2020 Constitution Day Theme and Resources

Founding Fathers

Lower and middle grade teachers, are you looking for resources on the signers of the Constitution from your state? Visit the Constitionday.com website to find the resources you need. Biographies of each signator found there.

Power to the People: Seven week seminar seriesPower to the People

We live in an age of polarization and political activism. Educators like you need a deep understanding of the issues in order to effectively engage their social studies students.

To give you a better understanding of key topics facing our democracy today, the Center for Civic Education is offering a special Power to the People webinar series, which begins this Constitution Day, September 17, at 7:30 pm Eastern.

This series of seven free webinars features nationally renowned scholars explaining both sides of controversial issues, ranging from Confederate monuments to mass incarceration to voter suppression.

In the first webinar, The Power of People and the Courts, U.S. District Judge Mae Avila D’Agostino and Center for Civic Education President Christopher Riano will review important U.S. Supreme Court cases from 2019-2020.

The Power to the People webinar series is sponsored by the Center for Civic Education, Kansas State University, and the Indiana Bar Foundation.

Visit our website or click the links below to sign up.

The Power of People and the Courts
Thursday, September 17 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholars: Christopher Riano and U.S. District Judge Mae Avila D’Agostino

The Power of Indian Sovereignty
Thursday, September 24 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: David E. Wilkins, Professor, E. Claiborne Robins Distinguished Professor in Leadership Studies, University of Richmond

The Power of Movements: The Struggle to Pass the Nineteenth Amendment and Beyond
Thursday, October 1 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: Lisa Tetrault, Associate Professor, Carnegie Mellon University

The Power of Symbols: Monuments and Flags
Thursday, October 8 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: Brandon Hasbrouck, Assistant Professor of Law, Washington and Lee University School of Law

The Power of the Criminal Justice System
Thursday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: Hernandez Stroud, Counsel, Brennan Center for Justice

The Power of Free Speech
Thursday, October 22 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: David Hudson, Visiting Associate Professor of Legal Practice, Belmont University

The Power of Voting: The Electoral College, Gerrymandering, and Suppression
Thursday, October 29 at 7:30 p.m. Eastern / 4:30 p.m. Pacific
Scholar: Michael Li, Senior Counsel, Brennan Center’s Democracy Program

History of Constitution Day

Commemorate Constitution Day on September 17

On this date in 1787 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the U.S. Constitution, a written charter for a new–and enduring–federal government. The delegates convened in Philadelphia to develop a framework that would provide balance and freedom, taking into account federal and state interests, as well as individual human rights. By June 21, 1788, the Constitution was effective, having been approved by nine of the 13 states.

In 2004, Congress required that all federally-funded schools observe “Constitution Day” by providing students with educational programs about the history and signing of the Constitution.

On December 8, 2004, President George W. Bush signed a bill designating September 17 as Constitution Day (if September 17 falls on a weekend, it may be observed another time around that date).

In May 2005, the US Department of Education, while announcing that all educational institutions receiving federal funding must observe Constitution Day, put forth guidelines stating educators are free to design Constitution Day programming that best addresses the needs of their students.

The goal of celebrating the September 17, 1787 signing of the US Constitution is to engage students in programming that will help them understand that citizen action and participation in government is the backbone of our country.