Did You Know? – Today is Constitution Day

Photo by Anthony Garand on Unsplash

One of the many emails the Owl gets every morning is The Writer’s Almanac with Garrison Keillor, a wonderful look at the birthdays and anniversaries of writers, with snippets of their biographies and bibliographies. The podcost and radio show has ended, but the information lives on in my email (you can subscribe at the link above). I admit I do not always read it because, well, time marches quite quickly, but today I caught on to this story:

“Today is Constitution Day, a holiday commemorating the signing of the United States Constitution in Philadelphia on this date in 1787. The document was drafted by 55 delegates to the Constitutional Convention, after a summer of rancorous debate, and it was signed by 37 of them and went to the colonies for ratification. Although Benjamin Franklin argued that adoption of the Constitution should require a unanimous vote, in the end it was decided that only nine of the 13 colonies needed to be on board.

The holiday was originally known as “Citizenship Day,” but in 2004, Senator Robert Byrd attached an amendment to an omnibus spending bill. The amendment mandates that all publicly funded schools teach a special lesson on the history of the Constitution on the anniversary of the document’s completion.” The Writer’s Almanac, 9/17/22

So…two things here:

First, do Weston Public Schools do this special lesson? In all grades? I would ask the Owlets but at 7 am on a Saturday, they are not anywhere near awake. Do all towns and states teach the history in the same way? Special Investigation Unit Weston (SIUW) is on the job.

Second, I had to go look at the Constitution’s history again…it turns out Ms. O’Neill’s AP US History class was a looooonggg time ago. Lots of fun stuff in Constitutional history including the last time Connecticut was famous for anything – the Connecticut Compromise put together the idea of proportional representation of states in Senate (two senators per state) and House of Representatives (based on population). And herein lies a lot of our current political “challenges” and to sum it all up, blame Connecticut. I do. Sometimes Rhode Island too, which was very wishy-washy about coming to the Constitutional table. What exactly was their plan? Go it alone? Umm.

And just in case you all think Massachusetts just merrily went along with the plan (when, just when, has that ever happened? We can’t even obey a four-way stop), guess what? It refused to ratify the Constitution over little issues about not guaranteeing the right to speech, religion and the press. You know, the fine print. So, our little state, crossed its arms until promised that a group of amendments would immediately follow the Constitution ratification, which it (the Bill of Rights) did in 1789. Rhode Island again caused problems but in this case, was entirely in the right as that whole compromise about slavery states was a bad idea. That’s my opinion, anyway.

The Owl is now down the rabbit hole of history (source here) and how things signed a long time ago come back to bite us on the bunda today. Ms. O’Neill (Go New Canaan Rams!) would be proud.

Happy Constitution Day!


  • Woodland students knew all about it! Both my 3rd grader and Kindergartener told me about how “september 17 is constitution day!” as soon as they got in the car yesterday.

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