Jimmy Carter photo

Proclamation 4517—Citizenship Day and Constitution Week, 1977

August 29, 1977

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

On July 4, 1976, we joyfully celebrated the 200th anniversary of our Nation's independence. Now, on September 17, 1977, we commemorate the 190th anniversary of a quieter but equally momentous event: the signing of the Constitution of the United States, at Independence Hall, Philadelphia.

The Constitution audaciously proposed a new plan of government--a government through which the new Nation's people could, in the words of the Preamble, "form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity . . ."

With amendments, notably the Bill of Rights, that Constitution has endured these 190 years as the supreme law of our land. We are its inheritors--the "posterity" whose liberty the Founding Fathers wished to secure--and it is fitting for us to mark the anniversary of what they did.

By a joint resolution of February 29, 1952 (36 U.S.G. 153), Congress designated September 17 as Citizenship Day, in commemoration of the formation and signing of the Constitution and in recognition of all who, by coming of age or by naturalization have attained the full status of citizenship, and authorized the President to issue annually a proclamation calling upon officials of the Government to display the flag on all Government buildings on that day. By a joint resolution of August 2, 1956 (36 U.S.G. 159), the Congress authorized the President to designate the period beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as Constitution Week and to issue a proclamation calling for the observance of that week.

Now, Therefore, I, Jimmy Carter, President of the United States of America, call upon appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Citizenship Day, September 17, 1977, the 190th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution. I urge Federal, State and local officials, as well as leaders of civic, educational and religious organizations to conduct related ceremonies and programs on that day.

I also designate as Constitution Week the period beginning September 17 and ending September 23, 1977, and urge all Americans to observe that week with ceremonies and activities in their schools, churches and in other suitable places in order to foster a better understanding of the Constitution, and of the rights and duties of United States citizens.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this twenty-ninth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and seventy-seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and second.

Signature of Jimmy Carter


Jimmy Carter, Proclamation 4517—Citizenship Day and Constitution Week, 1977 Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/244176

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