Constitution Day 2016

Featured Content September 16, 2016 – observed as Constitution Day, commemorating the formation and signing of the U.S. Constitution in 1787

The signing of the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787, by delegates to the Constitutional Convention, established America’s national government and fundamental laws. At the 1787 convention delegates formulated a plan for a stronger government establishing three branches – Executive, Legislative and Judicial – along with a system of checks and balances ensuring no single branch would have too much power.

S. Doc. 112-9 – Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis, and Interpretation – Centennial Edition – Interim – June 27, 2016

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Browse previous editions of the Constitution of the United States of America: Analysis and Interpretation on govinfo.

H.Doc. 112-129 – Constitution of the United States with Index and the Declaration of Independence, Pocket Edition – January 1, 2012

H. Doc. 112-129, The Constitution of the United States with Index and the Declaration of Independence, Pocket Edition or “Pocket Constitution” is a pocket-size booklet containing the complete text of these two core documents of American democracy, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. House Document 112-129, the 25th edition, was printed under the direction of the Joint Committee on Printing.

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Purchase a printed copy of "Constitution of the United States and Declaration of Independence," as well as related publications, from GPO's online bookstore.

Research the Constitution Annotated on the website, or download the Library of Congress app, for legal analysis and interpretation of the Constitution.

Facts about the U.S. Constitution you may not know:
  • Although written and signed in 1787, it wasn’t until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine of thirteen states to become binding.
  • There are 39 signatures on the Constitution. Two of America’s “founding fathers”, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, did not sign the Constitution as they were working as diplomats in France and Great Britain respectively.
  • The first ten amendments to the Constitution, known as The Bill of Rights, were added in 1791 describing individual rights.
  • The only language besides English used in the Constitution is Latin.
  • George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
  • George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation on November 26, 1789, establishing the first national “Thanksgiving Day” as a way of “giving thanks” for the Constitution.