Constitution Day
September 17

"We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."
Preamble to the United States Constitution


On this day in 1787 delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia to sign the United States Constitution. Drafted in less than one hundred working days, the constitution established the fundamental principles and formation of the United States Government - creating three balanced branches of government: the legislative, the judicial, and the executive.

Officially ratified on June 21, 1788, by the ninth state (New Hampshire), the United States government came into being.

  However, it was not until February 2, 1790 that the government became fully operationally with the organization of the Supreme Court. The first ten amendments to the Constitution proposed in 1789 and ratified on December 15, 1791, form what is known as the Bill of Rights.

For more information, to read a transcript of the Constitution, or to participate in Constitution Day programming visit The National Archives.

 
Other links of interest:
House of Representatives
The National Archives
Justice Learning