- Constitution Day (United States)
Photograph of Jefferson High School Marching Colonials Performing on the Steps of the National Archives Building on Constitution Day, 1974
Official name Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Observed by United States Date The nearest weekday to September 17 2010 date Friday, September 17 2011 date Friday, September 16 (observed) 2012 date Monday, September 17 Celebrations Constitution Day and Citizenship Day commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who are born in the US or, by naturalization, have become citizens.
Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal observance that recognizes the adoption of the United States Constitution and those who have become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.
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.
When Constitution Day falls on a weekend or on another holiday, schools and other institutions observe the holiday on an adjacent weekday. This was the case in 2005 and 2011, when Constitution Day was generally observed on Friday, September 16 and 2006 when the holiday was observed on Monday, September 18.
Universities and colleges nationwide have created "U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Weeks" in order to meet the requirements of the law. For example, the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) has created a celebration week that includes "Constitution Trivia Contests", distribution of free copies of the U.S. Constitution, a campus & community fair (in which volunteer and community groups can share information with students), a web page with facts and links related to the Constitution and history of the United States. MSOE has also distributed thousands of free "Presidential quote" t-shirts to all students on campus.
Iowa schools first recognized Constitution Day in 1911. In 1917, the Sons of the American Revolution formed a committee to promote Constitution Day. The committee would include members such as Calvin Coolidge, John D. Rockefeller, and General John Pershing.
In 1939, William Randolph Hearst advocated, through his chain of daily newspapers, the creation of a holiday to celebrate citizenship. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as I am an American Day. By 1949, governors of all 48 states had issued Constitution Day proclamations. On February 29, 1952, Congress moved that observation to September 17th and renamed it "Citizenship Day".
Louisville, Ohio, calls itself Constitution Town and credits one of its own for getting the holiday national recognition. In 1952, resident Olga T. Weber petitioned municipal officials to establish Constitution Day, in honor of the ratification of the US Constitution in 1789. Mayor Gerald A. Romary proclaimed September 17, 1952, as Constitution Day in the city. The following April, Weber requested that the Ohio General Assembly proclaim September 17 as state-wide Constitution Day. Her request was signed into law by Governor Frank J. Lausche. In August 1953, she took her case to the United States Senate, which passed a resolution designating September 17-23 as Constitution Week. The Senate and House approved her request and it was signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. On April 15, 1957, the City Council of Louisville declared the city Constitution Town. The Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Society later donated four historical markers, located at the four main entrances to the city, explaining Louisville's role as originator of Constitution Day.
The Space Shuttle Enterprise was originally planned to be named Constitution. However, even after the name was changed, the Shuttle was dedicated on Constitution Day 1976.
- Constitution Day (other countries)
- Holidays of the United States
- ^ "§ 106. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day". U.S. Code collection. LII / Legal Information Institute. http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/36/usc_sec_36_00000106----000-.html.
- ^ "Sec. 106. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day". TITLE 36--Patriotic And National Observances, Ceremonies, and Organizations. United States Government. 2006-01-03. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=browse_usc&docid=Cite:+36USC106. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- ^ a b Krache, Donna (2005-09-16). "Constitution Day ushers in mandate to teach the Constitution". CNN. http://www.cnn.com/2005/EDUCATION/09/16/constitution.day/. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- ^ "Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005". United States Government. 2004-12-08. http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=108_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ447.108. Retrieved 2008-08-12. § 111
- ^ a b "Notice of Implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 of Each Year". United States Department of Education. 2005-05-24. http://www.ed.gov/legislation/FedRegister/other/2005-2/052405b.html. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- ^ "U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Week". http://www.msoe.edu/life_at_msoe/campus_activities/events/citizenship_week.shtml. Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- ^ a b c Williams, Winston C., ed. Centennial History of the National Society of the Sons of the American Revolution 1889-1989. Paducah, KY: Turner Publishing Company. p. 9. http://books.google.com/books?id=0SHHzcZnVwEC. Retrieved 15 January 2011.
- ^ Anne Edwards (1987). Early Reagan: The Rise to Power. William Morrow and Company. p. 267.
- ^ "History of Louisville Ohio". Archived from the original on 2008-08-03. http://web.archive.org/web/20080803052208/http://www.louisvilleohio.com/Community/history.htm. Retrieved 2008-08-12.
- Explore quizzes, videos, games, and lessons for Constitution Day
- NEH Constitution Day Portal
- U.S. Constitution & Citizenship Week at MSOE
- Multiple related links on the U.S. Constitution and history of the United States from MSOE
- Federal Register announcement
- Constitution Day resources for educators, federal employees, individuals, and parents
- National Archives
- National Constitution Center
- The text of US CODE Title 36 § 106, describing Constitution Day and Citizenship Day - Hosted by Cornell University Law School
- The text of 36 USC 106, describing Citizenship Day - Hosted by FindLaw. Shows January 1994 US Code prior to amendment adding Constitution Day to this observance.
- The text of H.R. 4818, adding Constitution Day and specifying educational requirements
- Celebrate Constitution Day
- Constitution Day History - Hosted by FairVote - Center for Voting and Democracy
Online Lessons for K-12 Teachers to Use on Constitution Day
- Free quizzes, videos, and games for Constitution Day
- Free Constitution Day resources for educators
- Searchable, user-rated Constitution Day resources for educators
- Education World Constitution Day Lesson Planning - List of best web resources and links to online lessons
-  - Free web-based lessons for K-12 students
- EDSITEment Constitution Day Lesson Plans and Resources
- CRF Constitution Day Lesson Plans - Free downloadable lessons for K-12 educators to plan and implement celebration events.
Holidays, observances, and celebrations in the United States Federal holidays Legal state holidaysAlabama Day (AL) • Alaska Day (AK) • Arbor Day (NE) • Battle of Bennington Day (VT) • Casimir Pulaski Day (IL) • César Chávez Day (CA, TX) • Christmas Eve (KY, NC) • Confederate Heroes Day (TX) • Confederate Memorial Day (AL, FL, GA, MS, SC) • Day After Thanksgiving (DE) • Election Day (CA, DE, HI, KY, MT, NJ, NY, OH, WV) • Emancipation Day In Texas / Juneteenth (TX) • Emancipation Day (DC) • Evacuation Day (MA) • Family Day (NV) • Flag Day (FL, PA) • Georgia Day (GA) • Good Friday (CT, NC) • Harvey Milk Day (CA) • Hawaii Admission Day / Statehood Day (HI) • Idaho Human Rights Day (ID) • Indiana Day (IN) • Jefferson's Birthday (AL) • Jefferson Davis Day (AL, FL) • Kamehameha Day (HI) • Lee–Jackson Day (VA) • Lincoln's Birthday (CA, CT, IL, MO, NJ, NY, IN, WV) • Lyndon Baines Johnson Day (TX) • Mardi Gras (FL, LA) • Maryland Day (MD) • Missouri Day (MO) • Native American Day (SD) • Native American Heritage Day (MD) • Nevada Day (NV) • New Jersey Day (NJ) • New Year's Eve (KY) • Obama Day (Perry County, AL) • Pascua Florida Day (FL) • Patriots' Day (ME, MA) • Pioneer Day (UT) • Primary Election Day (WI) • Prince Jonah Kuhio Kalanianaole Day (HI) • Robert E. Lee Day (FL, GA) • Ronald Reagan Day (CA) • Rosh Hashanah (TX) • San Jacinto Day (TX) • Service Reduction Day (MD) • Seward's Day (AK) • Susan B. Anthony Day (FL, WI) • Texas Independence Day (TX) • Town Meeting Day (VT) • Truman Day (MO) • Victory Day (RI) • West Virginia Day (WV) • Yom Kippur (TX) Observances and Ceremonies (Title 36)Carl Garner Federal Lands Cleanup Day • Child Health Day • Constitution Day • Father's Day • Gold Star Mothers Day • Law Day • Loyalty Day • Leif Erikson Day • Mother's Day • National Aviation Day • National Day of Prayer • National Defense Transportation Day • National Freedom Day • National Grandparents Day • National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day • National Maritime Day • Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day • Pan American Aviation Day • Parents' Day • Patriot Day • Peace Officers Memorial Day • Stephen Foster Memorial Day • White Cane Safety Day • Women's Equality Day • Wright Brothers Day Holidays with religious significance Other holidays
(includes Commercial holidays)
(or multiple weeks)Chinese New Year • Constitution Week • Days of Remembrance of the Victims of the Holocaust • Hanukkah • Honor America Days • Kwanzaa • National Flag Week • National Forest Products Week • National Friendship Week • National Payroll Week • National Poison Prevention Week • National Safe Boating Week • National School Lunch Week • National Transportation Week • Passover • Police Week • Save Your Vision Week
MonthsAmerican Heart Month • Asian Pacific American Heritage Month • Black History Month • Cancer Control Month • Child Abuse Prevention Month • Confederate History Month • Gay and Lesbian Pride Month • Jewish American Heritage Month • National Breast Cancer Awareness Month • National Disability Employment Awareness Month • National Hispanic Heritage Month • National Nutrition Month • Ramadan • Steelmark Month • Women's History Month • LGBT History Month
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