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Department of Political Science

Department of Politics, Philosophy, and Public Administration

Constitution Day

On each September 17th, Americans celebrate Constitution Day, a day to take a closer look at the founding document of the United States government, taking place on the same day the Constitution was ratified in 1787. Although the "holiday" itself is fairly new, dating back to 2004, and largely the brainchild of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), the day has its roots in Citizenship Day, which celebrates those who have become United States citizens. Citizenship Day also took place on September 17th. What is fascinating about the United States Constitution is even though the interpretation of the document itself has changed drastically in the past 222 years, the actual written words have changed only twenty-seven times. What is even more remarkable about this document is that the Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, accounted for the first ten amendments, while another amendment was used to eliminated an existing amendment-Prohibition. India's constitution, by contrast, has been amended over 300 times since its independence back in 1947! Our Constitution remains a seminal document for liberty for all who seek it, and a beacon of light for all people who aspire to the rule of law.

-William Harvard, political science student