Constitution Day and Freedom Week

Constitution Day celebrates the adoption of the Constitution into law in 1787 by delegates of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and is celebrated on September 17th. The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 with an amendment by Robert Byrd. Prior to this amendment, the holiday was known as “Citizenship Day.” The amendment mandates that publicly funded educational institutions, such as USD 475, and all federal agencies provide educational awareness on the constitution on this holiday. In May of 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funding.

The United States Constitution is the foremost law of the United States of America. This document, originally comprised of seven articles written on parchment, outlines the frame of our government. The first three articles highlight the separation of powers; legislative, executive, and judicial. Articles four, five, and six notate the concepts of federalism, the rights and responsibilities of the state governments and the states in relation to the federal government. At this time, the states wanted some independence from the federal government. Article seven dictates procedure on ratification used by the thirteen states.

Since the Constitution was enacted in 1789, it has been amended twenty-seven times to meet the ever changing needs of the United States. The first ten amendments were known as the Bill of Rights, which offered specific protection of individual liberty and justice and placed restrictions on government. The majority of the seventeen later revisions expanded upon civil rights protections.

On this Constitution Day, USD 475, recognizes the first three words of the Constitution “We the people” as a moment in our history that formed a government that framed our present day system. We honor those delegates that stood firm in their beliefs for a greater cause and our future.

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