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U.S. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day: Constitution Day

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17 each year

Constitution Day: September 17

Signing of the Constitution by Howard Chandler Christy.

 

On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history, the U.S. Constitution

In 1956, Congress established Constitution Week, which begins on September 17th of each year. In 2004, September 17th was designated as Constitution Day—a day to learn about the U.S. Constitution and develop a better understanding of the documents behind the creation of the U.S. government.

Orgins of the Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17th to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship.  The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”

In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” The day was still designated as “Citizenship Day” and retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.” Library of Congress Law Library

Fascinating Facts about the U.S. Constitution

 

The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world.

Of the spelling errors in the Constitution, "Pensylvania" above the signers' names is probably the most glaring.

The Constitution was "penned" by Jacob Shallus, A Pennsylvania General Assembly clerk, for $30 ($830 today).

It took one hundred days to actually "frame" the Constitution.

When it came time for the states to ratify the Constitution, the lack of any bill of rights was the primary sticking point.

See more facts at ConstitutionFacts.com

The Act -- US Code Title 36

§106. Constitution Day and Citizenship Day 
(a) DESIGNATION.—September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

(b) PURPOSE.—Constitution Day and Citizenship Day commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.

(c) PROCLAMATION.—The President may issue each year a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies.

(d) STATE AND LOCAL OBSERVANCES.—The civil and educational authorities of States, counties, cities, and towns are urged to make plans for the proper observance of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.

 (Pub. L. 105–225, Aug. 12, 1998, 112 Stat. 1255; Pub. L. 108–447, div. J, title I, §111(c)(1), Dec. 8, 2004, 118 Stat. 3344.)