On September 17th, AOMA will continue in our tradition of recognizing Constitution Day. Since the official day falls during our Term break week, we will celebrate during lunch on Thursday, September 26th. This year will mark the 232nd anniversary of the singing of the U.S Constitution by the 37 framers on September 17, 1787. It also recognizes all who are born in the US or by naturalization, or have become citizens. The U.S Constitution is a living document that established America’s government system, laws and guaranteed citizen’s basic rights.
Under the Articles of Confederation, America’s first governing document, the national government was fragmented and allowed the states to operate independently. There was a strong debate between the Federalists (led by Alexander Hamilton) who wanted a strong national government, and the anti-federalists who opposed a strong federal government and wanted the power to remain in the hands of the state and local governments.
In 1939 William Hearst, a news tycoon, suggested the creation of Constitution day as a holiday to celebrate American Citizenship. In 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday of every May to be “I am an American Day”. With Hearst’s continued support for the holiday, within 5 years governors of the existing 48 states issued state holidays. Olga T. Weber petitioned state leaders, Congress in 1952 to change the date of the holiday to the date that the Constitution was signed. In 1953, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it, and “I am an American Day” became Constitution or Citizenship Day and moved to September 17th.