Supreme Court of the United States
Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public until further notice. The Building will remain open for official business. Please see all COVID-19 announcements here.

Today at the Court - Monday, Sep 20, 2021


Building closed to the public

  • Out of concern for the health and safety of the public and Supreme Court employees, the Supreme Court Building will be closed to the public until further notice. The Building will remain open for official business. Please see all COVID-19 announcements here.
  • All public lectures and visitor programs are temporarily suspended.
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Did You Know...

A Look Back at Constitution Day 1951


Constitution Day, September 17, commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in 1787. On September 17, 1951, President Harry S. Truman, Librarian of Congress Luther H. Evans, and Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson presided over a ceremony during which the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were placed in specially constructed cases that were filled with helium gas to prevent further deterioration. Later that year, it was determined that these historic Founding Documents would be transferred to the National Archives per the Federal Records Act of 1950. In 1952, the documents were transferred under armed guard from the Library of Congress to the National Archives. That December, Chief Justice Vinson presided over the unveiling ceremony.

The National Archives serves as the third home to the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. In 1921, per the recommendation of then-Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes, President Warren Harding signed an executive order transferring the documents from the State Department—where they had been housed for over 130 years—to the Library of Congress. The documents remained on display there, except for a few years during World War II when they were transferred to Fort Knox for safekeeping.

 

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Librarian of Congress Luther H. Evans (left), Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (center), and President Harry S. Truman (right) place the U.S. Constitution in a special case before it was sealed on September 17, 1951.
Librarian of Congress Luther H. Evans (left), Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (center), and President Harry S. Truman (right) place the U.S. Constitution in a special case before it was sealed on September 17, 1951.
Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
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Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (left) and President Harry S. Truman (right) tighten four hand clamps on the preamble to the U.S. Constitution before it went back on display on September 17, 1951.
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (left) and President Harry S. Truman (right) tighten four hand clamps on the preamble to the U.S. Constitution before it went back on display on September 17, 1951.
Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
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Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (center) and Alvin Kremer of the Library of Congress (left) view the U.S. Constitution after it was reinstalled in its display case at the Library of Congress on September 17, 1951.
Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson (center) and Alvin Kremer of the Library of Congress (left) view the U.S. Constitution after it was reinstalled in its display case at the Library of Congress on September 17, 1951.
Courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum
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A copy of the program for the 1951 Constitution Day ceremonies kept by Chief Justice Vinson’s law clerk, Howard Trienens.
A copy of the program for the 1951 Constitution Day ceremonies kept by Chief Justice Vinson’s law clerk, Howard Trienens.
Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States
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