By Lucia Bragg
Constitution Day, celebrated on Sunday this year, is a national holiday to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
Congress first established “Constitution Week” in 1956. However, in 2004 Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.) introduced an amendment to the omnibus spending bill to make Sept. 17 a national holiday, and to require that all schools receiving federal funding, as well as all federal agencies, provide relevant programming to celebrate the Constitution.
From the Ronald Reagan Institute’s 13th Annual Constitution Day Conference to the National Constitution Center’s Celebration featuring birthday cake, people are gearing-up to celebrate. Some even mark the occasion on social media with #ConstitutionDay.
Federal agencies, which do not mandate or prescribe lesson plans or state academic standards, also offer a variety of free resources for educators and schools to celebrate Constitution Day, such as:
- The National Archives educational activities and workshop materials.
- The Library of Congress American Memory site’s numerous historical documents and lesson plans.
- The U.S. Senate’s website on the holiday.
For additional information on civic education, visit NCSL’s blog archives for highlights on NCSL’s Legislators Back to School Program.
How will you celebrate #ConstitutionDay?
Lucia Bragg is a policy associate for NCSL's Education program in Washington, D.C.
Joan Wodiska is senior federal affairs counsel for NCSL's State-Federal Relations Division in Washington, D.C.