September 17 To Be U.S. Constitution Day
Constitution day — September 17.
Study the Constitution.
It is no small thing to be a citizen of the world’s greatest republic! It is a great responsibility to be a voter here. You want to know your privileges and your power as an American voter; and you want to know your duties and responsibilities as well as your rights under the Constitution. Think them out, for yourself, as you read and study the clear provisions of our great fundamental law. We cannot all be learned constitutional lawyers. But every American citizen, man or woman, young or old, may have and should have an intelligent idea of our form of representative government “of the people, by the people, for the people.” Every one of us should know and should value the security it guarantees to each of us in guarding for us our enjoyment of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”
Let us each have a copy of our titled-deed to our rights as American citizens. Let us read, think about, and discuss with our friends, the Constitution which is the charter of our national life. Study its principles. Know it! Then we shall love it!
President Harding has said: “I have always thought of Constitution day as marking the real birth of our nation.
“The trying times of the last eight years have supremely tested the governmental systems of all the world, and I feel that we of America may well felicitate ourselves and give thanks to Divine Providence that in this test no governmental system has demonstrated a greater capacity to meet and bear the utmost stresses of human crisis than our own. This knowledge can not but enhearten us as we look to the future, with its many and difficult problems still to be met.”
On the 17th of September, the United States will celebrate the 135th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution of the United States by the convention held in Philadelphia in 1787. The constitutional convention began its deliberations o the 25th of May in that year and concluded its labors on the 17th of September, nearly four months having been given to the careful consideration and preparation of that great document under which we have lived and prospered so greatly for nearly a century and a half.
William Gladstone, one of the greatest of English statesmen of the nineteenth century, said that it was “the most wonderful work ever struck off at a given time by the brain and purpose of man.”
The first symptom of any union among the original 13 colonies was in 1643 — known as the United Colonies of New England. The first Continental Congress in 1774. Mecklenburg declaration, in 1775. The Thirteen Colonies were not even a nation at the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was adopted in 1776, the adoption of which is still celebrated on the 4th day of July in each year throughout the length and breadth of our land. It is by many people considered as part of our organic law, and, while this is technically incorrect, yet the ideas therein set forth have probably had more influence upon the minds of our people than any other document known to our history.
Congress in 1777 adopted the Articles of Confederation which were finally ratified and became effective in 1781. But, the Articles of Confederation which preceded the Constitution, were inadequate to hold the states together.
In January, 1787, congress, after a long delay, adopted a resolution authorizing the assemblage of a convention in Philadelphia “for the sole and express purpose of revising the Articles of Confederation.” It should be noticed that the authority of the convention did not extend to the preparation of an entirely new frame of government, but nevertheless this convention gave us our Constitution.
John Marshall rendered a great service in connection with the Constitution of our country, when he, in 1801, became chief justice of the United States. In his service at the head of the supreme court he did more than any other man, by his masterly opinions on constitutional questions, to put form and life and strength into our national government.
The evolution of the Federal Constitution is very interesting and could be studied with great profit to all.
After passage of the Fifteenth Amendment 43 years elapsed before another amendment was added to the Constitution, can you name the provisions of the Sixteenth Amendment? Can you name the provisions in the Seventeenth Amendment?
This Constitution of ours has been costly. Let us prize it.
Republican women are asked to make a study of the fundamental law of our land.
BELLA A. TAYLOR.
New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Sep 16, 1922