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Calendar for September 17th, 2013

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (United States)

Formerly called "I am an American Day" (1940) and then "Citizenship Day" (1952), this observance's long new name (2004) is called Constitution Day for short. It marks the anniversary of the date in 1787 when the final draft of the Constitution of the United States was signed by delegates to the Constitutional Convention after months of wrangling. The framers of the Constitution had been arguing constantly as they met in secret, but they had leaked reports to the press indicating that all was well. "So great is the unanimity, we hear, that prevails in the convention, upon all great federal subjects, that it has been proposed to call the room in which they assemble 'Unanimity Hall.'" The Federalists (as they came to be called) argued through June and most of July and reached an agreement on July 16. After deciding to leave out a bill of rights -- because everyone was worn-out and they thought there was no need for such a list -- the framers completed the final draft on September 17 and made it ready for submission to the states for ratification. The American Bar Association and other organizations make an effort to mark this anniversary by sponsoring symposia and, in some cases, offering free legal advice.

Every Year

  • Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (United States)

  • 1630s

  • 1630: City of Boston founded

  • 1780s

  • 1787: The U.S. Constitution signed

  • 1850s

  • Born 1854: David Dunbar Buick (automobile manufacturer)

  • 1860s

  • 1862: Battle of Antietam in Maryland occurred; known as the bloodiest battle of the Civil War

  • 1880s

  • Born 1883: William Carlos Williams (writer & doctor)

  • 1920s

  • Born 1923: Hank Williams (musician)

  • 1930s

  • Born 1931: Anne Bancroft (actress)

  • Born 1939: David Souter (U.S. Supreme Court justice)

  • 1940s

  • Born 1945: Phil Jackson (basketball coach)

  • Born 1948: John Ritter (actor)

  • 1960s

  • 1969: First public display of a lunar rock, at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

  • 1970s

  • 1972: M*A*S*H made its television debut

  • 1974: Royal Canadian Mounted Police began accepting women as uniformed members

  • Born 1975: Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR driver)

  • 1980s

  • 1983: Vanessa Williams became the first African American woman to be crowned Miss America

  • 1986: William Rehnquist is confirmed as chief justice of the US Supreme Court

  • 1990s

  • 1994: Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf woman to be crowned Miss America

  • Died 1996: Spiro T. Agnew (served as vice president under Richard Nixon)

  • Died 1997: Red Skelton (comedian)

  • 2000s

  • 2001: The Late Show with David Letterman was the first TV talk show to return to the airways six days after terrorists attacked the United States in New York City

  • 2004: Barry Bonds hit his 700th home run

  • 2005: A 17-pound 4-ounce white catfish was caught in the Humboldt River of Nevada

  • 2010s

  • Died 2010: Robert Truax (rocket scientist)


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