Grover Cleveland

Special Message

January 18, 1887

To the Senate and House of Representatives:

As a matter of national interest, and one solely within the discretion and control of Congress, I transmit the accompanying memorial of the executive committee of the subconstitutional centennial commission, proposing to celebrate on the 17th of September, in the city of Philadelphia, as the day upon which and the place where the convention that framed the Federal Constitution concluded their labors and submitted the results for ratification to the thirteen States then composing the United States.

The epoch was one of the deepest interest and the events well worthy of commemoration.

I am aware that as each State acted independently in giving its adhesion to the new Constitution the dates and anniversaries of their several ratifications are not coincident. Some action looking to a national expression in relation to the celebration of the close of the first century of popular government under a written constitution has already been suggested, and whilst stating the great interest I share in the renewed examination by the American people of the historical foundations of their Government, I do not feel warranted in discriminating in favor or against the propositions to select one day or place in preference to all others, and therefore content myself with conveying to Congress these expressions of popular feeling and interest upon the subject, hoping that in a spirit of patriotic cooperation, rather than of local competition, fitting measures may be enacted by Congress which will give the amplest opportunity all over these United States for the manifestation of the affection and confidence of a free and mighty nation in the institutions of a Government of which they are the fortunate inheritors and under which unexampled prosperity has been enjoyed by all classes and conditions in our social system.


Grover Cleveland, Special Message Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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