National Archives News

Celebrating Constitution Day

"We the People" Constitution clipping

September 17 is designated as Constitution Day and Citizenship Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Learn more about the U.S. Constitution through our public programs, family activities, and online resources.

The U.S. Constitution at the National Archives
Go inside the vaults to see rarely displayed documents relating to the formation of the Constitution, including George Washington’s printed copy with his annotations, the final printed text, and Pennsylvania’s ratified copy.
"Amending America" Exhibit
Take a virtual tour of our "Amending America" exhibit, which highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form a nation that more closely mirrors our ideals.
Amending America: How Do We Amend?
This animated short, made for the “Amending America” exhibit, describes how an amendment can be proposed and ratified. It also illustrates how our Founders included Article V to make it possible to amend our Constitution.
U.S. Constitution — The "Fifth Page" (Transmittal Page)
The so-called "Fifth Page" of the U.S. Constitution—also known as the Transmittal Page—is rarely displayed. Learn about this lesser known page of the Constitution and how National Archives conservators care for it and our other precious documents.
The U.S. Constitution Comes to the National Archives
The United States Constitution is in the Rotunda of the National Archives today, but it took many years to get there. Find out where it was stored and how it finally came to to rest in its present home.

Constitution Day Events

Washington, DC Events

Events are free and open to the public.

Wednesday, September 14, at 10 a.m.
Naturalization Ceremony
National Archives Rotunda

Watch the naturalization ceremony live on YouTube Former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is the guest speaker.

Thursday, September 15, at 7 p.m.
Constitution Day: The 10th Annual State of the Constitution—The Future of Policy Making
William G. McGowan Theater &

Celebrate Constitution Day with the 10th annual State of the Constitution program, which will focus on the future of policy making under our current constitutional system, against the backdrop of national elections. Presented in partnership with the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. Speakers will include Senator Rand Paul and others.

Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Constitution Day Family Activities
Boeing Learning Center

Celebrate in the home of this important document by participating in exciting, hands-on activities. Make listening to the Constitution one of the ways you celebrate this year: 10-year-old Nathan Bond will recite the entire U.S. Constitution at 1 p.m. This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of John Hancock Financial.

Wednesday, September 21, 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Story Time in the ReSource Room for Pre-Schoolers and Adults
Boeing Learning Center

Join us for story time designed for 3- to 5-year-olds and accompanying adults. Children will practice their listening skills, participate in group activities, and create a craft. This month’s theme is the Constitution.


Nationwide Events

Kansas City, MO

Thursday, September 15, at 6:30 p.m.
Ike, Harry, and the Constitution
National Archives at Kansas City

Despite the vast scholarship which has grown around the presidencies of Truman and Eisenhower, and the abundant writing and speaking that both men did about the U.S. Constitution, their views on this important subject are not well known. Robert Beatty (Washburn University) will moderate a discussion with James Giglio (Missouri State University) and Richard Damms (Mississippi State University) about their research and findings on Truman and Eisenhower. See more events.

Hoover Library, West Branch, IA

Friday, September 15, at 1:30 p.m.
Naturalization Ceremony
Herbert Hoover Library-Museum

In the Hoover Library’s 10th annual naturalization ceremony, 74 candidates from 32 countries will take the oath of allegiance to the United States of America. Senator Joni Ernst is the guest speaker.

Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, Hyde Park, NY

Saturday, September 10, through Sunday, September 18
I Signed the Constitution Display
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Wallace Center

A copy of the U.S. Constitution will be on display, and citizens can publicly acknowledge their dedication to the ideals of our governing document.

Friday, September 16, at 7 p.m.
Author Lecture and Book Signing
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.

John Q. Barrett contributor to The Presidents and the Constitution: A Living History, edited by Ken Gormley. Copies of the book will be available for sale after the talk.

Truman Library, Independence, MO

Saturday, September 17, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
Harry S. Truman Library

  • Free admission to the museum
  • Free Pocket Constitution to the first 225 museum visitors
  • Family activities throughout the day

Saturday, September 17, 9:30 a.m.
First Annual Preamble Challenge
Harry S. Truman Library

A reading of the iconic passage—just 52 words starting with "We the People"—will be led by historical reenactors following a live performance of the National Anthem by Allegro Choirs of Kansas City.

Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
West Wing Simulation
Harry S. Truman Library

Ever wonder if you have the right stuff to lead our nation? Find out during free community sessions in The White House Decision Center.

Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m. & 1 p.m.
Founding Fathers Forum
Harry S. Truman Library

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, as portrayed by historical reenactors, will discuss politics, the Presidency and the state of our democracy.

Ford Library

Thursday September 15, 7:30 p.m.
Author Lecture and Book Signing
Gerald R. Ford Library

Linda Greenhouse, author of The President and the Justice: A Look at the Legacy of Justice John Paul Stevens, highlights Justice Stevens’ jurisprudence and the indelible mark he leaves on the Supreme Court.

Teaching & Learning Resources

Rotunda at the National Archives in DC


Articles and Blog Posts

Viewing the Constitution