230 years ago on this day, the final draft of the United States Constitution, a blueprint for how the nascent government would function, was completed and signed in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The framers wisely separated and balanced governmental powers to safeguard liberty and equality, the interests of majority rule and minority rights, and the federal and state governments. Though it began with the now-famous phrase, “We the people,” there were many disappointed delegates who refused to sign the draft, due to certain compromises… (1787)
The Great Compromise ended the stalemate between “patriots” (who favored states-rights) and “nationalists” (who favored stronger federal powers) and the question of how to apportion for representation in the congress. Numerous other compromises accommodated the factions but also led to only 39 of the 55 delegates agreeing to sign the document. The final arbiter of law in the nation, The Constitution’s first three words—We the People—affirmed that the government of the United States exists to serve its citizens.
The Constitution has been amended 27 times (the first ten, known as the Bill of Rights, protected personal freedoms and restricted government power) to meet the challenges of a profoundly changing country. It is the model on which the constitutions of other nations were based. Written on parchment, the original four pages are stored and viewable at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
More Good News on this date:
- Ken Kesey was born, the American author of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and member of the psychedelic literary posse, the Merry Pranksters (1935-2001)
- The first Space Shuttle, Enterprise, was unveiled by NASA–with the cast of TV’s Star Trek present–after a write-in campaign succeeded in changing the name from Constitution (1976)
- Vanessa Williams was crowned the first black Miss America (1983)
- The Camp David Accords were signed by Israel and Egypt (1978)
- North Korea, South Korea, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Micronesia joined the United Nations (1991
- The last Russian troops departed from Poland (1993)
- Heather Whitestone of Alabama became the first deaf woman crowned as Miss America (1994)
- Northern Ireland‘s main Protestant party joined peace talks, bringing together all players for the first time (1997)
- President Clinton lifted 50-year restrictions on trade, travel & banking with North Korea (1999)
On this date in 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement began in Zuccotti Park, in the heart of New York’s financial district. Within weeks, encampments sprang up around the world to join the protest against social and economic inequality for “the 99 percent”. Some lasting and positive direct action did result. (Photo by John St John Photography, CC)
And, Happy 72nd Birthday to legendary NBA coach Phil Jackson, who won an amazing eleven National Basketball titles as a coach: six with Michael Jordan the Chicago Bulls and five with Kobe Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers. (1945)