Constitution Week - September 17-23, 2019

Written by: Holly Blair, National Chair, Constitution Week Committee
September 17, 2019

We the people are celebrating the 232nd year of the United States Constitution this week.

The Constitution’s 4,440 words were framed (written) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787 by the six founding fathers; George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin and Alexander Hamilton, for a population of four million. It is heartwarming to know that in its original form and being the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major Government in existence today, the United States Constitution is still relevant to the current 329 million citizens, and therefore a true testament to the foresight our founding fathers had for the future people of the United States of America.

Reflecting on the story of our nation’s Constitution reminds me of the vision Mary Desha, Mary Smith Lockwood, Ellen Hardin Walworth and Eugenia Washington had in 1890 to form a women’s service organization dedicated to promoting historic preservation, patriotism and education.  In doing so, our founding Daughters gave the women of the United States an active, public role in supporting this nation’s Constitution.  In fact, the public determination, boldness, and foresight pioneered by these women inspired subsequent NSDAR leaders such as President General Gertrude S. Carraway to, in 1955, adopt a project promoting the observance of the United States Constitution for one week each year beginning on the anniversary day, September 17, of the signing of the Constitution.  During this week, DAR chapters, committees and members were to study, teach, discuss and share facts about the United States Constitution with their respective communities. Ms. Carraway also encouraged members to invite their governors and mayors to issue proclamations officially celebrating the Constitution. In turn, this act along with other NSDAR leaders to go further and initiate a congressional resolution, which resulted in President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially enacting September 17-23 as Constitution Week on August 2, 1956.  In a good part due to the influence exercised by today’s DAR, we still practice the project that President General Gertrude S. Carraway envisioned in 1955, and many members begin their celebrations way before September 17.

For today’s DAR, technology is a key component in getting information out to our communities and in response, DAR now has a website, Facebook pages, a blog and over 185,000 members to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. The Constitution Week Committee is one of over 40 committees recognized by NSDAR and comes complete with a website devoted to help daughters with ideas to promote Constitution Week. The committee page contains sample proclamations, press releases, a Constitution Week Toolbox, suggested activities, a calendar and much, much more! Please visit the committee website here.

To gain inspiration from posts from by Daughters throughout the United States sharing their displays, school projects, videos and ideas, please join the DAR Constitution Week Facebook page.  

I hope you all have a great time sharing the Constitution in your communities this week! We Are The People!

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