Today is September 17

Published 9:40 am Friday, September 17, 2021

CONSTITUTION DAY AND CITIZENSHIP DAY

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on September 17th commemorates the adoption of the Constitution of the United States and those who have become United States citizens. On this day, members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

Constitutional Convention 

While many contributed to crafting the document known today as the U.S. Constitution, James Madison wrote the draft forming the basis for the Constitution. Those who participated in its development gathered in Independence Hall in Philadelphia that sultry summer of 1787. George Washington presided over the Convention. But many “Founding Fathers” attended to other diplomatic duties, unable to participate. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence, served overseas on behalf of his country. John Adams also served abroad. However, Patrick Henry refused to attend due to principle and preferring the Articles of Confederation. Others eventually swayed Henry when convention leaders added a Bill of Rights.

The convention lasted from May 25 to September 17, 1787. During that time, the 55 delegates debated the duties of the government, checks, and balances, and the rights and freedoms of the people. They divided the government into three branches: the legislative branch to make the laws; the executive to execute the laws, and the judicial to interpret the laws.

The delegates suffered through rough weather, heat, and illness. Despite the conditions, they formed a Bill of Rights enumerating the rights and freedoms of the people.

Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and George Washington all signed the Constitution.

On December 7, 1787, Delaware became the first state to ratify the Constitution. So the process began, obtaining each state’s approval. Rhode Island didn’t send any delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Their headstrong character did not appreciate a powerful government and held tight to their independence as long as they could. As a result, they were the last state to ratify the Constitution on May 29, 1790.

Citizenship

The 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution defines citizenship as “All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside.” On July 28, 1868, Secretary of State William Seward proclaimed the amendment ratified.

While the 14th Amendment was the first step in a long line of amendments defining citizens and their rights, it took decades to enforce some of those rights.

For example, one of a citizen’s most valued powers is the power to vote. The 15th and 19th Amendments define those rights for blacks and women. However, it wasn’t until 1924 that all Native Americans were granted citizenship. Through the Indian Citizenship Act, many Native Americans were allowed to vote for the first time. Still, this legislation did not stop some states from preventing some from voting.

HOW TO OBSERVE #ConstitutionDay or #CitizenshipDay

Learn more about the U.S. Constitution and the process of becoming a citizen in the United States. Explore the history of the Constitution. Study the people who brought the Constitution to life and the road to its ratification.

While you’re exploring, use #ConstitutionDay or #CitizenshipDay to post on social media.

Educators, families, and students, visit the National Day Calendar Classroom for more ways to Celebrate Every Day!

CONSTITUTION DAY HISTORY

This holiday dates all the way back to 1911 when schools in Iowa first recognized Constitution Day. Then in 1917, the society known as the Sons of the American Revolution formed a committee to promote Constitution Day. Members of that committee included Calvin Coolidge, John D. Rockefeller, and General John Pershing.

In 1940, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared “I am an American Day,” and Congress designated the third Sunday in May to celebrate it. By 1949, the governors of all 48 states had issued Constitution Day proclamations.  On February 29, 1952, Congress changed the name from “I am an American Day” to “Citizenship Day” and moved its observation to September 17.  In 2004, the day was renamed Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

NATIONAL MONTE CRISTO DAY

On September 17th, National Monte Cristo Day recognizes the indulgent and delicious sandwich.

A Monte Cristo is a fried ham and cheese sandwich. The French sandwich called the croque-monsieur inspired the Monte Cristo. However, the sandwich goes by other names, too. If you find a menu with French Sandwich, Toasted Ham Sandwich, or a French Toasted Cheese Sandwich, order them for a taste of Monte Cristo.

While the Monte Cristo typically offers a savory sandwich, sometimes powdered sugar and jam preserves sweeten it, too. To achieve the crispy outer coating, chefs dip the prepared sandwich in an egg batter. Then they either pan-fry or deep-fry the sandwich to perfection.

Occasionally, variations include sliced turkey and different types of cheese. Other options for serving are available, too. For example, some like to serve a grilled version. Another version may be served open-faced and heated under a grill or broiler.

HOW TO OBSERVE #MonteCristoDay

Invite a friend or family member to join you for a Monte Cristo. Savor the delicious sandwich as an indulgent celebration and share a photo of your meal, too! Don’t forget to include your favorite versions. Do you prefer turkey over ham? Which cheese do you use? Be sure to share using #MonteCristoDay or #Bennigans on social media.

On this date:

  • 1978 Camp David Accords were signed

    The Camp David Accords were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. The accords were the precursor to the 1974 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty

  • 1939 Man runs 10,000 meters in less than 30 minutes for the first time in recorded history

    Finnish runner, Taisto Mäki, broke his previous record by running the distance in 29 minutes 52 seconds.

  • 1894 A day after Japan wins the Battle of Pyongyang it defeats China in the Battle of the Yalu River

    Also known as the Battle of the Yellow Sea, the conflict was fought between Japan and China during the First Sino-Japanese War.

  • 1862 Bloodiest Single Day of the American Civil War takes place

    The Battle of Antietam was fought near the Antietam Creek in Sharpsburg, Maryland. Thought to be the deadliest single day of the American Civil War – at least 4000 soldiers on both sides died – the battle ended Confederate General Robert E. Lee incursion into the North. While there were no clear victors, many believed that the withdrawal of Confederate soldiers from the battlefield before the Union Army did meant that the Union had won the battle.

  • 1809 Treaty of Fredrikshamn is signed between Sweden and Russia

    Also known as the Treaty of Hamina, it concluded the Finnish War and ceded Swedish territories, which later formed Finland to Russia.