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    Celebrate Freedom
     
    Week
     
     Constitution
     
    Day

     Week of Sept. 17

     Sept. 17
     
     General Information about the Constitution:

    The final draft of the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on September 17, 1787. Months later, enough states had ratified it (nine out of thirteen) to officially make it our nation's new system of government.

    In the years following, many citizens of the United States have celebrated the creation of the Constitution at various times during the month of September. One particular group, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), has been especially vocal in its desire to preserve the history of our Constitution and convey its true meaning to all Americans. In fact, the DAR even erected the only structure dedicated to the Constitution - Constitution Hall. This memorial is registered as a national historic landmark.

    In 1955, the DAR began actively petitioning Congress to proclaim the week following September 17 as Constitution Week, in observance of our treasured document. Because of the group's effort and dedication, Senator William F. Knowland of California formally initiated a Senate Joint Resolution to make Constitution Week an annual event and on August 2, 1956, President Eisenhower signed the motion into public law. Constitution Week was now official.

    Fifty years later, in 2005, the Constitution was in the news once again. President George W. Bush signed public law 108-447 requiring all educational institutions that receive federal funds to teach the United States Constitution on September 17 (or the closest school day if it falls on a weekend). In addition, the law states that educators must be provided with the necessary teaching materials in order to fulfill the mandate. Designating September 17 as Constitution Day demonstrates the value that our government places on this historical document. Students around the nation will now have multiple opportunities to grasp its significance.

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