Constitution Day Programming

Join the Office of Student Engagement in the celebration of Constitution Day September 17th!

About Constitution Day:

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed each year on September 17 to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and “recognize all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become citizens.”

This commemoration had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship.  The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”

In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” The day was still designated as “Citizenship Day” and retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”

In 2004 under Senator Byrd's urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to "Constitution Day and Citizenship Day" and added two new requirements in the commemoration of this Day. The first is that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational and training materials concerning the Constitution on September 17th. The second is that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every September 17th.

September 17 Events:

  • Check out a video telling the origins of the Constitution in lower Surbeck
  • Visit the Surbeck Information desk for a FREE pocket constitution (while supplies last)
  • Students! Drop off your completed constitution quiz at the Surbeck Information Desk for a chance to win a pair of movie tickets
  • Check out the voter registration info posted around Surbeck and the digital screens
  • Library of Congress 2020 Constitution and Citizenship Day Event: September 17th
    The Law Library of Congress and the Library of Congress Center for Learning, Literacy and Engagement invite you to our 2020 Constitution and Citizenship Day event, "The Bulwark of Freedom": African-American Members of Congress and the Constitution During Reconstruction<>, on September 17th at 3 p.m. EDT. This year's lecture will be an online event and will be given by Michael J. Murphy, a historical publication specialist in the Office of the Historian for the U.S. House of Representatives<>.  Learn about the lives of the first African Americans to serve in the United States Congress during Reconstruction and the challenges they faced. To register for this lecture, please visit our Eventbrite<> page

                                        What: Webinar with Amy Scott-Stoltz, League of Women Voters South Dakota

                                         When: September 17, 2020, 4 pm MDT

                                         Register Here:

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