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

Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17 each year

How well do you know the US Constitution?

Links and Resources

Orgins of the Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 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In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the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

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.)
 

Dianne White

Dianne White's picture
Dianne White
Contact:
Walsh College Library
248.823.1338

The National Constitution Center

Visit the Constitution Center online. The National Constitution Center is a great non-governmental resource created by the Constitution Heritage Act of 1988, signed by President Reagan.  Although it sits on federal land, it is privately run.

Examine the Articles and Amendments through the organization's Inter-Active Constitution.

Take a virtual tour right from your living room.