Posts Tagged ‘Constitution Day’

Our Constitution: Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

September 17, 2012

Our Constitution Is Beacon Light Of Human Liberty

Today is the 153rd anniversary of signing of the Constitution of the United States. On this day in `1787, some thirty odd members of the Constitutional Convention, sitting in Philadelphia, affixed their signatures to the document with which few, if any of them were satisfied, but which they believed was the best upon which the majority could agree.

Even George Washington, who presided over the meeting, was dubious as to whether the constitution would be adopted by the thirteen states; and even if adopted, he had little faith in its permanence.

How much better the makers of the constitution wrought then they themselves anticipated!

Today there exists not an instrument of government anywhere which is more strongly entrenched in the affections of the people; nor is there one which gives so much promise of enduring in a world in flux and revolution.


The document was born out of a great national crisis.

The thirteen colonies successfully had won their political independence from Great Britain, but they had failed utterly to achieve national unity. On the contrary, the drift was steadily toward disunion, civil war and anarchy.

The Articles of Confederation made what national government there was both feeble, incompetent and futile.

A few of the more far sighted among the leaders — Washington, Madison, Hamilton and Franklin, among others — saw the imperative necessity for action if the country were to be saved, and thus it was that the governors of twelve states were prevailed upon to appoint delegates to consider revision of the Articles of Confederation.

That was their instructions.

But happily for us the delegates voted to disregard these instructions and drew up an entirely new constitution for the United States.


Nor is it fair to those who wrote the constitution to say that their prevailing temper was conservative — that the aim they had in view was not only to secure the unity of the country, but to assure the security of property as well.

Perhaps the frankest statement as to this prevailing view came from Roger Sherman, who said:

The people should have as little to do as may be with the government.

Thus it was that when the constitution was completed some twenty delegates refused to sign it and it was denounced by such famed patriots as Patrick Henry and old Sam Adams as “a rich man’s document.”


This fear of the dangers of “mob government” or too much control by the “masses” is evident to even the casual student of the work of the convention.

The president was not to be chosen by the people, neither were the senators. To select the former an electoral college was set up, which theoretically was to be composed of the best men in each state who in turn would meet and choose with deliberation and care the man best suited to be president. Of course, it only worked that way in the first two elections. But senators continued to be named by the state legislatures until after the turn of the present century.

The president’s power was curbed by provisions that all treaties should be subject to the test of a two thirds vote of the senate, while all appointments were made subject to senate confirmation.

The president, however, could put a check on both houses of congress through the veto power, while wide but deliberately vague authority was given to a powerful judiciary appointed for life.

Moreover, in the original draft there was no Bill of Rights, no protection for freedom of speech, the practice of religion and the press.

It was Thomas Jefferson who refused to give his support to the constitution unless a pledge were given that the Bill of Rights would be incorporated as soon as possible after the new government was established, which was done.


The constitution has proved its worth through the years. It has provided security for property, but also has safeguarded human rights. Today it is the beacon light of freedom in a world over much of which has spread the darkness of totalitarianism.

It is the hope of Democracy in a world where despots sneer at popular government as decadent and hopeless.

As we ourselves sustain and support the constitution we shall prove these despots to be liars and frauds; and thus hasten the day when the ideals of liberty which it enshrines shall once more become the common heritage of humanity.

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1940

Liberty Fetes Constitution

September 17, 2012

The Constitution — America’s Gibraltar

Fresno Bee Republican (Fresno, California) Sep 17, 1937

Constitution Adopted September 17, 1787

A Rock Foundation

Hamilton Daily News Journal (Hamilton, Ohio) Sep 17, 1937

Have you ever seen the Statue of Liberty’s torch ablaze before? Then just look how the smoke pours from it above. The occasion was the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Army and Navy color guards join to present the colors on the parapet of the statue’s pedestal, Bedloe’s Island, New York harbor.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Se[ 17, 1937

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Taking as his theme the history of the Constitution, the attacks which have been made upon it and the security it provides the American people, Associate Justice John A. Matthews, principal speaker at yesterday’s Kiwanis meeting said that while the communist party boasts of 500,00 members in this country, an even greater threat to liberty is being made by “intelligent demagogues.”

He cited as an example of the latter, Jay Franklin, author of several “leftist” books and regarded in some circles as a leader in socialistic government tendencies. He referred in particular to a statement attributed to Franklin that the Constitution had been framed by a group of “old farmers.”

Greatest of Time

“As a matter of fact,” the speaker said, “the Constitution was written by the greatest students of government ever gathered together at one time.” In the group were college presidents, ambassadors, governors, members of the Continental congress and others who had proved themselves the most brilliant men of their times.

The average age of this group, he said, was 42 years refuting the implication and “doddering old timers” were responsible for the document.

Swinging into a brief discussion of the Supreme court, over which wide spread discussion has rested because of the president’s plan to pack it, Judge Matthews asserted that unfavorable comment about fire-to-four decisions of the court was unfounded.

Two Favorable

“Actually,” he said, “until the time for the Supreme court furor last winter only three of nine New Deal decisions were by a five-to-four decision. And of these three, two were favorable to the government.”

Generally, Kiwanis voted his talk one of the most interesting of the year.

The speaker was introduced by Warren Batch, program chairman. Musical entertainment included two vocal solos by Mrs. Dorothy Statler, accompanied at the piano by Mrs. Pearl Johnson.

The Helena Independent (Helena, Montana) Sep 14, 1937

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Lower the Net?

Abilene Morning News (Abilene, Texas) Feb 17, 1937

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Previous Constitution Day posts:

What You Should Know About Our Constitution

Preserving Our Constitution

Constitution Day 1922 – Study the Constitution

Across the Path of Popular Impatience

Constitution Proclamation

The New Deal and the Constitution

Progressive Economics: Dealt from a Pack Thumbed by Kings, Despots and Tyrants

The U.S. Constitution: Wet or Dry

A Constitution Day Thought

Herbert Hoover’s Poignant Duty

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 For the Portsmouth Times.


A KING once said, “I am the State;”
Did his assertion make it true?
Another heard the words, “Too late!”
As from his land and throne he flew.

One ruler, in our own fair land,
Sets up his will as all in all;
A greater issues his command,
Liberty’s Goddess to enthral.

When “Constitution” is prefixed “Un-”
And ended by a small “A.L.,”
Are laws illegal, all but one?
And that the law which would compel?

What follows, then? Have we no laws?
No Constitution to uphold?
Judge for yourselves, ye who can draw
Prophetic truth from histories old.

PORTSMOUTH, O., Nov. 27th, 1862.

The Portsmouth Times (Portsmouth, Ohio) Dec 6, 1862

Preserving Our Constitution

September 15, 2011

Alton Democrat (Alton, Iowa) Sep 29, 1949

Constitution Day is  Saturday, Sept. 17th, and although this article was published 90 years ago, it should be published again as a reminder, and so here it is:


In the reverence of Americans, September 17 should rank with February 22 and July 4, as a day of significance in American history. It was on this day in the year 1787 that out from the prayers and dreams, sacrifices and blood of our forefathers there issued forth a nation with the form of a republic and the soul of a democracy, pure and strong in purpose and predestined to be mighty in achievement. It was the embodiment of a Christian ideal born and nurtured in the hearts of righteous men and patriots. It was sent forth on its career with a prayer: in one hand it carried an olive branch and in the other, the most wonderful instrument of government that ever emanated from the mind of man.

The constitution of the United States embraces the assembled wisdom of perhaps the best brains in the aggregate that the world has ever produced. Pure in its diction, charming in its simplicity, and strong in its concise yet comprehensive inclusion of every essential principle of the most enlightened human government, it represents our nation’s first and greatest contribution to the thought of the world. It will live forever among the immortal masterpieces of man. Even as the source of all individual failure may be found at the point of divergence in personal conduct from the principles set forth and enunciated in Holy Writ, so whatever the failures of our own government have been or will be may be traced to the subversion or contravention of some principle embodied in our constitution.

In this hour of universal confusion when the nations of the earth, driven from their accustomed orbits by a cyclone of war, are trying to readjust themselves to orderly and wise processes of government it is peculiarly appropriate that in our own country we pause on this birthday of our constitution to pay tribute to its makers and to rededicate ourselves to the increasingly difficult task of preserving it against its enemies. With brazen effrontery, the forces of disorder are daily practicing treacheries upon the flag that has protected them in the exercise of the liberties which they misconstrue as license. Constitutional democracy has been at least partially supplanted by a sort of mobocracy that boastfully defies the restraints of distasteful law. The average American has ceased to regard himself as seriously bound to respect a law that he does not like, and disregard of constituted authority struts forth at noonday.

The tendencies of our national thought and the current of national events seem to be away from the foundation principles, upon which this republic was established. We have grown callously accustomed to the frequently successful attempts to bend, break, or misinterpret the constitution to suit the caprices of an element of our own people or the foreign ideas of those who cannot or will not understand the genius of our institutions. Demagogues and near-statesmen mistake the clamor of a mob for the voice of the people, and in the name of liberty, progress, and democracy the warnings of history are ignored and offenses against our constitution multiply.

It seems to us, therefore, that this is an appropriate day on which to stop, look and listen, and to take warning of the things that are going on about us. It seems to us that this is the time to take stock of our nationalism and to surround our institutions with that loyalty as understood and applied by our forefathers, and to set ourselves resolutely against rising tides of un-American theories and practices. Perhaps it is through the schools primarily that we must look for the inculcation of those virtues which venerate the constitution and which alone can hold us in the path to which we were committed by the framers of that great document. Perhaps we have been lax in our duties as American citizens with respect to our public schools and the services they have been rendering. Perhaps we have allowed them to drift away from the moorings to which they must be attached if they are to serve as an effective instrument of Americanism in our national life. If we would make the schools what they can and should be as a force for preserving the foundations of the republic we must realize our responsibilities toward our educational affairs and discharge them conscientiously. That is the way, in fact, it is the indispensable way, to the preservation of that type of constitutional government which has distinguished the United States of American from every other nation and placed its liberties and blessings in a class by themselves.

Appleton Post Crescent (Appleton, Wisconsin) Sep 17, 1921

What You Should Know About the Constitution

September 17, 2010

1. The Making of the Constitution

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 17, 1934

These little articles ran one each day in the newspaper for Constitution Week during 1934.

2. Its Legislative Provisions

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 18, 1934

3. Executive and Judiciary Provisions

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 19, 1934

4. The Bill of Rights

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 20, 1934

5. The Eleven Later Amendments

Ironwood Daily Globe (Ironwood, Michigan) Sep 21, 1934

Constitution Day 1922 – Study the Constitution

September 17, 2010

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.


New Castle News (New Castle, Pennsylvania) Sep 16, 1922

The New Deal and the Constitution

September 16, 2010

For Constitution Day – – –

WASHINGTON, Sept. 17 — Today being Constitution day, it is natural that the articles and clauses of the historic charter by which America is governed should, in the light of recent events, undergo scrutiny by those who cherish its great usefulness to our social and economic life.

Unfortunately, the discussion has become partisan. Republican speakers have emphasized the acts of the New Deal as in violation of the constitution. This gives disinterested criticism an atmosphere of political combat, when, as a matter of fact, judicial questions should not become in any way involved in politics.

But the occasion for inquiry as to the origin of the powers being exercised by the President nowadays is not the less important because it has regrettably, tho inevitably, become a part of the political scene. Several queries project themselves today. Where, for example, is there a “breathing spell” clause in the constitution?

Just a few days ago, the chief executive announced to the country that his “legislative program” had reached “substantial completion.” Business men, glad of any promise of a let-up in the era of encroachment by government upon private rights, looked upon this assurance with mixed feelings. They welcomed the promise of a “breathing spell.”

But quite generally overlooked was the fact that so changed has become the exercise of executive and legislative power in the United States under the Roosevelt administration that, because the executive and legislative branches have become, for all practical purposes, consolidated into one, it is from the White House that the announcement of the “substantial completion” of a legislative program comes nowadays.

When Mr. Roosevelt speaks of “substantial completion,” he implies, of course, that he will not ask for further powers from congress. But, it will be asked, what further powers can the chief executive possibly need? Not many. The President, by abdication of the legislative body, called congress, already has the following powers today that have been delegated to him:

1. More than $4,800,000,000 has been appropriated for the use of the executive in his own discretion. Congress surrendered its privilege of specifying the uses to which the money should be put, as has been customary for more than 145 years.

2. The President has the power to order farmers to plant only those quantities of wheat, cotton, corn, potatoes and other crops that he sees fit, and to punish those who disobey his decrees.

3. The President can appoint the members of a board responsible only to him and such board is to regulate the hours of work, rates of wages, quantity of output and other conditions for the conduct of coal mining and distribution.

4. The President has the power to appoint a board, responsible to him, which shall determine employer and employe relations in all businesses and industries “affecting interstate commerce.”

5. The President, thru a federal communications commission, controls the radio and other forms of communication.

6. The President, thru the securities commission, controls the electric power and light and gas industries and may order his commissioners to eliminate or retain such corporations as he and his associates in their discretion thing are “necessary” or “economically integrated.”

7. The President, thru the federal reserve board, whose members he appoints, can control the flow of credit and its operations thruout the country.

8. The President may proclaim changes in the tariff within certain upper and lower schedules.

9. The President, thru a federal coordinator, controls the operations of the railroads of the United States.
10. The President, thru a commission of his own choosing, controls the uses of capital in industry. The commission approves or disapproves registration statements at will, and, without these licenses, new capital cannot be obtained by industry.

There are, of course, many other delegations of power. Some of those mentioned above are plainly unconstitutional in themselves; that is to say, even the congress does not possess the powers it has tried to delegate to another branch of the government. But nowhere in the constitution is there any clause permitting congress to delegate its lawful powers to the executive.

The supreme court has held that, where the congress turns over to an executive bureau or commission the task of administering a law, the instructions must be so explicitly worded that citizens may clearly know the limits. But where congress delegates to a bureau or executive commission the job of carrying into effect a legislative “objective,” this is too vague, according to the supreme court.

The making by bureaus of so-called “regulations” which have the effect and force of law is really a delegation of the legislative or law-making power itself, and is, therefore, a violation of the constitution.

The supreme court has upheld delegation of power for revision of a tariff, but has insisted that this is merely a matter of calculation of a rate within the limits of a formula mathematically set by congress itself. The court has recognized that administrative bodies must have certain discretion to enforce laws, but has nevertheless maintained that there is a difference between efficient administration and usurping the powers of legislation itself.

Thus, the code-making bodies of the NRA had such wide discretion that they issued rules the violation of which was a crime, just as if congress itself had passed a law to that effect.

It may be asked, what is the difference between government by commission today and the same thing as practiced under preceding administrations? The truth is encroachment on the power of the legislative by means of the governmental commission on a limited scale actually started under Republican administrations and now has reached its climax under the Democrats. Also, in the old days, congress was insistent that each commission should be bi-partisan; that is, it should represent opposite political beliefs.

But Mr. Roosevelt, by his appointments, gets around the basic purpose of the majority and minority viewpoint idea by finding persons previously affiliated with the opposite political party but sharing at the moment his economic and social philosophy.

Thus, practically every federal commission today is dominated by appointees of Mr. Roosevelt who are partisans of his own philosophy and trends toward state socialism or the centralization of power in the federal government. In this way, the congress, having abdicated its powers to the executive, has, in effect, turned over to a small group of men, directed and controlled by the President himself, vast and almost unlimited powers of expenditure of public funds and administration over the affairs of industry and agriculture from production to distribution.

On this Constitution day, even the New Dealers themselves might reflect on the Manner in which, some day, these same powers may be utilized for another purpose, perhaps not so beneficent, when the “wicked Republicans” or a President of dictatorial inclination belonging to another political party happens to get into the White House.

(Copyright, 1935)

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Sep 17, 1935

The U.S. Constitution: Wet or Dry

September 16, 2010


Bill Requiring Wisconsin Pupils To Be Taught Document Is Voted Down in House.

By Universal Service.

MADISON, Wis., May 7. — Enforced teaching of the United States Constitution in public schools of Wisconsin is “verboten,” the Lower House of the Legislature decided Monday.

Assemblyman A.E. Matheson, dry leader, introduced a bill requiring teachers to explain the Federal Constitution to students.

Assemblyman Herman Sachtjen, wet leader, objected.

“There are wet and dry interpretations of the Constitution that might lead to controversies between teachers and pupils,” he said.

The bill was voted down.

San Antonio Express (San Antonio, Texas) May 8, 1923


The Massachusetts W.C.T.U. has entered the schools of that fair state with Mother Goose rhymes designed to acquaint the children with the desirability of prohibition.

Assuming that it is the purpose and desire of our educators to give youth both sides of all controversial subjects, we offer the other side of prohibition through the same medium.


“Purple clusters from the vine;
Pluck and eat them, they are fine.
Press the juice if you incline,
Into glasses, yours and mine.
If we drink it when we should,
While it’s fresh and sweet and good
Health and strength and joy combine
In the juice but not in wine.”

We propose:

Though ripened by the bright sunshine,
And nipped by frost while on the vine,
To luscious grapes we don’t incline
Unless they’re turned to sparkling wine.

The Massachusetts schools can take it for what it’s worth. They’re perfectly welcome. No charge.

— The Manitowoc Times.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Nov 4, 1930

Constitution Day

TODAY will be observed more or less and probably chiefly less throughout the nation as Constitution Day. It is the anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution, which took place September 17, 1787, the government under the constitution being declared in effect the first Wednesday of March 1789.

Constitution Day was inaugurated in 1917 through efforts of the national society of the Sons of the American Revolution. That organization declares that the annual observance has

“produced a better understanding of the Constitution as the anchor and guide of the people, created a deeper individual consecration in its safeguarding, the enactment of laws by a number of states providing for the teaching of the Constitution as a part of the curriculum in the public schools and the participation by innumerable organizations in this annual patriotic remembrance.”

Purpose of Constitution Day is laudable. More than ever it is essential at a time when regard for law and our institutions — which after all is regard for the Constitution upon which our laws and our institutions are founded — is at a low ebb.

The Eighteenth amendment is not the only amendment to the Constitution which has caused turmoil and unrest and dissatisfaction. But the Eighteenth amendment, in the circumstances of its adoption, in the turmoil of its enforcement and in the nature of attacks designed to bring about alteration or repeal have created a situation which rapidly is becoming unbearable in its incessant sapping at the foundation of our national authority.

The Constitution should be taught in the public schools. It should be given more attention there than it is today. It is well that Constitution Day be set aside each year for various forms of observance — notably in the public schools for respect, loyalty and regard taught in the adolescent years carries its influence through adulthood.

Schools of Constitutional Study should be inaugurated for many otherwise fair minded, intelligent and educated citizens and leaders who seek to nullify a Constitutional amendment by denying its observance or to seek change through means not provided by basic law or to attempt to influence great numbers of people toward both a fallacious idea as to Constitutional facts and legal means of amendatory enactment or repeal.

Morning Herald (Uniontown, Pennsylvania) Sep 17, 1930

Our Answer To The Government

The editor of The Sheboygan Press received a letter from the Bureau of Prohibition, Department of Justice, accompanied by a questionnaire listed as confidential.
Our position is not confidential and for that reason we are herewith printing the entire questionnaire as it was answered and sent out by the editor.

1. Is your paper in favor of prohibition? No.

2. Is your paper against prohibition? Yes.

3. Is your paper neutral on the subject of prohibition? No.

4. Will you state briefly your reason for adopting the policy you are advocating?

We have consistently opposed prohibition for the following reasons:

First: Because it sets up a form of government contrary to the ideas and customs of the American people. It attempts by force that which we resented when this nation was born.

Second: It is an attempt to regulate the habits of our people by law, which always fails.

Third: Attempts at enforcement have produced evils and abuses, including disrespect for law, corruption of public officials, abuse of legal process; and violations of other constitutional rights of our people, such as immunity from double jeopardy and illegal search and seizure.

Fourth: Enforcement of the Eighteenth amendment violates the underlying spirit of our whole constitution.

Fifth: Prohibition has failed because it has substituted for a legal and lawful sale and distribution of intoxicating beverages an unlawful and illicit manufacture, sale and distribution, which is now beyond the power of government to control.

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Oct 18, 1930

Progressive Economics: Dealt from a Pack Thumbed by Kings, Despots and Tyrants

September 16, 2010

1934 or 2010?


Former Head of Treasury Makes Sharp Attack in Constitution Day Address Before Women.

NEW YORK, Sept. 17. — (UP) — The New Deal’s economic planning, though labeled progressive, actually is reversion to a system discarded in 1787 — “an old, old deal dealt from a pack thumbed by the fingers of countless kings, despots and tyrants” — Ogden Mills, former secretary of the treasury, said today.

In a Constitution Day address before the Women’s National Republican club, Mills said planned economy means the end of economic liberalism and calls for an authoritarian government, of which the dictatorships of Italy, Germany and Russia are the supreme expression.

The United States Constitution, Mills said, got its authority from the people themselves and set up certain limitations designed “to secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and to our posterity.”

“During the last year and a half under the guise of emergency legislation, practically all of these limitations have been broken down or ignored,” Mills said.

“As a result, the federal government is no longer one of limited powers, but has almost unlimited authority over the life of the individual citizens. Today the federal government in effect tells the wage earner what he may earn and how long he may work; the farmer what and how much he may produce on his own farm; the merchant at what price he may sell his goods; the manufacturer what addition he may make to his plant and how much he may produce; the well owner how much oil he may flow.

“It controls the flow of capital and savings. It has entered into business in competition with its citizens.

“Nowhere in the constitution are these immense powers even suggested.”

New government codes have obliterated state lines and the states themselves have “abjectly surrendered their sovereignty,” Mills said. Congress has passed laws which did little more than express a pious wish “leaving it to the president to fill in the blank spaces as he sees fit,” he added.

“We are sacrificing our birthright without even getting the mess of pottage,” Mills declared. “Planned economy is not working in this country any more than it has worked anywhere.

“The clumsy hands of government — the right frequently not knowing what the left is doing — are halting the existing mechanism and throttling the normal forces that should be working for recovery.

“To move ahead, there must be a sense of direction. This country is being reformed in every direction. It isn’t moving in any. Nature has made a grim mockery of the agricultural policy. Industrial production is proceeding at a lower rate than a year ago, and not much above what it was in September, 1933. Instead of re-employment the number of those on the stupendous relief roll grows steadily day by day.”

The Vidette Messenger (Valparaiso, Indiana) Sep 1, 1934

A Constitution Day Thought

September 15, 2010

Woodrow Wilson (Image from


(From the Goldfield Tribune.)

Next Wednesday (today) is “Constitution Day,” the day we celebrate the signing of “the greatest bill of human rights since the Magna Charta,” and the “bulwark on which our future peace, happiness and prosperity rests” — the constitution of the United States. And on that day we will have a President touring the country in a mad endeavor to thwart the very spirit and essence of the constitution by discrediting a co-ordinate branch of the government because it declines to yield its judgment to his individual will.

Reno Evening Gazette (Reno, Nevada) Sep 17, 1919

Constitution Proclamation

September 15, 2010

Constitution Day.

Tomorrow, September 17, the one hundred and thirty-second anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, has been officially proclaimed “Constitution Day,” and designated the occasion for holding of patriotic Americanism  gatherings by the governors of 20 states.

The News (Frederick, Maryland) Sep 16, 1919


The constitution of the United States has been viewed with a reverence paid to no other writing except the Bible. All over the world oppressed peoples have looked to it with longing. They have wished that they might come here and live under such a system, or might adopt a similar basis of government in their own land. Copies of the Constitution dropped from airplanes were an important factor in covering the German people of the fault of their own government.

Yet with all this reverence, many people never read this sublime document. Some consider it outworn and want to overturn it by revolution. To counteract this propaganda, the idea was conceived of holding a Constitution Day on September 17, the anniversary of the signing of the document, the purpose of which should be to popularize the Constitution and call attention to the blessings it has brought.

People who find fault with existing social conditions would do well if they would read this constitution, and see how completely it gives all power into the hands of the people. If the people are not being justly treated, they have the power in their own hands. If they don’t remedy existing evils, the fault is not in the system. It is in the people that have these rights and privileges, but either do not exercise them at all, or use them without judgment.

The American people have a reason to be well satisfied with what they have achieved under this constitution. They have opened the doors of opportunity so that any boy or girl can get an education. The higher ranks of success are filled with those who started from humble homes.

In the schools the United States constitution should be a subject of constant study. Every boy and girl should be shown how it has made this country the most prosperous and happy on the globe.

The Newark Advocate (Newark, Ohio) Sep 17, 1919

Image from Rootsweb


SACRAMENTO, Sept. 9. – Governor Stephens has issued a proclamation suggesting September 17, the 132d anniversary of the signing of the federal constitution be observed in California as “Constitution Day.”

The proclamation refers to “a spirit of irresponsible assault on our institutions” as prevalent and urges that a record for the federal constitution be promoted as that document is the national bulwark.

The proclamation follows:

“September 17 will be the one hundred and thirty-second anniversary of the signing of the constitution of the United States of America. No step in the progress of human government ever had greater significance for the well being of mankind.

“It behooves all good American citizens to strive to inculcate in our people and in the minds of the rising generation an understanding and respect and reverence for our country’s constitution in order that the principles of right and freedom embodied therein may be maintained and safeguarded in the interest of orderly and just government.

“A spirit of irresponsible assault on our institutions prevails to a considerable extent in our land.

“The arts of clever propaganda seem formidable against our courts and our constitutions. This advocacy of lawlessness and ruin cannot endure. The sound citizenship of our country will manifest itself and the vicious agitation must soon disappear.

“It is the duty of all loyal Americans to denounce the promotion of anarchistic doctrine and to assert themselves in support of the laws that guarantee peaceful pursuit and safety of the people and their liberties.

“The great bulwark is our federal constitution and we must ever promote a regard for it and a realization of its beneficence.

“I therefore suggest that September 17 be observed as constitution day, that proper exercises be held in the public schools throughout the state and that citizens everywhere give time for thought and reflection on the significance of the occasion when our courageous forefathers, under the inspiration of God gave to our country and humanity this greatest instrument of free government ever created by hand of men.”

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Sep 9, 1919

Some misapprehension exists as to Constitution Day being a legal holiday. It seems to have been accepted that the Governor’s proclamation on the subject placed it in that category, but the proclamation was really but a recommendation. The misapprehension was so considerable, however, that an official explanation was necessary.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) Sep 17, 1919

Warren G. Harding

President Harding, in indorsing the national observance of constitution day, next Saturday, has written to the constitutional league of America that “no governmental system has demonstrated a greater capacity to meet and bear the utmost stresses of human crisis than our own.”

“I have always thought of constitution day as marking the real birth of our nation,” said the president’s letter as made public by the league.

“The trying times of the last seven 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 great capacity to meet and bear the utmost stresses of human crisis than our own.

“Once more we remind ourselves that the constitution is strong enough for every requirement, elastic enough to adapt itself to changing conditions and developing evolutions. So on this anniversary we may well dedicate ourselves to the supreme purpose of maintaining our institutions under it, and of making them in the future as they have been in the past, a beacon light to illumine the way of progress for men seeking freedom everywhere.”

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Sep 13, 1921