It’s Constitution Day!

It’s Constitution Day!

1889 Constitution

(Photos courtesy of Washington State Archives)

We bet most of you didn’t even know it existed.

After all, it doesn’t receive nearly as much attention as Independence Day. There aren’t any retail sales that capitalize on it. Since it occurs when fall is knocking on the door, it doesn’t entice us to eat outside.

But Sept. 17 is a very important date in American history. It’s the date when the United States Constitution was signed by 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787.

Go here to learn more about the U.S. Constitution, including a closer look at the delegates and the issues involved in creating and ratifying the Constitution and the new government it established.

Here in Washington, our state constitution is kept safe in our State Archives. The photo above shows the preamble to our state constitution. The photo below features James Hungate signing the Washington State Constitution in April 1931 as Secretary of State J. Grant Hinkle and Hungate’s wife watch. Hungate was a delegate to the 1889 Constitutional Convention in Olympia, but he had to leave the convention and head home to Whitman County before the constitution was ready for his signature. Hungate’s signing 42 years later was authorized by a resolution of the State and House of Representatives. Better late than never.


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