Albright College

Constitution Day is September 17

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The Constitution of the United States of America was signed by the members of the U.S. Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787. On December 8, 2004, Congress designated September 17 as Constitution Day to recognize both the adoption of our Constitution as the law of the land, as well as those who have pledged to uphold it as new U.S. citizens.

A Message from the President

Dear Albrightians and friends,

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

For me, the most important words in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States are the first three -- “We the People.”  They remind us of our individual and collective roles as educated citizens in a democracy. They are a sign of our powers, our rights, and our obligations.

Albright’s motto – Veritas et Justitia, or truth and justice – pledges us to seek some of the most sacred ideals embedded in the Constitution. We are honored to support Constitution Day as a means of encouraging active citizenship. By educating our students – and the entire campus community – about this seminal document, we advance our mission as a liberal arts college. 

I hope you will join us as we recognize this important day.

Lex O. McMillan III

Constitution Day Events



Constitution Fast Facts

  • The U.S. Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington received his commission as commander of the Continental Army. Now called Independence Hall, the building still stands today on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the National Constitution Center.

  • Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on September 17, but it wasn't until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.

  • John Heister, Governor of Pennsylvania from 1820-1824, was a member of the Pennsylvania Convention, which ratified the U.S. Constitution. Heister, born in nearby Bern Township, is buried in Charles Evans Cemetery near the campus of Albright College. Many establishments and even a street near campus are named for Heister.

  • The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.

  • The U.S. Constitution is only 69 years older than Albright College’s founding institution Union Seminary.

  • Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments became known as The Bill of Rights.

  • Muhlenberg Township, in which part of the Albright College campus sits, is named for Henry Muhlenberg. Muhlenberg’s uncle, Speaker of the House Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, was the first to sign the Bill of Rights.

  • In 1791 the First Amendment gave Americans the freedom of religion. It was this same year that Jacob Albright, for whom the college is named, became an Evangelical preacher.

  • Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39 signed and three delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing the United States in France and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.

  • Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving thanks" for the Constitution.

  • Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and shortest.

  • At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate at the Constitutional Convention and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest.

  • The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping.

  • Union Seminary, one of Albright College’s founding institutions, was preparing to celebrate its 10 th Anniversary as Congress enacted the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States.

  • More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified and 27 have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.

Facts Provided by The National Constitution Center

If you would like to learn more about the Constitution please visit one of the sites below: