Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (also known just as Constitution Day) which commemorates the signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787. In honor of Constitution Day, all educational institutions receiving federal funding are required to hold an educational program pertaining to the U.S. Constitution.
Under direction from the Office of the President and the Provost, the Division of Student and Academic Life will lead a cross-campus gathering of support for offering Constitution Day activities at the University of Kentucky. Staff and faculty work with many different student organizations and units on campus to develop a campus-wide approach to the celebration of our rights and responsibilities as citizens of the U.S. and to develop habits of citizenship in a new generation of Americans. We want to hear from you. On social media, use our hashtag #ConstitutionDayAtUK.
This year, the University will celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, September 18th. Check back here for details as they are still under development.
How did Constitution Day come to be?
Since the mid-twentieth century, Citizenship Day was celebrated in addition to Independence Day and Presidents Day as a way to observe the adoption of the U.S. Constitution by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787. Its origins came from the nation-wide promotion during and after World War I of the “I am an American” Day. By 1949 the governors of all the states had proclaimed their own Citizenship Day celebrations. Congress proclaimed in 1952 that the “I am an American Day” be renamed “Citizenship Day.” In response to a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution for a week of celebration of American citizenship, Constitution Week was officially enacted on August 2, 1956, by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. The purpose of the observance week was to promote study and education about the constitution and to celebrate those who have become U.S. citizens. In 2004 a law establishing Constitution Day and Citizenship Day mandated that all publicly funded educational institutions provide educational programming on the history of the American constitution on September 17th. The goal is for “Federal, State, and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, social, and educational organizations, to conduct ceremonies and programs that bring together community members to reflect on the importance of active citizenship, recognize the enduring strength of our Constitution, and reaffirm our commitment to the rights and obligations of citizenship in this great Nation” (http://www2.ed.gov/policy/fund/guid/constitutionday.html). For open access to resources for Constitution Week, see the National Archives resources on the Constitution at http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/charters/constitution.html or the Library of Congress resources at http://thomas.loc.gov/teachers/constitution.html.
See recent past Constitution Day at UK celebrations: