Sen. Robert C. Byrd reads the Preamble at People For the American Way Foundation's 2009 Inaugural Reading of the Constitution at the Newseum in Washington, DC. The event was held on January 18, 2009.
The members of the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution on September 17, 1787 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Constitutional Convention convened in response to dissatisfaction with the Articles of Confederation and the need for a strong centralized government. After four months of secret debate and many compromises, the proposed Constitution was submitted to the states for approval. Although the vote was close in some states, the Constitution was eventually ratified and the new Federal government came into existence in 1789. The Constitution established the U.S. government as it exists today.
Download and print the Constitution from the National Constitution Center.