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Celebrate Constitution Day 2016 with USC

Congress designates Sept. 17 as a day to recognize the value and history of the guiding document

Constitution Day
The U.S. Constitution was signed Sept. 17, 1787. (Photo/Mr.TinDC via Flickr)

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, 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 Constitution of the United States

In 2004, Congress passed legislation establishing Constitution and Citizenship Day, a federal holiday commemorating the ratification of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. USC invites you to join the entire Trojan Family in observing the 229th anniversary of this historic event and celebrate the Constitution’s legacy by attending the Road To The White House Series – New Electorate: Diversity, Demography and Race in the 2016 Election.

The event, sponsored by the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics at the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, will feature a live panel discussion that will unpack diversity, demography, and race in the 2016 presidential election, and will take place Sept. 20 at Ground Zero Performance Café on the University Park Campus. The panel includes:

  • Mike Madrid, founder, Grassroots Lab, a public affairs firm.
  • Bob Shrum, Carmen H. and Louis Warschaw Chair in Practical Politics.

The panel will be moderated by Dan Schnur, director of the Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, and is free to all attendees.

In addition, Art Auerbach, USC Dornsife associate professor of political science, will lead a discussion this week in Political Science 426, The United States Supreme Court, regarding the significance of Constitution Day and how the changing personnel on the Supreme Court in light of the passing of Justice Antonin Scalia and nomination of Merrick Garland may impact the court’s interpretation of constitutional protections.

Background on the U.S. Constitution

On Sept. 17, 1787, 39 of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention signed the U.S. Constitution, forging a new government for the United States of America.

The result of months of strenuous debate over the structure and powers of a new federal government, the U.S. Constitution is a testament to cooperative statesmanship and the art of politics. In fact, in his proclamation creating the first national Thanksgiving Day on Thursday, Nov. 26, 1789, George Washington noted that the holiday should be a time for the people of the United States to give thanks, among other things, for “the peaceable and rational manner” in which the Constitution had been established.

Since the Bill of Rights was adopted on Dec. 15, 1791, the U.S. Constitution has been amended only 16 times. Providing an intricate system of checks and balances among the various branches and levels of government, and assuring the basic individual liberties that are essential to a free and democratic society, this remarkable document has proved extraordinarily adaptable to the needs of a changing society. It also has served as an inspiration and a model for other countries around the world.

The National Archives has posted a variety of materials about the Constitution available through these links:


Images and Transcript

U.S. Constitution Q&A

The Signers of the Constitution

The Bill of Rights: Amendments 1-10

The Bill of Rights: Amendments 11-27

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