Today is Constitution Day! September 17th is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.
As the permanent home of the original U.S. Constitution, we love to celebrate our founding document at the National Archives!
We have a brand new – and quick – activity to commemorate this occasion: You and your students can add your names and become signers of the Constitution!
Visit our new Join the Signers page at www.archives.gov/founding-docs/join-the-signers.
First choose one of our founding documents (you can also choose to sign the Declaration of Independence).
You’ll learn that the Constitutional Convention assembled in Philadelphia in 1787 to revise America’s first constitution, the Articles of Confederation – but they decided to draft an entirely new frame of government. On September 17, 1787, thirty-eight delegates signed the new United States Constitution.
After choosing your penmanship style, and typing your name, you’ll be asked, “Are you sure you want to sign the Constitution?”
If you had been a delegate to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, you would have spent three hot summer months in secret sessions debating the new Constitution. Some of the biggest questions were how much power to give the central government, how many representatives each state should have in Congress, and how representatives should be elected. Loyal to their states and wary about centralized power, representing wildly different interests and views, the delegates crafted compromises. Thirty-eight of the 42 men present signed the Constitution (one delegate signed for another who was absent, bringing the total to 39). Three refused to sign because the Constitution lacked a bill of rights.
If you select “Yes, I want to sign!,” you can download or print a copy of the Constitution with your name at the bottom!
We hope this is a fun activity for your students for Constitution Day or any day! You can see other resources for teaching about the Constitution in our previous post: Get Ready for Constitution Day!