Posts Tagged ‘Constitution’

Should Royal Lightning Hit Me

November 30, 2011

Image from The Graphics Fairy


THERE’S a tremble and a shiver and a dark, portentous quiver, that has side-stepped through the vitals of these great United States. For we’re up against a crisis, if there’s truth in our advices, and we see, athwart the future forms of haughty potentates.

YES, sir! Danger grim and murky, like an axe above a turkey, lurks just in the dim horizon, and its shadow will not down. And unless we stop our fooling, after while we’ll know the ruling of the cruel, crafty monarch who is topped off with a crown.

‘TWOULD be easy to arrange it, and we’d never get to change it, once the grasping hands of schemers held our country in its clutch, for the minute we suggested that we felt that we had tested kings and queens and wished to stop it, they would smile and say: “Not much!”

DON’T you see? If they’d abolish congress, with its stately polish, and should overturn the statutes — I shiver when I pen it — they should bounce the solemn senate, then the country’d feel the power of the reckless royal hand.

THEN, by some wild resolution they could down the constitution, and could oust each high official in the states we call our own. Then they’d have us, and they’d boss us, with a grip on our proboscis, and beneath imperialism we would sigh and slave and groan.

THUS, we know not the occasion when we’ll see the dire invasion of our rights as free-born people, be we white or black or brown. Perhaps I, or you, my neighbor, may be called to toil and labor with the scepter and the signet and the heavy golden crown.

I’M opposed to such an outcome, but, should any vexing doubt come as to who should bear the burdens as the ruler of the states — well, should royal lightning hit me, any royal robe would fit me, and a crown to set right easy should be six-and-seven-eighths.

— Josh Wink in Baltimore American.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Nov 5, 1900

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 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

Herbert Hoover’s Poignant Duty

September 14, 2010

Attacks On New Deal Based On Constitution

Observes March of Events

Hoover, departing from his prepared address, said it was his “poignant duty” to observe the march of events “which lead to the overthrow of liberty.”

“Liberty never dies from direct attack,” he declared. “No one will dare rise tomorrow and say he is opposed to the bill of rights. Liberty dies from encroachment and disregard of its safeguards.

“In our country, abdication of its responsibilities and powers by obligations, centralization of authority into federal government, building of huge bureaucracies, coercion or intimidation of citizens, are the sort of first sapping of the safeguards of human rights that have taken place in other lands.”

Sheboygan Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) Sep 18, 1935

Constitution Day is September 17th

September 14, 2010

Lima News (Lima, Ohio) Sep 17, 1937.


Nota Bene: Un-Constitution A.L.

December 4, 2009

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