Constitution Trivia: Facts # 1-10

Constitutional Convention 1787 | Photo Credit: Wikipedia.com

Constitutional Convention 1787 | Photo Credit: Wikipedia.com

September 17th is Constitution Day, an annual celebration of the day that 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention gathered for the final time to sign the United States Constitution in 1787. In honor of the document that has shaped our nation, American Heritage Network is sharing 30 Constitutional Trivia facts (10 each on September 10th, 20th, and 30th). Test your knowledge. Did you know the following?

  1. The Pennsylvania State House (where the Constitutional Convention took place) was where George Washington was appointed the commander of the Continental Army in 1775 and where the Declaration of Independence was signed in 1776. It was also where the Articles of Confederation were adopted as our first constitution in 1781.
  2. The original document is on display at the National Archives and Records Administration in Washington, DC., behind protective glass framed with titanium and filled. To preserve the document, the cases contain argon gas and are kept at 67° F with 40% humidity.
  3. There are a few misspelled words in the Constitution, including the word “Penslvania” above the signatures.
  4. The US Constitution was called the Articles of Confederation.
  5. George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution.
  6. The delegates were involved in debates from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. six days a week with only a 10 day break during the duration of the convention.
  7. The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution.
  8. Two ground rules would govern the convention proceedings. First, all deliberations were to be kept secret. (Detailed word about the debates remained guarded until the publication of Madison’s notes in 1840.) Second, no issue was to be regarded as closed and could be revisited for debate at any time.
  9. Because of personal circumstances, George Washington was almost unable to attend the Convention. His brother had recently died, his mother and sister were seriously ill and Washington was in such pain from rheumatism that he could not sleep at night. He friends persuaded him to attend – otherwise, the Convention would likely have failed.
  10. The Convention officially opened on Friday, May 25, 1787 with delegates from only seven states. Others came along in due time until all the states were represented except Rhode Island.
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