Friday, September 16, 2011

Constitution Day

On September 17, 1787, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the document they had created. Constitution Day is a time for us to continue their legacy through our citizenship.
I found a  great site to share as we celebrate U.S. Constitution Day 2011, the 224th anniversary of our nation's founding document.
First, here are some fascinating facts about the Constitution:  Did you know?

· The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world.

· Of the spelling errors in the Constitution, “Pensylvania” above the signers’ names is probably the most glaring.

· Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution. He was in France during the Convention, where he served as the U.S. minister. John Adams was serving as the U.S. minister to Great Britain during the Constitutional Convention and did not attend either.

· The Constitution was “penned” by Jacob Shallus, A Pennsylvania General Assembly clerk, for $30 ($726 today).

· The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens, and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924.

· James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” was the first to arrive in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. He arrived in February, three months before the convention began, bearing the blueprint for the new Constitution.

· The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81). The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (26).

· When the Constitution was signed, the United States’ population was 4 million. It is now more than 309 million. Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city, with 40,000 inhabitants.

· George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.

· The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution.

· The Constitution contains 4,543 words, including the signatures and has four sheets, 28-3/4 inches by 23-5/8 inches each. It contains 7,591 words including the 27 amendments.

· As evidence of its continued flexibility, the Constitution has only been changed seventeen times since 1791!

· Of the fifty-five delegates who attended the convention 34 were lawyers, 8 had signed the Declaration of Independence, and almost half were Revolutionary War veterans. The remaining members were planters, educators, ministers, physicians, financiers, judges and merchants. About a quarter of them were large land owners and all of them held some type of public office (39 were former Congressmen and 8 were present or past governors).

· The only other language used in various parts of the Constitution is Latin.

· Four of the signers of the Constitution were born in Ireland.

Constitution Facts is a great source for information and fun! 

There is also a place to test your Constitutional knowledge with this quiz!
May we always remember the blessings of living in a free country and pray diligently for the United States.  God bless America.

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