I am familiar with Independence Day, but I did not know about Constitution Day. Neither did I know that there was “I am an American Day.” That day was suggested by William Randolph Heart – and others – in 1940. Congress then designated the third Sunday in May as “I am and American Day. I can imagine there were a lot of people in that year, and continuing, who wanted to declare their love of the United States.
In 1952 Olga T Weber, who lived in Louisville, petitioned the leaders of the municipality to change the date of the holiday to correspond with the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. After Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it, the “I am an American Day” observation became “Citizenship Day” and moved the date to September 17.
After taking a course in Constitutional History with the National Center for Constitutional Studies, Louise Leigh was inspired to share her love of the Constitution. Through her efforts, Constitution Day became an official holiday alongside Citizenship Day in 2004 when, with the help of support from Senator Robert Byrd, the “Constitution Day” amendment to the Omnibus Spending Bill was passed.
Fifty-five delegates actually attended the Constitutional Convention which ran from May 14 to September 17, 1787, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Hooray!
Of course we had to wait for a little longer for our states to make it all real. Ratification! But here we are celebrating the day, flying our flags, and trying to be good citizens.
Our country celebrates other important historical holidays -Inauguration Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Geoge Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Juneteenth (a very new holiday), Independence Day, Labor Day, Columbus Day (gotta change that one!) and Veteran’s Day.
Happy Constitution Day!