United States Constitution and Citizenship Day
|Exhibit of primary sources as it appeared at Wheeling Jesuit University's first Constitution and Citizenship Day celebration on September 15th, 2005. - Image courtesy of Historic.us|
Constitution and Citizenship Day is a U.S. federal observance that recognizes both the framing of the United States Constitution of 1787 and those who have chosen to become U.S. citizens. It is observed on September 17th, the day the Philadelphia Convention completed, signed and transmitted its "New Plan for the Federal Government" to the United States in Congress Assembled convening in New York.
Students and Teachers of US History this is a video of Stanley and Christopher Klos presenting America's Four United Republics Curriculum at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. The December 2015 video was an impromptu capture by a member of the audience of Penn students, professors and guests that numbered about 200.
The law establishing the observance was created by the United States Congress through an amendment, drafted by West Virginia Senator Robert Byrd, to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004. Specifically, 36 USC § 106, Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, states:
(a) Designation.— September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.(b) Purpose.— Constitution Day and Citizenship Day commemorate the formation and signing on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution and recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.(c) Proclamation.— The President may issue each year a proclamation calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and inviting the people of the United States to observe Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies.(d) State and Local Observances.— The civil and educational authorities of States, counties, cities, and towns are urged to make plans for the proper observance of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day and for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.
In 2005, US Senator Robert C. Byrd inserted Section 111 in Public Law 108-447, An Act Making appropriations for foreign operations, export financing, and related programs for the fiscal year ending September 30, 2005, and for other purposes. This Act requires all publicly funded educational institutions to provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. Specifically Section 111 states:
Section 111. (a) The head of each Federal agency or department shall—(1) provide each new employee of the agency or department with educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution as part of the orientation materials provided to the new employee; and (2) provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee of the agency or department on September 17 of each year.
(b) Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.
(c) Title 36 of the United States Code, is amended (1) in section 106--(A) in the heading, by inserting ``Constitution Day and'' before ``Citizenship Day''; (B) in subsection (a), by striking ``is Citizenship Day.'' and inserting ``is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.''; (C) in subsection (b)-- (i) by inserting ``Constitution Day and'' before ``Citizenship Day''; (ii) by striking ``commemorates'' and inserting ``commemorate''; and (iii) by striking ``recognizes'' and inserting ``recognize''; (D) in subsection (c), by inserting ``Constitution Day and'' before ``Citizenship Day'' both places such term appears; and (E) in subsection (d), by inserting ``Constitution Day and'' before ``Citizenship Day''; and (2) in the item relating to section 106 of the table of contents, by inserting ``Constitution Day and'' before `Citizenship Day''.
President Who? The Forgotten Constitution: In May 1994, Stan Klos won the US Senate Republican primary and challenged incumbent Robert C. Byrd for the West Virginia Senate seat the following November. Stan recalls that:
After the election, Senator Byrd and I would speak, from time to time, to discuss history and politics. On one occasion, he asked for my input on the Foundations of Freedom US Constitution project, which Congress had funded with $2,000,000. The interactive DVD, formulated at the Erma Byrd Center for Educational Technologies, was supposed to be completed in time for the enactment of US Constitution and Citizenship Day. During that consulting period the Senator and I discussed the project along with his plan to establish September 17th as Constitution and Citizenship Day. I sent along some ideas that incorporated recognition for the Articles of Confederation. Specifically, I proposed a "Constitution Week" to fall on the first week of March, which would include the 1st and 4th days that respectively, marked the commencement of the Articles of Confederation and Constitution of 1787 U.S. Republics. The Senator listened, asked questions but never did use any of my ideas to include the Articles of Confederation or move Constitution Day to March. After the legislation was enacted, at the Senator’s request, Wheeling Jesuit University invited me to assemble an exhibit of constitutional primary sources and keynote its first Constitution and Citizenship Day celebration. Senator Byrd gave his Constitution Day keynote address at West Virginia's Shepherds College on September 16, 2005.
SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement announces that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. This notice implements this provision as it applies to educational institutions receiving Federal funding from the Department. (see below)
Historian Stanley Klos filling in for US Senator Robert C. Byrd as the keynote speaker at Wheeling Jesuit University's first US Constitution and Citizen Day on Thursday, September 15, 2005
Colleges and Universities nationwide have created "U.S. Constitution and Citizenship Weeks" in order to meet the requirements of the law. Such celebrations includes Constitutional Speakers, exhibits of Constitutional Historic Documents, "Constitution Trivia Contests", distribution of free copies of the U.S. Constitution, a campus & community fair, a web pages with facts and links related to the Constitution and history of the United States, and re-enactments of the 1787 Philadelphia Constitution Convention and debates. Below is the 2013 Constitution Day Exhibit "Reframing the US Constitution: To Form A More Perfect Union" exhibited by Historic.us at Loyola University New Orleans, September 13th - 30th, 2013.
DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
Notice of Implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17 of Each Year
AGENCY: Office of Innovation and Improvement, Department of Education.
ACTION: Notice of implementation of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.
SUMMARY: The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement announces that, pursuant to legislation passed by Congress, educational institutions receiving Federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution on September 17 of each year. This notice implements this provision as it applies to educational institutions receiving Federal funding from the Department.
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This notice informs educational institutions receiving Federal funds from the U.S. Department of Education (Department) of a new statutory requirement for implementation of an educational program pertaining to the United States Constitution, on a date designated by statute as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (``Constitution Day''). This Congressional initiative is authorized by Section 111 of Division J of Pub. L. 108-447, the ``Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005,'' Dec. 8, 2004; 118 Stat. 2809, 3344-45 (Section 111). The Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement (Assistant Deputy Secretary) takes this action in order to implement this provision as it applies to educational institutions receiving Federal funding from the Department.
Section 111(b) states ``[e]ach educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution.'' For purposes of the Department's implementation of this requirement, ``educational institutions'' includes but is not limited to ``local educational agencies'' and ``institutions of higher education'' receiving Federal funding from the Department.
Section 111 applies to all educational institutions receiving Federal funding, not only those receiving Federal funding from the Department. However, the Department's authority only extends to those educational institutions receiving funding from the Department, and consequently the Department can only regulate with regard to those institutions.
Section 111 requires that Constitution Day be held on September 17 of each year, commemorating the September 17, 1787 signing of the Constitution. However, when September 17 falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or holiday, Constitution Day shall be held during the preceding or following week.
Section 111 does not authorize funds to carry out this requirement, and Section 111(d) indicates that this section shall apply ``without fiscal year limitation.'' Accordingly, the Assistant Deputy Secretary intends that this notice pertain to this fiscal year and all subsequent years.
Some informational resources pertaining to the Constitution are listed below. In addition to these, the Department is aware that there may be other public and private resources available that may be helpful to educational institutions in implementing Constitution Day. While the Department does not endorse any particular program or Web site, this information is provided because it may be of use to educational institutions developing their Constitution Day programs.
One of the Library of Congress' repositories for Constitutional documents and information may be accessed at: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/bdsds/bdsdhome.html.
The National Archives also has a Web site with a scan of the U.S. Constitution available online at: http://www.archives.gov/national_archives_experience/charters/constitution.html:
In addition, the National Archives has a nationwide network of research facilities, including presidential libraries that welcome students as young as 14
years of age. Information about the facilities (by region and state) can be located online at: http://www.archives.gov/facilities/index.html.
In addition to the resources mentioned above, it is our understanding that the U.S. Office of Personnel Management will be making available to all Federal agencies, information to help train and educate Federal employees on the Constitution and, in particular, its relationship to the Oath of Office Federal employees take. This
information will be posted shortly on the OPM Web site, at: http://www.opm.gov/. We expect that educational institutions may find this material useful in planning their Constitution Day activities.
Electronic Access to This Document: You may view this document, as well as all other Department of Education documents published in the Federal Register, in text or Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) on the Internet at the following site: http://www.ed.gov/news/fedregister.
Note: The official version of this document is the document published in the Federal Register. Free Internet access to the official edition of the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations is available on GPO Access at: http://www.gpoaccess.gov/nara/index.html.
Dated: May 19, 2005.Nina Shokraii Rees, Assistant Deputy Secretary for Innovation and Improvement.
Presidents of the United States of America
D-Democratic Party, F-Federalist Party, I-Independent, R-Republican Party, R* Republican Party of Jefferson & W-Whig Party
(1881 - 1881)
*Confederate States of America
|Stan Klos lecturing at the Republican National Convention's PoliticalFest 2000 Rebels With A Vision Exhibit in Philadelphia's Convention Hall|
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