National Archives News

Celebrating Constitution Day

"We the People" Constitution clipping

George Washington is about to receive the draft of the Constitution from James Madison in this mural by Barry Faulkner in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC

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.

Civic Education

The national civic education initiative from the National Archives promotes civic literacy and engagement. Our interactive distance learning programs for teachers and students are led by National Archives educators located nationwide and draw upon our vast holdings to promote the knowledge, skills, and dispositions students need for civic engagement in the 21st century.

Online Teacher Workshop

Teaching the Constitution with the National Archives
Thursday, September 8, 2022, 7–8 p.m. ET 

Get ready for Constitution Day with primary sources, classroom activities, and programs from the National Archives! In this interactive virtual workshop you will explore how to make teaching the Constitution hands-on and relevant to students’ lives with text analysis activities, primary sources, and online teaching activities on DocsTeach.org. This workshop is suitable for all educators.

Register

Student Webinar Programs

The Constitution Rules! for Grades K–2

Register for an upcoming program:

September 12, 2022  at 2:15 p.m. ET
September 13, 2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET
September 14, 2022 at 2:15 p.m. ET
September 16, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET
September 19, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET
September 22, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. ET

The Constitution and Our Community for Grades 3–5

Register for an upcoming program:

September 12, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET
September 14, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET
September 15, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. ET
September 16, 2022 at 2:15 p.m. ET
September 20, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. ET
September 23, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET

Voting Rights, the Constitution & Representative Government for Grades 6–8

Register for an upcoming program:

September 16, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. ET
September 21, 2022 at 11:15 a.m. ET

No Conscription Without Representation: Voting Rights and the Constitution for Grades 9–12

Register for an upcoming program:

September 13, 2022 at 1:15 p.m. ET
September 15, 2022 at 10:15 a.m. ET

    Sign the Constitution!

    Add your name and become a signer of one of America's Founding Documents! Virtually "sign" the Constitution on our website.

    Accordion

    DocsTeach  Access primary sources and online teaching activities related to the U.S. Constitution and how it forms the basis for our Government's actions on DocsTeach, the online tool for teaching with documents from the National Archives.

    K–12 Distance Learning Programs for students

    Professional Development for educators via webinar

    Exploring the United States Constitution - Find the special Constitution eBook and other resources, available for download with iBooks and on iTunesU, or as a PDF.

    Congress Creates the Bill of Rights eBook, mobile app, and online resources

    Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test primary source-based eWorkbook

    Online resources for teaching about the Constitution

    Pieces from the publication Social Education (written by NARA staff as a part of our partnership with the National Council for the Social Studies) 

    Constitution Day Resources for Federal Employees

    Civic Renewal Network

    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 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 for the documents to arrive. Find out where it was stored and how it finally came to to rest in its present home.

     

    Past public programs on YouTube

    The Nature of Constitutional Rights (9/17/19)

    For Us, By Us: Trust in, and Expectations of, the Constitution (9/17/18)

    The New American Constitution (9/14/17)

    The Future of Policy Making (9/15/16)

    Is the Constitution Still Working for America (9/17/14)

    Prologue Articles

    "Amending America" Prologue Magazine, Winter 2015

    "Errors in the Constitution—Typographical and Congressional" Prologue Magazine, Fall 2012

    "A New Era Begins for the Charters of Freedom" Prologue Magazine, Fall 2003

    "Travels of the Charters of Freedom" Prologue Magazine, Winter 2002


    Blogs

    Archivist of the United States blog: Naturalization Ceremony

    Education Updates: We Rule: Civics for All of US, A New Civic Education Initiative from the National Archives

    Pieces of History posts about the Constitution and Constitution Day

    Pieces of History: Constitution Day 1985 and Ross Perot’s Magna Carta

    Pieces of History: A Constitution Day Reminder

    The Text Message: Elbridge Gerry and the Constitution, 1787–1788

    National Archives News: National Archives Welcomes New Citizens (2017)

    National Archives News: New Citizens Sworn In on Constitution Day (2018)

    National Archives News: National Archives Welcomes New Citizens (2019)

    Constitution of the United States. Drafted in secret by delegates to the Constitutional Convention during the summer of 1787, this four-page document, signed on September 17, 1787, established the government of the United States.

    Constitution Q&A. Questions & Answers Pertaining to the Constitution, excerpted from The Story of the Constitution, by Sol Bloom

    Constitution of the United States: A History. Based on the Introduction to A More Perfect Union: The Creation of the U.S. Constitution, by Roger A. Bruns

    Download high-resolution images of the Constitution. Articles 1–7 of the U.S. Constitution as well as the subsequent amendments.

    Teaching With Documents: U.S. Constitution Workshop. A self-service online version of our popular on-site U. S. Constitution Workshop

    Excerpt, Public Law 108-447 Section 111 of Title I, Division J, of the Fiscal Year 2005 Consolidated Appropriations Act, enacted into law on December 8, 2004, instructs each Federal agency to provide educational materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee on September 17 of each year.

    National Constitution Center—Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline. An online experience highlighting some of the key dates and events that mark more than 200 years of our constitutional history.

    National Constitution Center: Interactive U.S. Constitution. Search the text of the Constitution by keyword, explore the Constitution by topic, or search the text of the Constitution by Supreme Court decisions.

    Creative Ideas for Local Observances. Examples of activities, meetings, and programs for the observance of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.

     

    Naturalization Ceremonies in the Rotunda

    For more than 30 years, new United States naturalized citizens have taken the oath of allegiance in the National Archives Rotunda in Washington, DC, just steps away from the United States Constitution. Read about the ceremonies held in 2017, 2018, and 2019.

     

    Jefferson and Declaration Founders Online allows you to read the Founders' own words about creating the Constitution.
    Amending America Ebook cover designDownload the ebook and Learn about the "Amending America" exhibit.
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