constitution & citizenship day
Constitution Day originated in an appropriations bill (Public Law 108-447) enacted on December 8, 2004, which requires educational institutions that receive federal funds to stage programming on September 17 of every year in honor of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. This commemoration took the place of Citizenship Day, which was created on February 29, 1952, by the U.S. Congress, following the lead of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s patriotic “I Am An American Day” observances beginning in the late 1930s.
On September 17, 1787, the Constitution was signed by 38 of the 41 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, and following a series of ratification debates, it went into effect when the ninth state, New Hampshire, voted for ratification on June 21, 1788. The government authorized by the Constitution began operations on March 4, 1789, the first day of the 1st U.S. Congress, and President George Washington was inaugurated on April 30, 1789. Today, the Constitution is the oldest surviving written constitution still in effect around the world.
Huntington University began Constitution Day observances in 2006 and stages educational programming every year on September 17 or the nearest available convocation date.
Past Constitution Day programs
"Jeopardy!" style event with audience participation.2012
“The U.S. Congress: Successes, Failures, and the Democratic Process.” Presentation by Dr. Fred Beuttler (Deputy Historian, U.S. House of Representatives).2011
“From O.J. Simpson to Casey Anthony: Exploring the U.S. Constitution's Vision of Justice.” Presentation by Francis Lee Watson (IU McKinney School of Law).2010
“Citizenship and the Constitution: Panel Discussion on the Fourteenth Amendment.” Featuring Hon. Daniel G. Heath (Allen County Superior Court), John L. Hill (IU School of Law), and Gavin Rose (ACLU).2009
"Family Feud" style event with audience participation.2008
Electoral College simulation program with audience participation.2007
"Jeopardy!" style event with audience participation.2006
“Security and Freedom: A Constitution Day Conversation.” Roundtable discussion featuring Lena N. Snethen (ACLU), Robert Vane (Indiana Republican Party), and Amy Richison (Huntington County Prosecutor).