We the People: Interesting Facts About the Constitution
The Constitution of the United States is the document that established America’s national government and the fundamental laws. It starts with the important words in the preamble, “We the People,” and provides American citizens with guaranteed rights. This patriotic document has many topics contained within it, all of which are extremely important to American citizens.
The Constitution was drafted as a “living document,” which means it was written to be revised over time, as the country grew and evolved. And, in fact, we’ve added to it since it was written via the Bill of Rights and other constitutional amendments. Nevertheless, the core document is the same as it was the day it was written more than two centuries ago. It’s an extremely impressive feat!
Looking for other interesting tidbits about the United States Constitution? Here are five interesting facts you may or may not know about the U.S. Constitution.
1. The U.S. Constitution Was Signed on September 17, 1787
Some people may not know the exact date the U.S. Constitution was signed. This important American document was signed on September 17, 1787, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. The day is known as Constitution Day and acknowledged every year, although many people may not even know about this important annual day of celebration.
Instead, we tend to celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, because of its ramifications on the freedom of our country from the rule of England. Nevertheless, the signing of the United States Constitution is an equally important day in our nation’s history, and deserves to be celebrated!
2. The U.S. Constitution is 4,543 Words in Length
The U.S. Constitution may seem lengthy in its original form of 4,543 words, which includes the signatures of the participating delegates. However, it is one of the shortest and oldest written constitutions when compared to all other governments throughout the world. But don’t let the length of the document fool you. This important historical document features many intricate details within its 4,543-word total. Article V allows for amendments to keep the foundation strong, but also for it to be a living document to be able to change with the times.
This is part of the reason the Constitution remains intact today. It was so well-written and articulated that it stands as a testament to the extreme care and precision put into drafting it.
3. Thomas Jefferson is Not One of the Signatories
Thomas Jefferson is a well-known historical figure who played a role in many events of the past. However, he is not one of the signers of the Constitution, which many people believe him to be. Jefferson wasn’t at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and, therefore, didn’t sign the historical document. This is an interesting piece of trivia, considering he did help draft and sign the United States Declaration of Independence.
4. The Constitution is in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC
The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia is a popular tourist spot that covers all things related to this historical document. It’s also where many individuals think the Constitution is currently located. However, this is not so. The original U.S. Constitution is located at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and has been there since 1954.
The reason the document is archived and not on display is because it needs extreme care to preserve it. Those charged with maintaining it undergo significant training, security measures and safeguards to ensure the document is always handled with sensitivity, care and tact.
5. Only 39 Delegates Signed the U.S. Constitution
All the original states, except for Rhode Island, appointed individuals to the Constitutional Convention. There were 70 individuals appointed to the Constitutional Convention in total. In the end, only 55 delegates attended the Convention sessions and just 39 of those individuals signed the U.S. Constitution. Despite the lack of signatories, the document was ratified and approved, and continues to be the central governing document of our country today!
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