September 17, 2012
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 225th 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. In 2012, because September 17 falls on a religious holiday (Rosh Hashanah), educational institutions receiving Federal funding may celebrate Constitution Day during the preceding or following week.
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.
The Department of Education maintains a Web site, Federal Resources for Educational Excellence (FREE), for finding teaching resources across the Federal government. Some of the resources provide important information on the U.S. Constitution. Through this Web site, you can meet the delegates who gathered in Philadelphia in May 1787 to rewrite the Articles of Confederation; learn what issues they faced; discover the sources that inspired them; read the essays printed in New York City papers urging ratification of the delegates' proposal; explore a 200-year timeline showing the impact of the Constitution on our history, and search the Constitution. FREE resources can be found at: http://free.ed.gov/subjects.cfm?subject_id=19
The National Archives and Records Administration, which holds and exhibits the U.S. Constitution, hosts a number of online resources for teachers and students at http://docsteach.org/home/constitution and http://www.archives.gov/calendar/constitution-day/.
We refer you to these additional National Archives links:
Celebrate Constitution Day
Read the Constitution in its original form and in a transcript. View Webcasts of Senator Robert Byrd's remarks and discussions on federalism and checks and balances.
The Constitution of the United States
View high resolution scans of the original, signed Constitution. Obtain a transcript. Read an essay about the Constitutional Convention. Learn dozens of fascinating facts about the Constitution. Learn about each of the signers of the Constitution.
Observing Constitution Day: The Signers of the Constitution
Find out about the delegates who signed the Constitution on September 17, 1787.
Observing Constitution Day: The Constitution Game
Explore, in this simulation, how the members of the Constitutional Convention might have felt as they gathered in Philadelphia's Independence Hall and began the task of writing the Constitution.
Teaching with Documents: The Ratification of the Constitution
Uncover the issues involved in the creation and ratification of the Constitution and the new government it established.
In addition, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) is sponsoring an Emancipation Portal, which can be found at: http://emancipation.neh.gov/. The NEH has collaborated with University of Richmond President and Civil War historian Edward L. Ayers to create a number of opportunitiesincluding an interactive discussion with leading emancipation historians and a creative student contestwhich encourage high school and college students across the nation to consider the immediate and long-term implications of emancipation as it relates to the U.S. Constitution and their lives today.
We also encourage participants to visit The National History Education Clearinghouse (NHEC) Web site at www.teachinghistory.org. The NHEC is funded by the U.S. Department of Education under contract number ED-07-CO-0088. Teaching History.org has posted a "splash page" which provides additional information: http://teachinghistory.org/spotlight/constitution-day.
Thank you for your interest in Constitution Day and these resources. If you have any questions regarding Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, please contact Tony Fowler at (202) 401-3673 or Anthony.Fowler@ed.gov.