Did you know that the anniversary of the day that the United States Constitution was written and signed by 39 delegates, on September 17, 1787, is actually a national holiday? In the American educational system, that is the day that teachers set aside to teach about the Constitution. However, rarely is it explained that this particular date is a holiday, also known as Citizenship Day.
In the Beginning
It was there on September 17th, 1787, that what we know as the United States Constitution was formatted and penned and signed by 39 men at the Continental Congress, and America was never the same. Many years later, once the United States of America had become a thriving nation, patriotism was rampant. In the year 1939, William Randolph Hearst from New York City proposed that they declare a national holiday whereby all American citizens could celebrate their homeland that was the United States of America. It was soon passed by Congress and President Harry Truman in 1940 to be held on the third Sunday in May and was dubbed the “I am an American Day.” The American populace embraced it wholeheartedly, but that wasn’t enough for one woman named Olga T. Weber from Louisville, Ohio. She knew that such a special day should be celebrated on September 17th to commemorate the day our Constitution was written fully. First, she made it so in her home state, then hightailed it to the Supreme Court to make her demands known. Since 1953, the Constitution and Citizenship Day has been and will forever be held on September 17th of each year.
Why we Must Cherish the Constitution
America has a beginning paved with the blood, sweat, and tears of our forefathers. The Constitution was the clay by which America’s structure was built upon, just as the Christian Bible is the foundation for all of Christianity. Without it, we would fall apart. Humanity has proven that we cannot govern ourselves without help, for we are only humans who are often driven by emotions and our pride. The US Constitution has created unity among all these fifty states of America under one common belief in liberty and justice for all. We must never forget our beginning, lest we surely come to an end.
“The Constitution that I interpret and apply is not living, but dead, or as I prefer to call it, enduring. It means, today, not what current society, much less the court, thinks it ought to mean, but what it meant when it was adopted.” – Judge Antonin Scalia.
In the humdrum day by day life, it is easy to become self-absorbed and unappreciative of our heritage. We’ve lost our ancestors’ zeal for this great nation we live in and often lose sight that we live in a country unlike any other in the world. To think that it all started with a document is humbling and should be celebrated.