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Constitution Day 2016: WE, the People

Visit the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia

Constitution Day with image of bronze statues of the signers of the Declaration of Independence

Signers’ Hall.

National Constitution Center

Read and Search the Constitution Click on image to go through each section of the Constitution


Q. How many lawyers were members of the Constitutional Convention?
A. There were probably 34, out of 55, who had at least made a study of the law.

Q. When did the phrase, "The United States of America" originate?
A. The first known use of the formal term "United States of America" was in the Declaration of Independence. Thomas Paine, in February, 1776, had written of "Free and independent States of America." The terms "United Colonies," "United Colonies of America," "United Colonies of North America," and also "States," were used in 1775 and 1776.

Q. Is a constitutional amendment submitted to the President?
A. No. A resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution, after having passed both houses of Congress by a two-thirds vote, does not go to the President for his signature. It is sent to the States to be ratified either by their legislatures or by conventions, as Congress shall determine (Art. V). The Supreme Court as early as 1798 declared the approval was not requisite (Hollingsworth v. Virginia, 3 Dallas 378).

Q. What has been the longest period during which no amendment has been added to the Constitution?
A. Sixty-one years, from 1804 to 1865. This period elapsed between the Twelfth and Thirteenth Amendments.