Constitution Week

WHEREAS, September 17, 2016, marks the two hundred and twenty-ninth anniversary of the drafting of the Constitution of the United States of America by the Constitutional Convention; and

WHEREAS, in January 1786, the Commonwealth of Virginia initiated a chain of events leading to the convening of the Constitutional Convention; and

WHEREAS, on June 21, 1788, Virginia ratified the Constitution and became one of the original 11 members of the United States’ constitutional government; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution provides for an area “not exceeding ten miles square” to constitute the seat of government of the United States, which area was determined in 1791 by President Washington and Congress to include a portion of Virginia that today is called Arlington County; and

WHEREAS, the Constitution proposed on September 17, 1787, protected from its outset certain rights of the people, including the Writ of Habeas Corpus, interstate travel, and the protection of contracts; and

WHEREAS, on December 15, 1791, Virginia’s ratification of the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights, caused them to go immediately into effect, compelling Congress to provide freedom of speech, freedom of religion, jury trials, and protection against unreasonable searches and seizures; and

WHEREAS, on December 18, 1865, the Constitution forbade slavery; and

WHEREAS, in July 1867 the Constitution required states to extend the Privileges and Immunities of Citizens of the United States and the rights of Due Process to all persons born or naturalized in the United States; and

WHEREAS, starting February 1870 and continuing through July 1, 1970, the Constitution extended the right to vote to ever larger numbers of people including persons of all races, both genders and all ages over 18; and

WHEREAS, Public Law 915 guarantees the issuing of a proclamation each year by the President of the United States of America, designating September 17 through 23 as Constitution Week;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Libby Garvey, Chair of the County Board of Arlington, Virginia, do hereby proclaim September 17 through 23, 2016, as


in Arlington County and ask our residents to reaffirm the ideals embodied in the United States Constitution.