As part of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, Upper Iowa University will host Iowa Court of Appeals Justice Thomas Bower on Monday, September 18. Bower will discuss not only the United States Constitution, but also the Iowa Constitution, and how the two constitutions intertwine and make each other better. Justice Bower is from Cedar Falls and was appointed to the Iowa Court of Appeals in January 2012.
On September 17, 1787, the United States Constitution was signed by the delegates to the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. According to the Library of Congress, the commemoration of this event had its origin in 1940, when Congress passed a joint resolution authorizing and requesting the President to issue annually a proclamation setting aside the third Sunday in May for the public recognition of all who had attained the status of American citizenship. The designation for this day was “I Am An American Day.”
In 1952 Congress repealed this joint resolution and passed a new law moving the date to September 17 to commemorate “the formation and signing, on September 17, 1787, of the Constitution of the United States.” The day was still designated as “Citizenship Day” and retained its original purpose of recognizing all those who had attained American citizenship. This law urged civil and educational authorities of states, counties, cities and towns to make plans for the proper observance of the day and “for the complete instruction of citizens in their responsibilities and opportunities as citizens of the United States and of the State and locality in which they reside.”
In 2004 under Senator Byrd’s urging, Congress changed the designation of this day to “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day.”
The September 18 event will be held at noon in the Student Center ballrooms.