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Constitution Day 2012: 225 Years of the Constitution

Chronology of the Constitution

May 25, 1787
The Constitutional Convention opens with a quorum of seven states in Philadelphia to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation. Eventually, all states but Rhode Island are represented.


September 17, 1787
All 12 state delegations approve the Constitution, 39 delegates sign it of the 42 present, and the Convention formally adjourns. The proposed Constitution is sent to the states for ratification.


December 7, 1787
Delaware is the first state to ratify the Constitution.


June 21, 1788
The Constitution becomes effective for the ratifying states when new Hampshire is the ninth state to ratify it.


February 4, 1789
Electors from the various states vote in the first presidential election (results will not known until April 6).


March 4, 1789
The first Congress under the Constitution convenes in New York City.


April 6, 1789
George Washington is elected the first President of the United States under the Constitution with 69 electoral votes. John Adams is elected Vice President with 34 votes.


April 30, 1789
George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of the United States.


June 8, 1789
James Madison introduces the proposed Bill of Rights in the House of Representatives.


September 25, 1789
Congress approves 12 amendments and sends them to the states for ratification.


November 20, 1789
New Jersey is the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.


May 29, 1790
Rhode Island is the last state to ratify the Constitution.


December 15, 1791
Virginia ratifies the Bill of Rights, and 10 of the 12 proposed amendments become part of the U.S. Constitution.



Adapted from Dates to Remember