Constitution Day: September 17

Constitution Day commemorates the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution by 39 brave men on Sept. 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, recognizing all who are born in the United States or by naturalization, who have become citizens. The delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. 

Political turmoil and unrest around the world provides us an opportunity to reflect on the meaning of the U.S. Constitution in the lives of all Americans. Thousands of elections are held to select an array of political leadership ranging from city aldermen to governors to the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to the President. The elected officials, empowered and constrained by the U.S. Constitution, go to work to forge and implement policies expressed by their constituents throughout the election process.

It is easy to take this document for granted, a governing structure that allows a nation to peacefully change its leadership, select policy directions and continue to provide the freedom for all to express their ideas without the need for, or fear of, public violence. As we look around the world, violence and political oppression are evident across the globe. Our nation is truly blessed.

The U.S. Constitution aims to guarantee rights to individuals, establish the responsibilities of government and assure free and periodic elections. While radical and visionary at the time of its adoption, our constitution continues to work.

An informational session with slides about the history of the U.S. Constitution and its Articles and Amendments will be available in the Wilder Tower lobby near the front desk on Monday, Sept. 17 from 12:30 p.m. – 2 p.m.


M. David Rudd
The University of Memphis