U.S. Day


If March 2 is Texas Day, March 4 can be U.S. Day, right?

Can’t call it Constitution Day — there are a couple of those in the fall.

March 4 is the anniversary of the enactment of the Constitution, in 1789.  All the ratifying was done, Washington had been elected President, the first Congress was elected, and it was time to open for business.

In New York, neither house of Congress could get a quorum — too many members not in town yet.  So the new government adjourned for a week or so.

Bad precedent, if you ask me — though, to be fair, the Congress met for a total of 210 days.

Letter describing the first day of the First Congress, from Robert Morris to Gouverneur Morris

Letter from Robert Morris to Gouverneur Morris, describing the first day of the First Congress, March 4, 1789.

From Birth of a Nation:  The First Federal Congress, a site at George Washington University:

This letter, written on the day established for the first meeting of the Congress, sets the scene as the members began to gather in New York City. Morris’s concern that the “public expectation seems to be so highly wound up that I think disappointment must inevitably follow after a while, nothwithstanding that I believe there will be inclination and abilities in the two houses to do every thing that reasonable and sensible men can promise to themselves, but you know well how impossible it is for public measures to keep pace with the sanguine desires of the interested, the ignorant, and the inconsiderate parts of the Community.” eloquently expressed the challenge that faced the members of the new Congress.

Odd stuff:

  • New York City was bustling with 29,000 residents in 1789
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3 Responses to U.S. Day

  1. […] U.S. Day, March 4 — anniversary of the Constitution’s enactment […]

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