to suggest a topic for a future Claremont Discourse lecture, please reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org