Citizenship Day and Constitution Week, 1971
By the President of the United States of America
The Constitution of the United States, as Woodrow Wilson observed early in this century, "is not a mere lawyers' document: it is a vehicle of life, and its spirit is always the spirit of the age."
To each new generation of American citizens, this lesson comes afresh. To the young of today, it has come dramatically this year with the passage of the Twenty-Sixth Amendment, granting full voting rights to those between 18 and 21 years of age.
As citizens of all ages join in welcoming these young people into the electorate, we can also unite with them in recognizing that our Constitution does have a special relevance for every age. Enduring and timeless, yet it is vital and life-giving, affirming as no other written document can that the ideals upon which men acted in the early days of our Republic are as essential now as they were then.
In commemoration of the signing of the Constitution on September 17, 1787, and in recognition of all who had attained citizenship during the year, the Congress on February 29, 1952, approved a joint resolution (66 Stat. 9) setting aside the seventeenth day of September of each year as Citizenship Day. On August 2, 1956, the Congress approved a second joint resolution (70 Stat. 932), requesting the President to designate the week beginning September 17 and ending September 23 of each year as Constitution Week.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, direct the appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Citizenship Day, September 17, 1971. I also counsel and urge Federal, State, and local officials, as well as religious, civic, educational, and other interested organizations to make arrangements for the observance of that day with appropriate ceremonies.
I also designate the period beginning September 17 and ending September 23, 1971, as Constitution Week; and I urge the people of the United States to observe that week with appropriate ceremonies and activities in their schools and churches, and in other suitable places, to the end that our citizens, whether they be naturalized or natural born, may have a better understanding of the Constitution and of the rights and responsibilities of United States citizenship.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of August, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred and ninety-sixth.