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10 Quick Facts about the Constitution
The U. S Constitution was written in the same Pennsylvania State House where the Declaration of Independence was signed and where George Washington received his commission as Commander of the Continental Army. Now called Independence Hall, the building still stands today on Independence Mall in Philadelphia.
Written in 1787, the Constitution was signed on September 17th. But it wasn't until 1788 that it was ratified by the necessary nine states. Notice of this ratification was received by Congress on July 2, 1788.
The U.S. Constitution was prepared in secret, behind locked doors that were guarded by sentries.
Some of the original framers and many delegates in the state ratifying conventions were very troubled that the original Constitution lacked a description of individual rights. In 1791, Americans added a list of rights to the Constitution. The first ten amendments became known as The Bill of Rights.
Of the 55 delegates attending the Constitutional Convention, only 39 signed and 3 delegates dissented. Two of America's "founding fathers" didn't sign the Constitution. Thomas Jefferson was representing his country in France and John Adams was doing the same in Great Britain.
Established on November 26, 1789, the first national "Thanksgiving Day" was originally created by George Washington as a way of "giving thanks" for the Constitution.
Of the written national constitutions, the U.S. Constitution is the oldest and the shortest.
At 81, Benjamin Franklin of Pennsylvania, the so-called "Sage of the Convention," was the oldest delegate, and at 26, Jonathon Dayton of New Jersey was the youngest. The average age of delegates was about 44.
The original Constitution is on display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941, it was moved to Fort Knox for safekeeping, but returned three years later.
More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified and twenty-seven have received the necessary approval from the states to actually become amendments to the Constitution. Only one amendment (Prohibition) has been repealed.
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