by Brian Zylstra | September 17th, 2012
We all know that July 4 is a VERY important date in American history since it’s our nation’s birthday, and a great excuse for a summer barbecue and fireworks . But did you know that Sept. 17 also is a key date in history? On that date in 1787, the United States Constitution was signed by 39 delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia after a long, hot summer spent proposing, debating, refining and finalizing what is our nation’s most basic and fundamental set of laws. (Yes, the U.S. Constitution is 225 years old.)
Although it isn’t a national holiday, Sept. 17 is celebrated as Constitution Day throughout the land. If you want to see the original U.S. Constitution, you’d have to visit the National Archives in Washington, D.C. Our State Archives is doing the next best thing by having a free display of the 1889 Washington Constitution this Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the lobby of the State Archives Building, located at 1129 Washington St. SE in Olympia, one block east of Capitol Way.
Also on display will be the earlier version of the Washington Constitution that was drafted and ratified by Washingtonians in 1878 but not approved by Congress. Both documents will be in a display case, so visitors will not be able to thumb through either one, but there will be a handout available about the constitutions. A State Patrol trooper will be on hand to protect both versions from any Nicholas Cage wannabes who’d like to escape with those rather valuable documents.
Go here to learn more about both the 1889 Washington Constitution, which was drafted by a group of 75 delegates in Olympia and overwhelmingly ratified by Washington voters on Oct. 1, 1889, and the 1878 version.