The University of San Francisco: Gleeson Library
Library with Yellow Flowers
Center for Research Libraries
Ask A Librarian

Constitution Day

wethepeople

The United States Constitution was signed on September 17, 1787.

Constitution Day is observed annually to commemorate this occasion and celebrate the virtues of the Constitution.

Primary Sources

The Charters of Freedom

This website, from the National Archives and Records Administration, provides an excellent introduction to the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The Constitution: What it says/What it means
A guide to the constitution with a section by section analysis of "what it says" and "what it means." Created by Justice Learning, a collaboration of National Public Radio's "Justice Talking" radio show (produced by the Annenberg Public policy Center) and the New York Times Learning Network.

National Constitution Center
Visit this site to find a wide array of resources, including an interactive constitution, fast facts, basic governing principles, background on the founding fathers, activities for kids, etc.

Primary Documents in American History
The website consists of materials digitized from the historic collections of Library Congress.

Constitution of the United States
The official version of the U.S. Constitution from the Government Printing Office website. Contains analysis and interpretation of the Constitution.

United States Constitution: Text, Commentaries, Historical Texts, and Judicial Decisions
a list of online resources from the Law Library of Congress.

Advocacy Organizations

Center for Constitutional Rights

Dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.

American Civil Liberties Union

Founded in 1920, the ACLU works in the courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to all people in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.

Educational Resources

Annenberg Classroom
This website connects the The Leonore Annenberg Institute for Civics' award-winning, comprehensive curriculum on the Constitution and its amendments to daily civics news and student discussion.
 
Teaching with Documents
The National Archives and Records Administration provides lesson plans and reproducible copies of documents in order to promote the use of primary documents in the learning environment. Listed below are some of the programs relating to the constitution:

Constitutional Rights Foundation

CRF is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the importance of civic participation in a democratic society. CRF develops, produces, and distributes programs and materials to teachers, students, and public-minded citizens all across the nation.

For additional background information on Constitution Day, visit the Robert C. Byrd Center for Legislative Studies.

"We the People" theme painting and official poster
of the Constitution Sesquicentennial Celebration,
as rendered by Howard Chandler Christy. (National Archives)