Monday, September 17, 2012

Constitution Day 2012

September 17 is Constitution Day, the date commemorating the day in 1787 when the United States Constitution was signed.
Here are some facts about the US Constitution.
The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world.
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 Great Compromise saved the Constitutional Convention, and, probably, the Union. Authored by Connecticut delegate Roger Sherman, it called for proportional representation in the House, and one representative per state in the Senate (this was later changed to two.) The compromise passed 5-to-4, with one state, Massachusetts, “divided.”
The first time the formal term “The United States of America” was used was in the Declaration of Independence.
The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution.
The delegates were involved in debates from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. six days a week with only a 10 day break during the duration of the convention
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).

I was selective in what I chose to list here.
Personally I think all of us, regardless of political ties, need to review the basics of this great document. I memorized the first part of the Constitution when I was in school. How about you?

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.


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