Constitution Day is
A Message from the President
Dear Albrightians and friends,
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect
Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the
common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings
of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.
For me, the most important words in the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States are the first three -- “We the People.” They remind us of our individual and collective roles as educated citizens in a democracy. They are a sign of our powers, our rights, and our obligations.
In 2004, Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia passed legislation requiring that all schools and colleges receiving federal funds offer education programming involving the Constitution. As an educational institution, Albright is pleased to support this effort to encourage active citizenship. By educating our students – and the entire campus community— about the document that is the underpinning of our nation and our freedoms, we forward our mission as a liberal arts college.
More information follows below, where you will also find a number of events and resources from the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
I hope you will join us as we recognize this important day.
Lex O. McMillan III
Constitution Day Events
Constitution Day Events at the Constitution Center in Philadelphia
Constitution Fast Facts
- The U.S. Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State
House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George
Washington received his commission as commander of the Continental
Army. Now called Independence Hall, the building still stands today
on Independence Mall in Philadelphia, directly across from the National
- Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on September 17, but
it wasn't until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states.
- John Heister, Governor of Pennsylvania from 1820-1824, was a member
of the Pennsylvania Convention, which ratified the U.S. Constitution.
Heister, born in nearby Bern Township, is buried in Charles Evans Cemetery
near the campus of Albright College. Many establishments and even a
street near campus are named for Heister.
- The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors
that were guarded by sentries.
- The U.S. Constitution is only 69 years older than Albright College’s
founding institution Union Seminary.
- Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying
conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked
a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list
of rights to the Constitution. The first 10 amendments became known
as The Bill of Rights.
- Muhlenberg Township, in which part of the Albright College campus
sits, is named for Henry Muhlenberg. Muhlenberg’s uncle, Speaker
of the House Frederick Augustus Muhlenberg, was the first to sign the
Bill of Rights.
- In 1791 the First Amendment gave Americans the freedom of religion.
It was this same year that Jacob Albright, for whom the college is
named, became an Evangelical preacher.
- Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, 39
signed and three delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding
fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing
the United States in France and John Adams was doing the same in Great
- Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving
Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving
thanks" for the Constitution.
- Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is
the oldest and shortest.
- At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania was the oldest delegate
at the Constitutional Convention and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New
Jersey was the youngest.
- The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives
in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, it was moved
to Fort Knox for safekeeping.
- Union Seminary, one of Albright College’s founding institutions,
was preparing to celebrate its 10 th Anniversary as Congress enacted
the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the
- More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three
have gone to the states to be ratified and 27 have received the necessary
approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution.
Provided by The National Constitution Center
If you would like to learn more about the Constitution please visit
one of the sites below: