OUR PHILOSOPHY OF BU STUDENT DEVELOPMENT
The observance of Constitution Day was signed into law by President George W. Bush to commemorate the signing of the Constitution in 1787. The Congress, by joint resolution, designated September 17 as Constitution Day in 2005.
In 2017, Bethesda University will celebrate Constitution Day on Monday, September 17, 2018.
Constitution Web Sites
The National Archives Experience (https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs)
- The Charters of Freedom: A New World is at Hand offers high-resolution images of the Constitution, information on Constitutional Amendments, and facts about the Constitution.
National Constitution Center (https://constitutioncenter.org/timeline)
- Centuries of Citizenship: A Constitutional Timeline is an interactive timeline of events marking more than 200 years of our constitutional history. These events tell the evolving story of our Constitution and the role it continues to play in our lives. See headlines, hear debates, explore maps and graphs.
The Federalist Papers (https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers)
- This website offers the 85 essays urging New Yorkers to ratify the proposed Constitution. First published in New York City newspapers (1787-1788), the essays explained how the new government would work and why it was right for the U.S. Written by Hamilton, Madison, and Jay, the essays are often used today to help interpret the intentions of the Founding Fathers. (Library of Congress)
The Constitutional Dictionary (https://usconstitution.net/glossary.html)
- This website contains words, phrases, and concepts used in the U.S. Constitution.
The Declaration of Independence (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/document/index.html)
- Text and image of the Declaration of Independence are located on this website.
The Signers of the Declaration of Independence (http://www.ushistory.org/declaration/signers/index.html)
This link gives a profile of every delegate who signed the Declaration in 1776.
Bill of Rights
i. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.
ii. A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.
iii. No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
iv. The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
v. No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise, infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a grand jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
vi. In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the state and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.
vii. In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
viii. Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
ix. The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
x. The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the states, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
Constitutional Convention met at the State House in Philadelphia, PA.
There were 55 delegates to the Convention.
Twelve of the Thirteen states were represented.
Rhode Island did not send delegates to the Convention.
The Constitution was drafted in 1787.
James Madison is often called the "Father of the Constitution."
The Constitution became law on June 21, 1788, after 2/3 of the states ratified it.
The ninth state to ratify the Constitution was New Hampshire.
Not all the states had ratified the Constitution by April 30, 1789, when George Washington became the first President of the United States.
The structure of the document has not changed since it was written.
Amendments have provided the flexibility necessary to meet changing circumstances.
The Constitution is preserved for all to view at the National Archives in Washington, DC.