From the American armed services oath of enlistment:
“I, [state your name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic.”
As a good American, it behooves you to know more about this precious document so many fought and died protecting, and thus I offer these Fun Facts About the Constitution:
Contrary to current popular belief, does not contain an expiration date.
1) Despite a strong popular movement in the 1980’s, there was never an official ratification of the Constitutional amendment recognizing your right to party, although many people continue to fight for it to this day.
2) Four of the signers of the Constitution were born in Ireland. As such, the “secure the blessings of liberty” clause in the Preamble is generally considered to cover drinking and fighting [see “United States v. Paddy O’Tatertot,” 1846]
3) The U.S. Constitution has 4,400 words. It is the oldest and shortest written Constitution of any major government in the world. North Korea’s “Shut up and obey” is shorter, but only dates from 1953.
4) Of the spelling errors in the Constitution, “Pensylvania” above the signers’ names is probably the most glaring. Of the misinterpretations, it’s Obama considering “commerce” to include “the act of not buying health insurance.”
5) The Constitution was “penned” by Jacob Shallus, a Pennsylvania General Assembly clerk, for $30, which – in today’s dollars – is about twice as much Bill Ayers got for writing Obama’s “autobiography.” Understandable, since Jacob didn’t have to make up anything about eating dogs.
6) Since 1952, the Constitution has been on display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Currently, all four pages are displayed behind protective glass framed with titanium. To preserve the parchment’s quality, the cases contain argon gas and are kept at 67 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity of 40 percent. It’s guarded by 10 men with strict orders to shoot Nicholas Cage on sight.
7) The Constitution does not set forth requirements for the right to vote. As a result, at the outset of the Union, only male property-owners could vote. African Americans were not considered citizens, and women were excluded from the electoral process. Native Americans were not given the right to vote until 1924. Dead people voting is not, strictly speaking, constitutional, just a time-honored Chicago tradition.
8) James Madison, “the father of the Constitution,” was the first to arrive in Philadelphia for the Constitutional Convention. He was also the first to concuss a Philadelphia Eagles quarterback with a thrown beer bottle.
9) When it came time for the states to ratify the Constitution, the lack of any bill of rights was the primary sticking point, with the unresolved question of whether Miller Lite tasted great or was less filling running a close second.
10) Because of his poor health, Benjamin Franklin needed help to sign the Constitution. As he did so, tears streamed down his face. Pansy cried at the end of “Titanic,” too.
11) The youngest person to sign the Constitution was Jonathan Dayton of New Jersey, age 26, who nearly refused since the document didn’t allow him to stay on his parents’ health insurance.
12) When the Constitution was signed, the United States’ population was 4 million. Surprisingly, 99% of the population at that time did not consist of spoiled, entitled idiots with too much free time and a desperate need for attention.
13) A proclamation by President George Washington and a congressional resolution established the first national Thanksgiving Day on November 26, 1789. The reason for the holiday was to give “thanks” for the new Constitution. This led directly to the Second Amendment right to “keep and bear turkey dinners.”
14) There was initially a question as to how to address the President, since it wasn’t mentioned in the Constitution. The Senate proposed that he be addressed as “His Highness the President of the United States of America and Protector of their Liberties.” Both the House of Representatives and the Senate compromised on the use of “President of the United States.” This was eventually shortened to “Bushitler.”
15) George Washington and James Madison were the only presidents who signed the Constitution. Counting Grover Cleveland’s two non-consecutive terms as one president, 40 more at least read it.
16) As Benjamin Franklin left the Pennsylvania State House after the final meeting of the Constitutional Convention on September 17, 1787, he was approached by the wife of the mayor of Philadelphia. She was curious as to what the new government would be. Franklin replied, “A republic, madam. If you can keep it.” Some urban legends claim he also added “or whatever tatters Obama leaves you with.”
17) Vermont ratified the Constitution on January 10, 1791, even though it had not yet become a state. Bunch of over-eager, sugar-addled syrup-swillers.
18) The word “democracy” does not appear once in the Constitution. Neither does the phrase, “knock it off, you stupid foreigners or we’ll bomb the crap out of you and steal your oil,” although most historians now agree it should have.
19) There was a proposal at the Constitutional Convention to limit the standing army for the country to 5,000 men. George Washington sarcastically agreed with this proposal as long as a stipulation was added that no invading army could number more than 3,000 troops. This later became known as “The Obama Doctrine.”
20) The delegates were involved in Constitutional debates from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. six days a week with only a 10 day break during the duration of the convention. This is the last time a government body worked that hard without doing more harm than good.
21) From 1804 to 1865 there were no amendments added to the Constitution. This was the longest unamended period in American history. Since then, politicians have been fiddling with the Constitution like over-caffeinated ferrets twiddling with a Rubik’s Cube.
22) After the Constitution was ratified, the national government spent $4.3 million during the first session of Congress from 1789-1791. These days, that wouldn’t buy those spendthrift bastards lunch.
23) At the conclusion of the Constitutional Convention in 1787, Benjamin Franklin observed the symbol of a half-sun on George Washington’s chair and remarked, “I have the happiness to know that it is a rising and not a setting sun.” Turns out an “American Day” only lasts 222 years.
24) Benjamin Franklin made a suggestion at the Constitutional Convention that the sessions be opened with a prayer. The delegates refused to accept the motion, stating that there was not enough money to hire a chaplain. Apparently they were saving up to fund development of a “sun-energized horseless-carriage.”
25) Of the 55 delegates who attended the Constitutional Convention, 34 were lawyers, 8 had signed the Declaration of Independence, and almost half were Revolutionary War veterans. All of them supported “gay marriage,” but not the kind you’re thinking of.
26) During the Constitutional Convention, Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts was opposed to the office of Vice President, saying, “the close intimacy that must subsist between the President and Vice President makes it absolutely improper.” Like I said, not the kind of gay marriage you’re thinking of.
27) The only other language besides English used in various parts of the Constitution is Latin. Although with the current President, apparently it’s all Greek to him.
Remember, the best way to honor those who fell: enjoy their gift of being able to live as free men in a free country.
Today, I’m going with free speech.