September 17, 2013
September 17 is Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (Constitution Day). This day commemorates the September 17, 1787 signing of the United States Constitution.
This year is the 226th anniversary of the Constitution.
Each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year is required to hold an educational program about the U.S. Constitution for its students.
This posting is intended to remind affected educational institutions of this responsibility and to provide resources for them to use in developing their program.
To assist in planning Constitution Day programs, we are pleased to provide links to Web sites that contain materials that can be publicly accessed for general use or for use as teaching materials in the classroom.
There are a myriad of resources and activities which families and classrooms can use to plan a Constitution Day event. For example:
- The Department’s Federal Resources for Excellence in Education (FREE) offers more than 25 resources from various federal agencies at: http://free.ed.gov/?page_id=6&query=U.S.%20Constitution&subject=5%2C3%2C5&gov=1
The National Archives Teaching with Documents page provides Constitution Day activities for teachers and families at: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-day/; http://www.archives.gov/kansas-city/education/constitution-day/lesson-plans.pdf; http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/constitution-workshop/
The Library of Congress American Memory site provides numerous resources on the Constitution. These two links provide access: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/amlaw/lawhome.html; http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/continental/intro01.htm; and http://thomas.loc.gov/teachers/constitution.html
The National Endowment for the Humanities provides content on the Constitution through the EDSITEMENT web site: http://edsitement.neh.gov/constitution-day
The Office of Personnel Management has put relevant materials on its Web site at http://opm.gov/constitution_initiative.
The U.S. Senate has posted material from the Legislative Branch: http://www.senate.gov/artandhistory/history/common/generic/ConstitutionDay.htm
We also encourage you to access information about the Constitution on the National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC) site at www.teachinghistory.org. The NHEC is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under contract no. ED-07-CO-0088. The NHEC homepage features special, highlighted information on teaching resources for Constitution Day.
The Constitution Center in Philadelphia is holding a series of events throughout the year. You can learn about these at: http://constitutioncenter.org/constitutions-day
With regard to non-governmental website, these are provided as examples of resources on Constitution Day that you might find helpful. There are many other resources available that may be just as helpful. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of these sites, nor does our inclusion here constitute an endorsement of the sites, the material on the sites, or the related products or services of the entity that provided the information.
We encourage Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that bring together community members to reflect on the importance of active citizenship, recognize the enduring strength of our Constitution, and reaffirm our commitment to the rights and obligations of citizenship in this great Nation.