September 17 is recognized in the United States as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, whose purpose is to commemorate the creation and signing of the supreme law of the land.
By Anna Kim
Along with Independence Day and Presidents’ Day, what day is an important part of the cultural heritage of the United States of America in terms of the value of the American experiment and the success of a nation of free people? If you answered Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, you’re right!
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day are observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17th, 1787. It is dedicated to all US citizens. Then, how was the US Constitution established? 39 delegates 230 years ago take credit for this historic establishment.
On September 17th, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was held in Philadelphia, presided over by George Washington, who had become a national hero after leading the Continental Army to victory during the American Revolution.
There were 55 delegates in attendance, representing all 13 states except Rhode Island, who refused to send representatives because it did not want a powerful central government interfering in its economic business.
The delegates, aka the Founding Fathers of the Constitution, were well-educated and many served in the Continental Army. Benjamin Franklin, a polymath, was the oldest delegate at age 81, while the majority of the delegates were in their 30s and 40s. Most were Protestants in terms of religious affiliation.
They worked to develop a framework that would provide balance and freedom, taking into account federal and state interests, as well as individual human rights to create a perfect union based on the separation of powers—executive, legislative, and judicial.
However, delegates were divided on the two contentious issues of state representation in the national legislature and the social hot potato, slavery. The first issue was resolved by the Connecticut Compromise, which proposed a bicameral legislature with proportional representation of the states in the lower house (the House of Representatives) and equal representation in the upper house (the Senate). The second issue was also resolved by deciding that slaves would be counted as three-fifths of a person and Congress wouldn’t be allowed to prohibit the slave trade before 1808, and states were required to return fugitive slaves to their owners. Against all the odds, everything was settled down and ratified with prudence.
To date, various civil and educational authorities and individuals throughout the US have been observing Constitution Day and Citizenship Day through a range of events and activities each year. Just for one day of the year, the Founding Fathers deserve the honor in this land.
People who obtain U.S.citizenship are delighted on Constitution Day.
CPACS AWESOME drum team performs on stage to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.