Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Constitution Day!

Have you ever heard of Constitution Day?  Neither have I. I mean, I started hearing people mentioning it, but didn't realize it was an official holiday.  Apparently, it's been around for quite some time in one form or another.

The purpose of Constitution Day is to celebrate the ratification of our Constitution, which was signed on September 17, 1787, by 39 men who had spent the previous three months writing, debating, hashing out differences, and finally agreeing on our Constitution.  This day also recognizes all who were born in the United States, or by naturalization, have become citizens.

The celebration came about due to William Randolph Hearst working toward the creation of a holiday to celebrate citizenship in 1939. The following year, Congress designated the third Monday in May as "I am an American Day".  But, on February 29, 1952, Congress renamed it "Citizenship Day", and  changed the date to September 17. 

So, whether you want to call it Citizenship Day or Constitution Day, celebrate your citizenship by reading the United States Constitution. You might be surprised by what it says (or doesn't say.)

"WE THE PEOPLE, of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."  If you're intriqued enough to continue, click here.

And, while I'm on the subject of  our Constitution, have you ever considered reading your State Constitution? I confess that I had never even thought about it until very recently, and it's on my list of things to do.  There may be some interesting things in there.

I'll close with a quote on why our Constitution is so special..."I had a copy of the Soviet Constitution and I read it with great interest.  And I saw all kinds of terms in there that sound just exactly like our own: 'freedom of assembly' and 'freedom of speech' and so forth.  Of course, they don't allow them to have those things, but they're in there in the consitution.  But, I began to wonder about the other constitutions--everyone has one--and our own, and why so much emphasis is on ours.  And then I found out, and the answer was very simple--that's why you didn't notice it at first.  But it is so great that it tells the entire difference.  All those other constitutions are documents that say, "We the government, allow the people the following rights", and our Constitution says, "We the People, allow the government the following privileges and rights."  We give our permission to government to do the things that it does.  And that's the whole story of the difference--why we're unique in the world and why no matter what our troubles may be, we're going to overcome."--Ronald Reagan


  1. Hi Darlene,
    Happy Constitution Day to you as well! My favorite part about your post is Reagan's quote. He hit the nail on the head...the thing that makes the U.S. Constitution so special is that the government is allowed these rights and privileges through our permission.

    Wonderful post.


  2. Very good post! I subbed in an elementary school today and now I know why the principal read part of the constitution over the loud speaker.

  3. I do like that Ronald quote! Well done!

  4. Love this informative post!
    Great quote!

    Happy Sunday!

    B :)


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