On September 17, 1787, the Founding Fathers signed the most influential document in American history: the United States Constitution. This document established the framework of our government and the rights and freedoms that “We the People” enjoy today.
What is Constitution Day?
Constitution Day became a national observance in 2004, when Senator Robert Byrd lobbied for a bill designating September 17 as the day for citizens to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and learn more about our founding document. Senator Byrd once said, “Our ideals of freedom, set forth and realized in our Constitution, are our greatest export to the world.” He added the Constitution Day clause to his 2004 federal spending bill because he believed that all citizens should know about their rights as outlined in the Constitution. This clause mandates the teaching of the Constitution in schools that receive federal funds, as well as federal agencies.
Constitution Day at the National Constitution Center
Every year, the National Constitution Center hosts the best Constitution Day Celebration in the country. We are the place to turn to help you commemorate that historic day while meeting your federal education requirements. Join us at the museum for outstanding and engaging programs or use our fantastic on-line resources in your classroom.
We have the fun and fascinating resources for your classroom
- Use our scholarly, nonpartisan Interactive Constitution
- View the newest episodes of our Constitution Hall Pass video lesson series
- Chat live with our expert education staff
- Find classroom-ready lesson plans, games, craft activities, and more!
Our Constitution Day festival is great for all ages!
- Join in a spirited reading of the Constitution’s Preamble
- Honor the newest addition to our American National Tree exhibit
- Watch as new American’s take their citizenship oath
- Take part in engaging discussions with federal judges and other Constitutional heroes
- Enjoy craft activities, and sign our giant Constitution
- Meet historic presidents, and enjoy a piece of birthday cake
The National Constitution Center has also welcomed a number of distinguished guests at past Constitution Day events, including Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Sandra Day O’Connor, civil rights leader and Congressman John Lewis, free speech activist Mary Beth Tinker, author and former Second Lady Lynne Cheney, former PA Governor Ed Rendell, and many more!