WASHINGTON, DC – Here’s a bit of advice for parents and teachers. Next time your kids say history class is boring, tell them they have a right to be bored-it’s guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution. Better yet, perhaps you could use the very last weekend of summer to convey the message. After all, we celebrate Constitution Day 2017 on Sunday, the 17th of September.
In 1940 “I am an American Day” was established by Congress to be observed on the third Sunday in May each year. Meanwhile, a patriotic Ohio woman, Olga T. Weber, was advancing her own notions about how best to disseminate the word about what it means to be an American. By 1952 she was in the midst of a crusade to set aside a day to honor the country’s heritage. A year later, she convinced Congress and President Dwight D. Eisenhower to tag September 17th as Citizenship Day; the document was signed by the Founding Fathers on the same date in 1787.
Later, another patriot, Louise Leigh–already immersed in the study of the U.S. Constitution-founded a 1997 non-profit organization called Constitution Day Inc. Her aim was to shift the focus of Citizenship Day to the U.S. Constitution.
In an interview with the journal, Education World, soon after President George W. Bush signed a law in 2004 declaring September 17th to be known as Constitution Day, she explained her purpose:
“I became acutely aware of the uniqueness, the greatness, and the miracle of our Constitution. Until the 1800s, every American child could recite all the freedoms guaranteed in the Constitution, which is not done today. We celebrate Independence Day on July 4 with gusto. The Revolutionary War gave us independence…
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