The week of Sept. 17-23 is Constitution Week, and it was an honor to sign a proclamation reminding everyone in Carlsbad that this is the case. The Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), a patriotic organization that encourages education and historic preservation in communities across America,
Thank you to Jolene Goodwin, DAR Regent, and Dawn Darnell, DAR Vice Regent, who provided us with this information.
Constitution Week began in 1955, when DAR’s President, Gertrude Carraway, adopted a project to promote the observance of the U.S. Constitution with a memorial week, beginning on the anniversary of the signing of the document. She encouraged committees and members to study, teach and discuss the U.S. Constitution. The United States officially began observing Constitution Week in 1956.
Jolene and Gertrude also provided us with some interesting facts related to the Convention. George Washington was elected President of the Convention and began proceedings each morning at 10 a.m. Nathan Gorham served as chairman. Nobody could speak more than twice on the same question without permission, and participants could not speak the second time until everyone had a chance to speak. Each state had one vote in the Constitutional Convention, regardless of how many delegates they had.
Richard Dobbs Spaight of North Carolina suggested that delegates be allowed to change their minds on a vote previously made. It was also decided how an individual voted on a question would not be recorded, though Madison often recorded such votes in his notes.
James Wilson of Delaware gave 168 speeches, while Governor Morris made 173. George Read signed the constitution twice – once for himself and once for his friend, John Dickinson, who had to leave the convention early.
At one point, David Brearley suggested that they redo all state boundaries and make the 13 states equal in size. John Rutledge, of South Carolina, actually named his tenth child “States” in honor of the entire effort. Jonathan Dayton, of New Jersey, was the youngest delegate. He was 26. Together, they changed the world.
This year marks the 234th anniversary of the ratification of the United States Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787 in Philadelphia. This great experiment paid off, and “We The People” inherited a system not only designed to protect our freedoms, but outlining our responsibilities. As we honor Constitution Week, we ask our citizens to reaffirm the ideals the framers of this noble document had by protecting the freedoms guaranteed to us and remembering that lost rights may not be regained.
Happy Constitution Week.
Carlsbad Mayor Dale Janway