Celebrated on September 17, Constitution Day, also known as Constitution and Citizenship Day, honors the document that guarantees Americans their essential rights. Since its ratification in 1787, the Constitution of the United States has served as the basis for all U.S. laws.
To prevent the abuses of power they felt subjected to under the British monarchy, the Founding Fathers framed the Constitution carefully, distributing power between three branches of government. The Constitution outlines the government’s powers, the limitations on those powers, and the rights of citizens. It also outlines an amendment process for making changes in the future.
In 1940, Congress and the President passed a resolution creating “I Am an American Day,” observed on the third Sunday in May. In 1952, the holiday was renamed to “Constitution Day” and moved to September 17, the day in 1787 that the Constitution was signed. More than 50 years later in 2004, Congress once again changed the name of the holiday to Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.