On February 29, 1952, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. This day commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on September 17, 1787, and recognizes all who by coming of age or naturalization have become U.S. citizens.
The United States Constitution is the cornerstone of federal law in the United States. It describes the three chief branches of the Federal Government and their jurisdictions, and lays out the basic rights of citizens of the United States. The U.S. Constitution is the oldest Federal constitution in existence and was framed by a convention of delegates from twelve of the thirteen original states in Philadelphia in May 1787, Rhode Island failing to send a delegate. The U.S. Constitution is the landmark legal document of the United States.
Constitution 101 Course and Constitution Day
We launched our Constitution 101 core curriculum and Founders’ Library of historic documents last week. This is an unparalleled opportunity for learners of all ages to explore the basic principles of American freedom and the core constitutional texts of American history, from the founding to today.
Constitution 101 is a 15-week course that represents our introduction to everything you need to know about the Constitution. There’s a self-guided course for learners of all ages and a high school curriculum for teachers to bring into their classrooms. The course includes videos and recommended reading from primary sources, all found in our new Founders’ Library. Selected by America’s leading historians and law professors of diverse perspectives, the Founders’ Library contains nearly 170 historical texts and 50 landmark Supreme Court cases, from the Founding era through the civil rights era. For an introduction to the Founders’ Library, check out my conversation last week on the We the People podcast with Paul Rahe and Jonathan Gienapp, two of the scholars who selected five documents each to highlight. As you explore the library, click on a document or an era that interests you and let the learning begin.
All of these new offerings are hosted on our newly redesigned website, which makes it easier for visitors to find our podcasts, videos, and other timely content, making it a one-stop constitutional hub you can return to again and again. And it’s so meaningful to launch Constitution 101 just ahead of Constitution Day and a robust week-long celebration at the NCC with live and virtual events. On September 16, among other Constitution Day events, we are hosting an in-person and livestreamed keynote conversation on originalism with Emily Bazelon, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine, Rich Lowry, editor-in-chief of National Review, Steven Mazie of The Economist, and Ilan Wurman of Arizona State University, exploring whether the Constitution should be interpreted in light of its original understanding.