Celebrate Constitution Week

Published 2:06 pm Monday, September 18, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

By State Sen. Johnnie Turner

It is officially Constitution Week. In 1955, the Daughters of the American Revolution petitioned Congress to set aside a week in September annually in dedication and observance of the United States Constitution. A joint resolution of Congress on August 2, 1956, preceded President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s first Constitution Week proclamation (Proclamation 1351), officially designated Sept. 17-23 each year as Constitution Week.

The aim of the Constitution Week celebrations has been to:

  • Emphasize citizens’ responsibilities in protecting and defending the Constitution.
  • Inform the public the Constitution is the foundation for America’s great heritage and way of life.
  • Encourage the study of the historical events leading to the framing of the Constitution.

Email newsletter signup

Constitution Week offers an ideal opportunity to delve into Kentucky’s constitutional history. Many may not know, but Kentucky has adopted four state constitutions since becoming the 15th state in the nation in 1792. The Second Constitution was adopted in 1799, followed by the third in 1850, and finally in 1891 our fourth and final constitution was adopted in 1891.

Our U.S. and state constitutions have gone down in history as some of the most remarkable documents on self-governance the world has ever known. The system of government of a bicameral legislature (this means two chambers, a House and a Senate) is significant to the American and Kentucky governmental structures. The concept of ‘innocent until proven guilty,’ the right to trial by a jury of your peers, freedom of religion, privacy, and other inalienable rights, and civic responsibilities are ideas we should never take for granted. Elected officials such as myself should always remember our first duty is to our oath to defend the Constitution and not to a political party. We should always remember the United States is the world’s longest-surviving representative republic.

Also, if you, your child, or somebody you know would like a copy of the U.S. or Kentucky constitutions, please email me at Johnnie.Turner@LRC.KY.GOV or call 502-564-8100, and my staff will assist in sending you one.

Every American is responsible for becoming familiar with these documents, as they clearly outline our constitutional rights and, more importantly, our citizens’ responsibilities.

I remain grateful for you granting me the privilege of swearing an oath to these documents as I serve as your state senator. Enjoy a wonderful Constitution Week.

Senator Johnnie Turner (R- Harlan) represents the 29th Senate District, encompassing Bell, Floyd, Harlan, Knott, and Letcher counties.