HONORING CONSTITUTION WEEK; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 146
(Extensions of Remarks - September 12, 2019)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1142]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                       HONORING CONSTITUTION WEEK


                        HON. H. MORGAN GRIFFITH

                              of virginia

                    in the house of representatives

                      Thursday, September 12, 2019

  Mr. GRIFFITH. Madam Speaker, I rise in honor of Constitution Week, 
which is commemorated from September 17-23 annually. The observance of 
Constitution Week was established by law in 1956 after the Daughters of 
the American Revolution petitioned Congress to set aside these days to 
celebrate the document which established the framework of our 
government and maintained our liberties.
  Author Catherine Drinker Bowen called it the ``Miracle at 
Philadelphia.'' In May of 1787, delegates from several of the thirteen 
states met in what we now call Independence Hall. The representatives 
included some of the new country's greatest luminaries, names we still 
know and honor today. Among others, Virginia sent James Madison, George 
Mason, George Wythe, and George Washington, who was elected as the 
convention's president unanimously.
  Their goal was to revise the Articles of Confederation then governing 
the Union, but soon a new charter took shape. They met through the hot 
Philadelphia summer, thinking, debating, and compromising about the 
nature and particular forms of the government that would serve the 
people of the United States. The Constitution emerged from their months 
of deliberations and was signed on September 17, 1787. Madison and John 
Blair signed for Virginia, while Washington signed as the convention's 
president. Mason refrained from signing it without a Bill of Rights.
  Virginia ratified the Constitution in the following year, calling for 
the Bill of Rights in exchange for the Commonwealth's consent. In 1789 
it took effect with Washington as the first president of the United 
States under the new Constitution. With Virginia's ratification of the 
Bill of Rights in 1791, ten amendments were adopted, and more followed 
in the centuries since, but the Constitution endures to this day as our 
great charter.
  Constitution Week recognizes the anniversary of this document, the 
ideals that inspired it, and the men who wrote it. I ask my fellow 
Virginians and Americans to join me in observing this occasion and 
reaffirm the timeless principles represented by the Constitution.