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Constitution Day

About Constitution Day

To encourage all Americans to learn more about the Constitution, Congress in 1956 established Constitution Week, to begin each year on September 17th, the date in 1787 when delegates to the Convention signed the Constitution. In 2004, Senator Robert C. Byrd of West Virginia included key provisions in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of Fiscal Year 2005 designating September 17th of each year as Constitution Day and requiring public schools and governmental offices to provide educational programs to promote a better understanding of the Constitution.

Constitution Day activities at ASU since 2006 are listed below. From 2006 to 2017, the ASU Library hosted various Constitution Day events.

Starting in 2017, the School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership has hosted an Annual Constitution Day Lecture.

See the ASU News articles, "ASU professor discuss the history, importance of Constitution Day," and "5 things to know about the Constitution."

Constitution Day 2021

2021 Annual Constitution Day Lecture: "Patriotism - Our Most Contest Virtue" with Steven B. Smith


The School of Civic and Economic Thought and Leadership's 2021 Annual Constitution Day Lecture is "Patriotism - Our Most Contest Virtuewith Steven B. Smith

Is patriotism a virtue and, if so, what kind is it? Throughout history, love of country has had to contend with other forms of loyalty, to friends, family, clan, and religious community. Today it is necessary to defend patriotism from two alternatives: nationalism (on the right) and cosmopolitanism/multiculturalism (on the left). To do so, it is important to show that patriotism is not simply a form of blind loyalty – my country right or wrong – but is capable of moral honesty and rational self-criticism. An enlightened patriotism is the necessary underpinning of any decent society.

Light refreshments will be served. 

Steven Smith is the Alfred Cowles Professor of Political Science at Yale University and the Co-Director of the Yale Center for the Study of Representative Institutions. He is the author or editor of many books including studies of Hegel, Spinoza, Leo Strauss, Abraham Lincoln, and Isaiah Berlin. His introduction to political philosophy was one of the pioneering courses in the Yale Online series and has been viewed by students around the world. His most recent book Reclaiming Patriotism in an Age of Extremes was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. He has also received several academic awards and prizes including the Ralph Waldo Emerson Prize given by Phi Beta Kappa and the Yale Lex Hixon ’63 Prize for Teaching Excellence in the Social Sciences.

COVID-19 guidelines:

Please keep in mind the CDC recommendations as well as ASU Community of Care health protocols on how to keep yourself and others healthyASU strongly recommends that everyone on campus wear a face cover when inside a university building. Some buildings and events will require face covers.

Date: Thursday, September 9, 2021
Time: 5:00 to 7:00 p.m.
Location: Ventana B/C, Memorial Union 241, 301 E Orange St., Tempe, AZ 85281 

Past ASU Constitution Day Events

The ASU Library acknowledges the twenty-two Native Nations that have inhabited this land for centuries. Arizona State University's four campuses are located in the Salt River Valley on ancestral territories of Indigenous peoples, including the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Pee Posh (Maricopa) Indian Communities, whose care and keeping of these lands allows us to be here today. ASU Library acknowledges the sovereignty of these nations and seeks to foster an environment of success and possibility for Native American students and patrons. We are advocates for the incorporation of Indigenous knowledge systems and research methodologies within contemporary library practice. ASU Library welcomes members of the Akimel O’odham and Pee Posh, and all Native nations to the Library.