Archives Spotlight: Making the Constitution accessible

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate, we’re running a series of “spotlights” on the many locations that make up the National Archives. Today's post features the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and was written by Rick Blondo, management and program analyst at the National Archives. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the … Continue reading Archives Spotlight: Making the Constitution accessible

Constitution 225: It was secret, but we know about it

Today’s post was written by National Archives volunteer Paul Richter. It is part of a series tracing the development of the Constitution in honor of the 225th anniversary of this document on September 17, 2012. In the earliest days of the Constitutional Convention, the delegates agreed their proceedings would be secret. As the convention drew … Continue reading Constitution 225: It was secret, but we know about it

Constitution 225: To errata is human

Imagine a time before computers and the safety net of spellcheck and auto-correct. Imagine you are about to write by hand (or "engross") the document that will set out the fundamentals of governing a new nation. And you have less than 48 hours to do it. The Constitution (plus its "fifth page" were written by … Continue reading Constitution 225: To errata is human

Constitution 225: George Washington’s Constitution

    Today's Constitution 225 post was written by Jim Zeender,  senior registrar in Exhibits at the National Archives. Imagine George Washington’s first day on the job as President of the United States on April 30, 1789. What what his role? How was he to act? What were his duties and powers? Who should advise … Continue reading Constitution 225: George Washington’s Constitution

Constitution 225: Tweet the Preamble

Five people worked together as the Committee of Style to polish and refine the 52-word Preamble, a paragraph that provided the reasons and purposes behind the creation of the Constitution. In fact, one of the greatest phrases of the Constitution comes from the Preamble: "We the People." Could any other wording express the emotions and … Continue reading Constitution 225: Tweet the Preamble

Constitution 225: Fractions and ratifications

  Today’s post was written by National Archives volunteer Paul Richter. It is part of a series tracing the development of the Constitution in honor of the 225th anniversary of this document on September 17, 2012. On Monday, September 10, 1787, the Constitutional Convention was fixated on fractions. After four months of debate and compromise, … Continue reading Constitution 225: Fractions and ratifications

Constitution 225: Friday Facts

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 … Continue reading Constitution 225: Friday Facts

Constitution 225: There’s a “fifth” page the public has never seen

  Millions of people have passed through the Rotunda of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, to see the original parchments that are our Charters of Freedom. They pause to look at the faded writing on the Declaration of Independence, the bold opening words “We the People” on the Constitution, and the straightforward enumeration … Continue reading Constitution 225: There’s a “fifth” page the public has never seen

Constitution 225: Conservation and Re-encasement

Today's post comes from Nikita Buley, an intern in the National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications. In light of the upcoming 225th Constitution Day on September 17, I spoke with Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler and Catherine Nicholson, two of the very few people who have touched the Constitution in the last century, about how they … Continue reading Constitution 225: Conservation and Re-encasement

Constitution 225: Celebrating our founding document

The Constitution turns 225 on September 17, and the National Archives is ready to celebrate our founding document! Don't miss your chance to see the "fifth page" of the Constitution, on display for the first time. It will be in the Rotunda for public viewing only from September 14 to 17. From now until September … Continue reading Constitution 225: Celebrating our founding document