Constitution Day is September 17. Here are 17 Constitution facts to impress your friends and family. (Need more than 17? Our Constitution web page has all you need to know!)
SEVENTEEN: The Constitution has 4,543 words, including the signatures. It takes about 30 minutes to read.
SIXTEEN: The Constitution was drafted in fewer than 100 working days.
FIFTEEN: Each of the four parchment sheets of the Constitution measures 28 3/4 inches by 23 5/8 inches.
FOURTEEN: George Washington was chosen unanimously to preside over the Constitutional Convention.
THIRTEEN: Madison kept a journal during the Constitutional Convention. Congress appropriated $30,000 to buy it (and other papers) in 1837.
TWELVE: Those who favored ratifying the Constitution were called Federalists; those who opposed were Antifederalists.
ELEVEN: Two of the 12 amendments submitted as the Bill of Rights were rejected.
TEN: There is no mention of education in the Constitution; education is reserved for the states.
NINE: These cities have been U.S. capitals: Philadelphia, Baltimore, Lancaster, York, Princeton, Annapolis, Trenton, New York, and finally Washington, DC.
EIGHT: The book that had the greatest influence on the Constitutional Convention was Montesquieu’s Spirit of Laws, which first appeared in 1748.
SEVEN: Montesquieu borrowed much of his doctrine from Englishman John Locke, with whose writings the delegates were also familiar.
SIX: The Chief Justice is mentioned in the Constitution, but the number of Justices is not specified.
FIVE: For 61 years, from 1804 to 1865 (between the 12th and the 13th Amendments), no amendments were added to the Constitution.
FOUR: Only one amendment to the Constitution has been repealed: the 18th (Prohibition).
THREE: How do you repeal an amendment? Add another amendment. The 18th Amendment remains in the Constitution, but with a notation that it has been repealed by the 21st.
TWO: Only 39 delegates signed the Constitution. Fourteen had already gone home. Three refused.
ONE: The Constitution does not give us our rights and liberties, but it does guarantee them.