Today we celebrate the 230th anniversary of one of the most important days in history --- September 17,1787, the day members of the Constitutional Convention ratified the United States Constitution.
Constitution Day is a wonderful opportunity to study, and teach our children, the principles of government that have created abundant and unprecedented liberty, peace, and prosperity for millions of Americans. Some individuals and families may want to invest more time in learning about our Constitution. You may want to celebrate Constitution Week, Constitution Month, or devote much longer to understanding and preserving this inspired foundation of our freedom.
The better we understand the Constitution, the more prepared we can be to to do our part to "preserve, protect and defend" it. Here are some ideas and resources that may be of help. Choose one or more learning activities that will be best for your family.
Celebrating Constitution Day
Read the United States Constitution.
Read the Constitution. Discuss what a remarkable, revolutionary document it is, and why we must each do our part to "keep" our republic.
Learn about part of the Constitution and/or memorize something about the Constitution.
You could watch this video with John Stossel asking members of Congress to tell their favorite part of the Constitution, and then ask family members to tell their favorite part. You might even memorize a part of the Constitution or an inspirational quote about the Constitution.
Learn about how the Constitution was created.
Watch A More Perfect Union. Discuss the inspiring story and heroes behind the birth of our Constitution.
You could also watch Prayer and the Miracle in Philadelphia and explain that after much study, work, and discussion, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were unable to create and agree on a constitution until they asked for, and received, help from God.
Talk with your family about your heritage.
Share your feelings about the blessings and responsibilities of being a citizen of the United States of America. Tell stories about your family heritage, the one you've received and the one you want to create.
Discuss with your family why the Constitution is relevant, important, and essential today.
Watch the video below that tells why the Constitution is important today. Study and prepare to explain why you think the Constitution is relevant and important in our complex modern world. You might want to make a video and post it on social media, or share your views with a friend.
Consider what you can do.
Perhaps one of the most significant things you can do is to consider how you and your family can protect and preserve the Constitution, create a written plan, and begin to take action. (For ideas, see the excellent outline, The Patriot's Guide, created by Heritage.org.)
Enjoy patriotic music.
Play inspiring patriotic music. Sing some of your favorite patriotic songs.
After a lesson, video, or activity, you could serve patriotic refreshments.
Why the Constitution is Important Today
Helpful Resources to Learn About the Constitution
The United States Constitution
Inspirational Quotes About the Constitution
The Preamble Set to Music (3 minute video)
A More Perfect Union (150 minute video)
Story of the creation of the United States Constitution
Founding Brothers (90 minute video)
Story of the birth of our constitutional republic.
We Still Hold These Truths (20 minute video)
Principles that make America great.
We Still Hold These Truths
Leaders' guide about the principles that make America great (goes with book by the same name).
The Patriot’s Guide: What You Can Do for Your Country
PDF from the Heritage Foundation with ways you can make a difference
Why We're Losing Liberty (5:33)
How does the Constitution preserve liberty and prevent tyranny? Professor Robert P. George answers this important question.
Online library of wonderful constitutional resources.
Our Lost Constitution Facebook Page
Senator Mike Lee's Facebook page where he teaches about our constitutional heritage and how we can help preserve it. The page amplifies Senator Lee's excellent books, Written Out of History and Our Lost Constitution.
The 10 videos below were created by Senator Lee to accompany the Our Lost Constitution book. They help explain what has gone wrong in Washington D.C., how the problems were created by violating the Constitution, and how they can be resolved by restoring the Constitution. The relevant chapters from the book are listed after the link to each video.
Video 1: Federalism and separation of powers provide structural protections for the Constitution. (1:01:18) Chapter 3: The Legislative Powers Clause, Chapter 6: The Tenth Amendment and the Commerce Clause
Video 2: Americans can help restore constitutionally limited government. (18:49)
Chapter 10: What You Can Do to Reclaim the Constitution
Video 3: The origins of the Second Amendment and how it was restored. (21:10)
Chapter 7: Reclaiming the Constitution Through the Courts
Video 4: The origins of the Fourth Amendment and its challenges today. (24:15)
Chapter 5: The Forgotten Fourth Amendment
Video 5: How Senator Lee became interested in the Constitution. (20:10)
Introduction (How Senator Lee's parents nurtured his lifelong love of the Constitution.)
Video 6: Congress can restore the Constitution through the power of the purse. (17:05)
Chapter 9: Reclaiming the Constitution Through the Power of the Purse
Video 7: The First Amendment’s Establishment Clause has been distorted to limit public expressions of religious belief. (23:11) Chapter 4: The Forgotten Establishment Clause
Video 8: How the Second Amendment was “lost” before Its restoration in 2008. (18:28)
Chapter 7: Reclaiming the Constitution Through the Courts
Video 9: We are subject to unelected, unaccountable federal bureaucrats. (22:04)
Chapter 3: The Forgotten Legislative Powers Clause
Video 10: The Tenth Amendment limits federal power and keeps most aspects of government close to the people. (13:50) Chapter 6: The Forgotten Tenth Amendment and the Inflated Commerce Clause
Freedom Project: Principles of the Constitution
- Preamble (9:41)
- Limited Government (8:02)
- Legislative Powers and Limitations (7:23)
- Executive Powers and Limitations (9:43)
- Judicial Powers and Limitations (10:18)
- Bill of Rights, Part 1 (9:30)
- Bill of Rights, Part 2 (8:35)
- Amendments 11-18 (6:57)
- Amendments 19-27 (7:30)
Hillsdale College: Introduction to the Constitution
- The Declaration of Independence—Universals and Particulars (11:53)
- The Declaration of Independence—The Laws of Nature and of Nature's God (8:33)
- The Declaration of Independence—All Men Are Created Equal (7:35)
- The Consent of the Governed (7:37)
- Representation of the People (10:32)
- Sovereignty and Power (11:11)
- Reason and Passion (8:54)
- The Separation of Powers (11:04)
- The Necessity of Virtue (9:22)
- Ballots Rather Than Bullets (10:04)
- The Problem with Big Government (9:47)
- The Problem with Progressivism (14:33)
Hillsdale College: The Federalist Papers
- Introduction: Articles of Confederation and the Constitutional Convention Larry P. Arnn
- The Improved Science of Politics Paul A. Rahe
- The Problem of Majority Faction Paul Moreno
- Federalism and Republicanism Will Morrisey
- Separation of Powers Matthew Spalding
- The Legislative: House and Senate Will Morrisey
- The Executive Paul A. Rahe
- The Judiciary Paul Moreno
- “The Constitution is Itself . . . a Bill of Rights” Will Morrisey
- Conclusion: Constitutionalism Today Larry P. Arnn