How Much Do You Know About Our Constitution?
Test your knowledge about the important historical document that established America's system of government.
A: Washington, D.C.
The Constitution resides at the National Archives Museum in Washington, D.C. The Archives are also the permanent home of the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights (more on these below). Not stumped by these? You still might be shocked by the U.S. Constitution myths most Americans believe.
The Constitution was written during the Constitutional Convention—which convened from May 25 to September 17, 1787. It was signed on September 17, 1787. Check out more interesting facts and figures about the U.S. Constitution.
A: Independence Hall
The Constitution was both written and signed in the Assembly Room of the Pennsylvania State House, now known as Independence Hall, in Philadelphia. This is also the same place the Declaration of Independence was signed. Find out how well you know the Constitutional amendments.
A: Thomas Jefferson and John Adams
Both future presidents were overseas at the time the Constitution was signed. Thomas Jefferson was representing the newly formed United States in France and John Adams who was doing the same in Great Britain. Find out 13 things everyone gets wrong about impeachment—including the way the Founding Fathers envisioned it.
Question #5: What national holiday was created to celebrate the Constitution?
What national holiday was created to celebrate the Constitution?
Though it was originally celebrated by the pilgrims a century earlier, President George Washington created the first national “Thanksgiving Day.” November 26, 1789, as a way of “giving thanks” for the Constitution. Unlike Washington’s Thanksgiving, the original holiday wasn’t celebrated in November.
The first printing of the Constitution was published in a newspaper called The Pennsylvania Packet and Daily Advertiser, on September 19, 1787—two days after the Constitution was signed. Can you pass the U.S. citizenship test?
Question #7: How many delegates signed the Constitution?
How many delegates signed the Constitution?
Fifty-five delegates attended the Constitutional Convention, but only 39 signed. However, it is a myth that the Constitution only has 39 signatures.
Question #8: Who is known as “The Father of the Constitution?”
Who is known as “The Father of the Constitution?”
A: James Madison
Many of James Madison’s ideas made their way into the Constitution, and he is credited as the driving force of the Constitutional Convention throughout the summer of 1787. Madison would go on to serve as the fourth president of the United States. This is what happens if a president won’t leave office.
The first set of ten amendments made to the Constitution, which later became known as the Bill of Rights were ratified on December 15, 1791. The House of Representatives originally approved 17 potential amendments, but only these ten were ratified.
Question 10: True or False: The Constitution can’t be changed
True or False: The Constitution can’t be changed.
The Constitution can indeed be amended, and it is stated in Article V of the Constitution itself. Here are 13 glaring grammar mistakes in the U.S. Constitution!
Question 11: How many Constitutional amendments are there?
How many Constitutional amendments are there?
The last amendment was ratified on May 18, 1992. The 27th Amendment states: “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of representatives shall have intervened.” (Basically, members of Congress can’t give themselves a raise during their current term in office.) This is why the Constitution’s authors used “F” for the letter “S” in places.
Article V of the Constitution states that an amendment may be proposed either by Congress with a two-thirds majority vote in both the House of Representatives and the Senate or by a constitutional convention called for by two-thirds of the state legislatures. (None of the current amendments to the Constitution have been proposed by constitutional convention.) If a proposal to amend the Constitution is presented, three-fourths of the States must vote to ratify it. The President does not have a role in the amendment process and amendments do not need the president’s signature to become law. This is why presidential inaugurations happen on January 20.
Question 13: Who was the oldest person to sign the Constitution?
Who was the oldest person to sign the Constitution?
A: 81 (Benjamin Franklin)
The delegates ranged in age from Jonathan Dayton, aged 26, to Benjamin Franklin, aged 81, who was so infirm that he had to be carried to sessions in a sedan chair. This question too easy? See if you know all the actual differences between the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Question 14: True or False: Most Constitutional amendments get passed?
True or False: Most Constitutional amendments get passed.
More than 11,000 amendments have been introduced in Congress. Thirty-three have gone to the states to be ratified, yet only 27 have received the necessary approval from the states. The proposed Equal Rights Amendment, for example, has been stuck in limbo for years.
We celebrate Constitution Day, a federal observance that commemorates the U.S. Constitution on September 17, the day the Constitution was signed in 1787. The day was established by law in 2004, but has roots in 1940, when it was originally decreed as “I Am an American Day.” The day, celebrated on the third Sunday in May, was intended as “public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship,” per the Library of Congress. In 1952, Congress passed a law changing the name to “Citizenship Day” and moving the day to September 17. In 2004, the name of the day was changed again to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day” and stipulations to promote education about the Constitution were added. Next, see is you know the answer to the 18 citizenship test questions that leave almost everyone stumped.
- National Archives: “America’s Founding Documents”
- National Constitution Center: “Constitution FAQs”
- National Constitution Center: “The Constitution of the United States: Fast Facts”
- National Archives: “Constitutional Amendment Process”
- National Constitution Center: “27th Amendment: Congressional Compensation”
- National Archives: “Meet the Framers of the Constitution”
- Library of Congress: “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day”