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Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in United States

Quick Facts

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a combined event that occurs in the United States on September 17 each year. On this day US citizens remember the blessings of liberty and are recognized for holding the responsibilities of citizenship.

Local names

NameLanguage
Constitution Day and Citizenship DayEnglish
Día de la Constitución y la NacionalidadSpanish
יום חוקה ויום האזרחותHebrew
يوم الدستور والمواطنة يومArabic
제헌절 시민의 날Korean
Constitution Day und Citizenship DayGerman

Alternative name

Constitition Day

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day 2014

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day 2015

Thursday, September 17, 2015
List of dates for other years

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is a combined event that is annually observed in the United States on September 17. This event commemorates the formation and signing of the Constitution of the United States on September 17, 1787. It also recognizes all who, by coming of age or by naturalization, have become US citizens.

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day USA

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day in the United States recognize both the importance of the nation's constitution and its citizens.

©iStockphoto.com/ P_Wei

What do people do?

The United States president may issue each year a proclamation calling on government officials within the nation to display the country's flag on government buildings on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, as well as inviting the people to observe this event in schools, churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies.

Various civil and educational authorities and individuals throughout the United States observe Constitution Day and Citizenship Day through a range of events and activities each year. For example, the Center for Civic Education provides lesson topics on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day for students at different levels. The US Department of Education provides various resources on the event as the department is responsible for implementing Constitution Day legislated mandates. Among these is the requirement for educational institutions that receive federal funds to hold an educational program on the United States Constitution on September 17 each year.

Public life

Many people observe Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, which is not a federal public holiday, in the United States.

Background

On Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, an event which falls during Constitution Week, many people in the United States recognize the anniversary of the nation’s constitution and the efforts and responsibilities of all citizens. With regard to the nation’s constitution, in the summer of 1787 delegates convened in Philadelphia to create “a more perfect union” and to craft the country's constitution. They worked to develop a framework that would provide balance and freedom, taking into account federal and state interests, as well as individual human rights. The delegates signed the Constitution of the United States on September 17 that year. By June 21, 1788, the constitution was effective, having been approved by nine of the 13 states.

With regard to recognizing citizens, newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst advocated a day to celebrate US Citizenship in 1939. In 1940 the Congress created “I Am an American Day” to be celebrated in the third Sunday in May. On February 29, 1952, President Harry Truman signed into law “Citizenship Day”. It was established to replace I am an American Day. On August 2, 1956, the Congress requested that the president proclaim the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as “Constitution Week”. One more change was made to the event when a federal law enacted in December 2004 designated September 17 as “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day”.

When Constitution Day falls on a Saturday, Sunday or on another holiday, the day must be held on a weekday during the preceding or following week. This was the case in 2005, when Constitution Day was generally observed on Friday, September 16, and 2006 when the holiday was observed on Monday, September 18.

Symbols

Positive images of United States citizens of all backgrounds have been used to promote the “Citizenship” element of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. The colors (red, white and blue) of the United States flag, as well as images of the flag, have also been used in artwork for promotional material for the day. Painted images of the constitution’s founders are also used to illustrate the importance of the meaning behind the day and the words “We the People”, which are written in the constitution, have been highlighted in promotional material to symbolize unity and cooperation within the nation. 

Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday typeWhere it is observed
MonSep 171990Citizenship DayObservance 
TueSep 171991Citizenship DayObservance 
ThuSep 171992Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 171993Citizenship DayObservance 
SatSep 171994Citizenship DayObservance 
SunSep 171995Citizenship DayObservance 
TueSep 171996Citizenship DayObservance 
WedSep 171997Citizenship DayObservance 
ThuSep 171998Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 171999Citizenship DayObservance 
SunSep 172000Citizenship DayObservance 
MonSep 172001Citizenship DayObservance 
TueSep 172002Citizenship DayObservance 
WedSep 172003Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 172004Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 162005Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observedObservance 
SatSep 172005Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
SunSep 172006Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
MonSep 182006Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observedObservance 
MonSep 172007Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
WedSep 172008Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
ThuSep 172009Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 172010Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 162011Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observedObservance 
SatSep 172011Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
MonSep 172012Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
TueSep 172013Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
WedSep 172014Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
ThuSep 172015Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
FriSep 162016Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observedObservance 
SatSep 172016Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
SunSep 172017Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
MonSep 182017Constitution Day and Citizenship Day observedObservance 
MonSep 172018Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
TueSep 172019Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 
ThuSep 172020Constitution Day and Citizenship DayObservance 

Other holidays in September 2014 in United States

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