Our country's Founding Fathers signed the U.S. Constitution Sept. 17, 1787. It is the world's longest surviving written charter of any government and has existed for more than 200 years. The Constitution remains our nation's most influential document pertaining to our system of self-governance. This desire for self-governance is exemplified in the Constitution's first three words, "We the People." The commitment of government "of the people, by the people, for the people" (Gettysburg Address) is one of the reasons why the Constitution has lasted this long. Along with this desire to create a government ruled by its citizens, the framers also created elements of our government that helped separate and balance powers while also protecting the rights and liberties of individuals.
In 1956, Congress established Constitution Week. This week-long celebration of our nation's founding document begins each year on Sept. 17, the day the Constitution was first signed. It is meant to be a week of education and reflection on how the Constitution established our system of government and impacts our lives to this day.