"A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but as Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy; or perhaps both. Knowledge will forever govern ignorance: And a people who mean to be their own Governors, must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives."
– James Madison, "Letter to W. T. Barry" (August 4, 1822)
Celebrating the Constitution
Why Is There a Constitution Day?
On September 17, 1787, Constitutional Convention delegates signed the constitution they had written.
The document was submitted to Congress, which approved it and sent it to the state legislatures for approval.
Since that time, several states have observed the ratification of the Constitution, but not always on the date September 17.
In 1956, Congress passed legislation directing the President each year to issue a proclamation that the week beginning with September 17 be proclaimed Constitution Week.
In 2004, a law was passed by Congress establishing September 17 of every year as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” and requiring public schools and governmental offices to provide educational programs. This legislation was introduced by Senator Robert C. Byrd ( West Virginia) who always carried a copy of the Constitution in his pocket.