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Constitution Day

On Dec. 8, 2004, President George W. Bush signed a bill (Public Law 108-447) that designates every Sept. 17 as Constitution Day. The date is significant because on Sept. 17, 1787 the delegates to the Constitutional Convention met for the last time to sign the constitution they had created. Click on the following links to learn more about the U.S. Constitution from the many resources available through the Miller Center.

In the Library

On the Web


In the Library



To begin the world anew: the genius and ambiguities of the American founders / by Bernard Bailyn.

Lincoln's Constitution / Daniel Farber.

Magna Carta: manuscripts and myths / Claire Breay.

What kind of nation: Thomas Jefferson, John Marshall, and the epic struggle to create a United States / James F. Simon.

Constitutionalism and American culture: writing the new constitutional history / edited by Sandra F. VanBurkleo, Kermit L. Hall, and Robert J. Kaczorowski; foreword by Stanley N. Katz. Lawrence, Kan.

How democratic is the American Constitution? / Robert A. Dahl.

Our secret constitution: how Lincoln redefined American democracy / George P. Fletcher.

The velvet coup: the Constitution, the Supreme Court, and the decline of American democracy / Daniel Lazare.

Constitutions of the world / Robert L. Maddex.

Freedom and time: a theory of constitutional self-government / Jed Rubenfeld.

Vindicating the founders: race, sex, class, and justice in the origins of America / Thomas G. West.

Abraham Lincoln: a constitutional biography / George Anastaplo.

Controlling the state: constitutionalism from ancient Athens to today / Scott Gordon.

Negotiating the Constitution: the earliest debates over original intent / Joseph M. Lynch.

An economic interpretation of the Constitution of the United States / Charles A. Beard; with a new introduction by Louis Fuller.

Abraham Lincoln, constitutionalism, and equal rights in the Civil War era / by Herman Belz.

Free in the world: American slavery and constitutional failure / Mark E. Brandon.

John Adams and the spirit of liberty / C. Bradley Thompson.

Inventing a nation: Washington, Adams, Jefferson / Gore Vidal.

Setting the world ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson, and the American Revolution / John Ferling.

John Adams: party of one / James Grant.

The dynamic Constitution: an introduction to American constitutional law / Richard H. Fallon, Jr.

The elite consensus: when corporations wield the Constitution / by George Draffan; with a foreword by Richard L. Grossman and Ward Morehouse.

Women and the United States Constitution: history, interpretation, and practice / edited by Sibyl A. Schwarzenbach and Patricia Smith.

Presidential leadership: rating the best and the worst in the White House / edited by James Taranto and Leonard Leo.

James Madison / Garry Wills.

James Madison and the creation of the American Republic / Jack N. Rakove ; edited by Oscar Handlin.

Alexander Hamilton / Ron Chernow.

Alexander Hamilton and the persistence of myth / Stephen F. Knott.

Alexander Hamilton, American / Richard Brookhiser.

Liberty and freedom / David Hackett Fischer.

The American presidency: origins and development, 1776-2002 / Sidney M. Milkis, Michael Nelson.

Countdown to independence: a revolution of ideas in England and her American colonies: 1760-1776 / by Natalie S. Bober.

Becoming America: the revolution before 1776 / Jon Butler.


Electronic Books (use NetLibrary to access e-books)

Tip: Create a NetLibrary login from an on-campus computer to access from home)


Economic Effects of Constitutions / Torsten Persson, Guido Tabellini.

Daily Life During the American Revolution / Dorothy Volo, James Volo.

Jefferson 's Pillow: The Founding Fathers and the Dilemma of Black Patriotism / Roger Wilkins.

Representing Popular Sovereignty: The Constitution in American Political Culture / Daniel Levin.

Our Elusive Constitution: Silences, Paradoxes, Priorities / Daniel Hoffman.

The Bill of Rights: A Bicentennial Assessment / Gary Bryner.

The Constitution, the Law and Freedom of Expression, 1787-1987 / James Stewart.


To find more books, try the following Library of Congress subject headings:

On the Web

Text and Images of United States Constitution


America 's Historical Documents

Constitution of the United States (1787) image from

Making of the U.S. Constitution: Transcription of the Introduction and the U.S. Constitution from the First Volume of the Annals of Congress from the Library of Congress


Other Primary Documents

Continental Congress Broadside Collection
and Constitutional Broadside Collection

Journals of the Continental Congress

Primary Documents in American History: United States Constitution from the Library of Congress

Who's the Father of the Constitution? Library of Congress Wise Guide

The James Madison Papers from the Library of Congress

The Federalist Papers from and Project Gutenberg



Congressional Quarterly Press: In Context

Celebrating Constitution Day

Includes background on Constitution, lesson plans, Pro/Con Debates on Constitutional Issues, Government Powers, and Constitutional Factoids and more.


Lesson Plans

Teaching with Documents: Observing Constitution Day from National Archives and Records Administration

In Congress Assembled: Continuity and Change in Governing of the United States from Library of Congress (Teacher Lesson Plans)

A Century of Lawmaking for a New Nation: U.S. Congressional Documents and Debates: 1774-1873 from Library of Congress (Teacher Lesson Plans)

The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? from Library of Congress (Teacher Lesson Plans)


Other Web sites

Celebrating Constitution Day

Constitution Day, Inc.

Constitution Fast Facts from National Constitution Center


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