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CITIZENSHIP DAY ACTIVITIES PLANNED

September 13, 2013

In Honor of 'Citizenship Day'!
'September 17'

On September 17, 1787, the 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention held their final meeting. Only one item of business occupied the agenda that day, to sign the Constitution of the United States of America.

Since May 14, 1787, the 55 delegates had gathered almost daily in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia to revise the Articles of Confederation. By the middle of June, it became apparent to the delegates that to merely amend the Articles of Confederation would not be sufficient. Instead, they would write an entirely new document designed to clearly define and separate the powers of the central government, the powers of the states, the rights of the people and how the representatives of the people should be elected.

After being signed in September of 1787, Congress sent printed copies of the Constitution to the state legislatures for ratification. In the months that followed, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay would write the Federalist Papers in support, while Patrick Henry, Elbridge Gerry, and George Mason would organize the opposition to the new Constitution. By June 21, 1788, nine states had approved the Constitution, finally forming "a more perfect Union."

No matter how much we argue about the details of its meaning today, in the opinion of many, the Constitution signed in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787 represents the greatest expression of statesmanship and compromise ever written. In just four hand-written pages, the Constitution gives us no less than the owners' manual to the greatest form of government the world has ever known.

We have no tribal council, nor can we vote anybody off the island. But, we do live in the land of the free, and as long as the Constitution stands, we always will.
Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) is an American federal holiday that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution. It is observed on September 17, the day the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

The law establishing the holiday was created in 2004 with the passage of an amendment by Senator Robert Byrd to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004. Before this law was enacted, the holiday was known as "Citizenship Day". In addition to renaming the holiday "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day," the act mandates that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American Constitution on that day. In May 2005, the United States Department of Education announced the enactment of this law and that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind. This holiday is not observed by granting time off work for federal employees.

When Constitution Day falls on a weekend or on another holiday, schools and other institutions unofficially observe the holiday on an adjacent weekday. This was the case in 2005, when Constitution Day was generally observed on Friday, September 16 and 2006 when the holiday was observed on Monday, September 18.  

Plainview Public Schools will observe the holiday with a number of activities.  Most of the activities will be conducted by the American Government Class and Mr. Schumacher. The students will be teaching the elementary students about the Constitution as well as all classes during the day will take part in numerous activities while in Mr. Schumacher’s classes.

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