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FDL Constitution Day: Introduction

This research guide contains resources and interesting information on Constitution Day.

Quick Facts


  • May 25, 1787. The Constitutional Convention opens at the Pennsylvania State House in Philadelphia, with a seven-state quorum to discuss revising the Articles of Confederation.
  • All 13 original states with the exception of Rhode Island were represented.
  • It took 100 days to frame the Constitution; it was signed on September 17, 1787.
  • At 81, Benjamin Franklin was the oldest and at 26, Jonathan Dayton, the youngest to sign the Constitution.
  • George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents to sign the Constitution.
  • All 12 state delegations approved the Constitution, 39 delegates signed it of the 42 present, and the Convention formally adjourned.
  • The Constitution contains 4,543 words, including the signatures, and has four sheets, 28-3/4" x 23-5/8". It contains 7,591 words, including the 27 amendments.
  • The word “democracy” never appears in the Constitution.
  • Delaware ratified the Constitution first on December 7, 1787 and Rhode Island last on May 29, 1790.


We The People: Honoring Constitution Day

Brief Introduction

Constitution Day  is an American federal observance that recognizes the ratification of the United States Constitution. It is observed on September 17, the day the members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention signed the Constitution in 1787.

Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia passed a law designating September 17th as Constitution Day. Schools and federal agencies are required to hold educational programs about the Constitution on Constitution Day.  Public Law 108-477 contained in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2005 states that "each educational institution that receives Federal funds for a fiscal year shall hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 of such year for the students served by the educational institution."