Constitution Day, Sept. 17
“We the People…”
Celebrate the adoption of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, upon the final vote of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention. Meeting in Philadelphia, the delegates to the convention were called to revise the Articles of Confederation to deal with flaws in that document’s design. Delegates unanimously elected George Washington to preside.
Known as the “Father of the Constitution,” James Madison was perhaps the most influential contributor to the Constitution. You can find his notes in The Records of the Constitutional Convention, edited by Max Farrand. Looking for copies of his papers? You can find them in The Papers of James Madison, edited by William T. Hutchinson and William M.E. Rachel.
The Constitution was finally ratified on June 21, 1788 with New Hampshire being the ninth state to do so. The first Congress met in New York on March 4, 1789, and George Washington delivered his first inaugural address on April 30 of that year. You can read Washington’s address in Inaugural Addresses of the Presidents, from George Washington 1789 to George H.W. Bush 1989; this document is also available through the library’s subscription to ProQuest Congressional.