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Sunday, September 17, 2006

Happy Birthday U.S. Constitution

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The U.S. Constitution was approved by the majority of delegates to the Constitutional Convention on September 17th, 1787. The document was then referred to the states where ratification from nine states was necessary before the Constitution was enacted. Above is Delaware's official copy of the U.S. Constitution (full size image here). Delaware was the first state to ratify the Constitution. It did so on December 7,1787 by a unanimous vote of 30-0. More on the ratification of the Constitution from the National Archives.

I was present in Philadelphia for the bicentennial observance of the Constitution's birthday in 1987. The day holds a special significance for me as it is my birthday as well. Warren Burger, the late Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court was a key organizer of the event and it turns out it was his birthday as well.

A year later, as I was leaving the White House on Constitution Day, I happened across the former Chief Justice outside another building. It must have given him a shock when a perfect stranger walked by and wished him a "happy birthday." A few years later I was introduced to the Chief by a neighbor. I didn't mention our first meeting.

Mike's America Poet Laureate Offers Greetings

Scarlett, the Mike's America Poet Laureate offered birthday greetings for this day. Modesty (what little I have) requires me to edit the last line and defer to the foundation of our freedom:


A Day to Remember

Why does the sun shine so bright.
Why do the flowers stand tall.
Why are the birds so happy in flight.
Why are we having a ball.

I think I know. I think you know.
I'll tell you without delay.
Good wishes we will all bestow.
Because it is the Constitution's Birthday.

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