Constitution Day celebrates famed document

September 17, 2013

Today is Constitution Day, a day in which all federally-funded educational institutions must provide education on the United States Constitution.

In recognition of Constitution Day, we share the following information about the U.S. Constitution:

  • The Constitution was signed on Sept. 17, 1787, at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia.
  • The convention started on May 14, 1787. At first, the delegates from only two states were present, so the members adjourned each day until a quorum of seven states could be obtained. The quorum did not occur until May 25, 1787.
  • The convention was originally convened to revise the Articles of Confederation. By June 1787, it became clear that rather than amend the existing articles, the delegates should draft an entirely new document.
  • Throughout the summer of 1787, the delegates debated in closed sessions and revised the articles of the new Constitution.
  • Some of the points at issue that summer were how much power the central government should have, how many congressional representatives each state should have, and how the representatives should be elected.
  • The final version of Constitution would have more than 4,500 words and take about half an hour to read.
  • While many of the convention's delegates were lawyers, others were soldiers, planters, educators, ministers, physicians, financiers, and merchants.
  • George Washington was chosen unanimously to preside over the convention.
  • Thomas Jefferson was not a member of the convention. He was the American minister to France at the time.
  • This year marks the 226th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.

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