Happy Constitution Day!
September 17, 2021
September 17th is Constitution Day! On this day in 1787, the United States constitution was signed in Philadelphia by members of the Constitutional Convention. The constitution established the structure and operation of the United States government by outlining the three branches of the federal government, clarifying the federal government's relationship to the states, and explaining the amendment and ratification process.
The SLL is proud to be a part of the network of federal depository libraries across the country, and we're excited to celebrate our free access to government documents from all three branches of government on this historic day. Courtesy of the U.S. Government Publishing Office, we will have free pocket constitutions and promotional pencils available in the library for those who would like to celebrate with us in person. Be sure to ask at the desk!
Constitution Day Events
The National Constitution Center is hosting a series of online events for Constitution Day, including a live naturalization ceremony for 50 new U.S. citizens and several panel discussions and lectures. Find more information about these events on their event page.
The National Archives Museum will also hold a talk titled The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union between authors John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III at 1 PM EDT. You can watch the live stream of their discussion on YouTube.
Online Resources on the U.S. Constitution
President Joseph Biden issued a proclamation celebrating Constitution Day on September 17th, 2021. You can find the press briefing on the proclamation on the White House website.
The National Constitution Center has an interactive constitution on its site with historical info, common interpretations, and matters of debate related to each article and clause of the U.S. constitution.
If you've always wanted to sign your name to the constitution and join the ranks of the founding fathers, now is your chance! You can virtually "sign" the constitution on the National Archives' Join the Signers page.
SLL has a lot of resources on the U.S. constitution and constitutional law in our collection. Here's a brief selection of some of our resources available online:
The Constitution of the United States of America An electronic version of the entire U.S. constitution is available as an e-book through OverDrive.
Why the Constitution Matters This 2014 title by Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet looks at the ways in which the U.S. constitution provides a foundation for the country's political trajectory.
A Companion to the United States Constitution and its Amendments This 2010 title by U.S. history professor John Vile helps puts the U.S. constitution into context with a close look at the events surrounding its ratification and details about relevant cases for each amendment.
U.S. Constitution for Dummies Feel like you may need a more basic introduction to the U.S. constitution? This 2009 entry from the popular instructional series helps put the U.S. constitution in laymen's terms.