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Constitution Day & Citizenship Day and Week: About the U.S. Constitution

Learn about Constitution Day & Citizenship Day through various government resources

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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.   -- Preamble to the U.S. Constitution.

The Constitution at the National Archives

Making of the Charters

Federalist Papers

Lesser known facts about the Constitution

  • Although written and signed in 1787, it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine of thirteen states to become binding.
  • There are 39 signatures on the Constitution. Two of America’s “founding fathers”, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, did not sign the Constitution as they were working as diplomats in France and Great Britain respectively.
  • The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as The Bill of Rights, were added in 1791 describing individual rights.
  • The only language besides English used in the Constitution is Latin.
  • George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
  • George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation on November 26, 1789, establishing the first national “Thanksgiving Day” as a way of “giving thanks” for the Constitution.

-- (source: Today In History, accessed 9/17/18)

The National Constitution Center

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

Have an in-depth look at the Articles and Amendments through the organization's Inter-Active Constitution 

Explore the Constitution Center's virtual exhibits.  

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Want 10 Fast Facts about the Constitution? (from the Constitution Center)

First Amendment Encyclopedia

Explore freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of assembly in the context of landmark and current court cases, current events and more.

Free to access, this online encyclopedia from Middle Tennessee State University contains more than 1,500 essays and articles about court decisions, doctrines, people, law and events.

Constitution of the United States

Examine Washington's annotated copy

America's Founding Documents (at NARA)

Search the DAR Catalogs

Search the Daughters of the American Revolution Library Catalog 

(books and manuscripts)

Search the DAR's Americana Collection and the DAR's Archives

(includes images)

American History: From Pre-Columbian to the New Millennium

Browse government documents

Browse Constitution materials in government documents in the University Libraries catalog.

Search and browse the Constitution Annotated

Treatise on the U.S. Constitution

View The Constitution of the United States of America:  Analysis and Interpretation (Centennial Edition, 2013) (opens PDF document, 2800+ pp.)

or browse individual chapters.

The CONAN has evolved from the very beginning as the need was then recognized for a comprehensive guide to our nation's constitution.  This guide continues to grow with Supreme Court interpretations of constitutional law.

The Library of Congress offers a free mobile search app to the CONAN.

Creating the United States - A Library of Congress Exhibit

Bill of Rights Institute

First Federal Congress at the National Archives