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Constitution Day

Although Constitution Day is officially observed on September 17, every day is Constitution Day at the Federal Courts.

In 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed a bill that moved “I Am an American Day” from the third Sunday in May to September 17 so that this holiday would coincide with the signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787. Congress renamed the holiday “Citizenship Day.” A joint resolution passed in 1956 requested the President to proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23
each year as “Constitution Week.”

Senator Robert C. Byrd (D-WV) entered an amendment to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 that changed the name of the September 17 holiday to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.” The purpose of “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” is to honor and celebrate the privileges and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship for both native-born and naturalized citizens, while commemorating
the creation and signing of the supreme law of our land.

The addition of the amendment, known as Public Law 108-477, requires all schools that receive federal funds hold an educational program for their students on September 17 of each year. This lesson, which is adapted from curricular materials on the Constitution produced by the Center for Civic Education, is designed to assist schools and federal agencies to meet the requirements of this law.

The Western District of Missouri celebrates Constitution Day annually by conducting a Naturalization Ceremony on September 17 at a select location. In addition, an invitation is extended to select school groups to participate as appropriate.

The sites listed below are portals to a wealth of materials and programs offered by other institutions.

Center for Civic Education
National Constitution Center
U.S. National Archives & Records Administration

The following are sources of pocket Constitutions

American Bar Association Store
National Constitution Center