Thursday, September 17, 2009

Constitution Day

Today is Constitution Day. Just thought I would share a few fun facts about the U.S. Constitution with everyone...

Constitution Fun Facts

The U.S. Constitution has 4,440 words. It is the oldest and the shortest written constitution of any government in the world.

Of the typographical errors in the Constitution, the misspelling of the word “Pensylvania” above the signers’ names is probably the most glaring.

Thomas Jefferson did not sign the Constitution. He was in France during the Convention, where he served as the U.S. minister. John Adams was serving as the U.S. minister to Great Britain during the Constitutional Convention and did not attend either.

The oldest person to sign the Constitution was Benjamin Franklin (81). The youngest was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey (26).

The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens, and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924.

The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution.

James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” was the first to arrive in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. He arrived in February, three months before the convention began, bearing the blueprint for the new Constitution.

When the Constitution was signed, the United States’ population was 4 million. It is now more than 300 million. Philadelphia was the nation’s largest city, with 40,000 inhabitants.

It took one hundred days to actually “frame” the Constitution.

There was initially a question as to how to address the President. The Senate proposed that he be addressed as “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.” Both the House of Representatives and the Senate compromised on the use of “President of the United States.”

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