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FOREIGN POSTAGE STAMPS ISSUED IN HONOR

OF THE CONSTITUTION DURING the celebration, a unique honor was paid the United States when fifteen nations joined in the observance by issuing sets of beautiful postage stamps commemorating the establishment of our government under the Constitution. Such special sets of stamps were issued by the following countries: Brazil France

Nicaragua
China
Guatemala

Panama
Dominican Republic
Haiti

Poland
Ecuador
Honduras

Spain
El Salvador
Ireland

Turkey

VISIT OF THE KING AND QUEEN OF GREAT BRITAIN DURING the celebration period, their Britannic Majesties, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, visited the United States. They were met at the Union Station in Washington by the President and Mrs. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and, during their stay in Washington, on June 9, 1939, attended a congressional reception given in their honor in the rotunda of the Capitol, where the members of the Senate and the House of Representatives met their Majesties.

MAGNA CARTA

THROUGH the efforts of Representative Sol Bloom, Director General of the Commission, the British Government and Lincoln Cathedral agreed to send to the United States for exhibit, one of the four extant copies of Magna Carta. This early document of human rights had been wrested from King John by the barons of England at Runnymede in 1215, almost three hundred years before Columbus discovered America and nearly six hundred years before our Constitution was written. This copy, in a splendid state of preservation, was placed on exhibit in Magna Carta Hall at the New York World's Fair. Between the 1939 and 1940 seasons of the World's Fair, it was brought to Washington and placed in the Library of Congress, in close proximity to those later and greater documents of human liberty, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States (for texts of these documents, see pp. 511, 529, 541).

MASONIC TRIBUTE AMONG the many societies that participated in the celebration of the Sesquicentennial, the Masons were especially interested and active. Not only was this the case with respect to the special observances of

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VISIT OF THE KING AND QUEEN AT THE CAPITOL Their Britannic Majesties, King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, being escorted down the steps of the East Front of the Capitol, Washington, D. C., by (left to right) Representative Sol Bloom, Senator Key Pittman, Senator Alben W. Barkley, and Senator Charles L. McNary. the order, but also, through the care and skill of Colonel John H. Cowles, Sovereign Grand Commander of the Supreme Council 33° of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, and with the particular interest and encouragement of Director General Bloom of the Commission, a Masonic Tribute to the Constitution and the Inauguration of George Washington as First President of the United States was issued. This took the form of a pamphlet of many illustrations and much historical letterpress commemorating the prominent share which Masons, led by George Washington himself, have had in the one hundred fifty years of our national existence, Masonic membership being claimed for various Signers of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, as well as Presidents, Justices, of the Supreme Court, Cabinet officers, and others who have been leaders in American history.

PRINCIPAL EVENTS OF THE CELEBRATION PERIOD ALTHOUGH many different historic events connected with the formation and establishment of the Constitution were celebrated, the observance period itself was divided into five major parts, commemorating the following principal events relating to the Constitution and the establishment of the three branches of our government under it:

1. The Signing of the Constitution
2. Ratification of the Constitution by the States
3. Meeting of the First Congress under the Constitution

(establishment of the legislative branch of the

government) 4. Washington's Inauguration as First President of the

United States (establishment of the executive branch

of the government) 5. First meeting of the Supreme Court of the United States

(establishment of the third branch of our government,

the judiciary) In the pages that follow, are given the principal addresses and the proceedings held in commemoration of these five major phases. The first event to be commemorated, that of the Signing of the Constitution, was observed on September 17, 1937, with ceremonies held at the tomb of Washington at Mouni Vernon. Later that day services were held at the exact hour the Constitution was signed, at the Shrine of the Constitution in the Library of Congress in Washington. During the same evening, President Franklin D. Roosevelt delivered an address from the Sylvan Theater at the Washington

EVENTS OF THE CELEBRATION

617

Monument grounds in Washington. These addresses and ceremonies were broadcast over national radio networks. During the day, local committees placed wreathes upon all graves which could be located of deputies to the Philadelphia Convention of 1787.

The next principal event to be observed by the Commission was the ratification of the Constitution by New Hampshire, the ninth state to ratify and whose action established the Constitution as the basis of government for those states which had already accepted it.

Included in this report are the official proceedings of the Joint Session of the Congress held on March 4, 1939, in commemoration of the first meeting of the Congress under the Constitution, 150 years before.

The proceedings held at Mount Vernon, on April 14, 1939, in commemoration of George Washington's notification by Charles Thomson, secretary of the Continental Congress, of his election as first President of the United States, are also included. They are followed by an account of the ceremonies and the addresses delivered on April 30, 1939, celebrating the 150th Anniversary of Washington's Inauguration. These ceremonies were held at the New York World's Fair, which had been dedicated to the observance of that anniversary.

The last phase of the celebration took place when the First Meeting of the Supreme Court of the United States was commemorated on February 1, 1940, That date was marked by simple but impressive ceremonies at the Supreme Court and by addresses delivered the Senate and House of Representatives. Arrangements were also made to honor all deceased members of the Supreme Court by placing wreathes on their graves.

Commemoration of the Signing

of the Constitution

ADDRESS OF HONORABLE SOL BLOOM

DIRECTOR GENERAL, UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION SESQUICENTENNIAL COMMISSION, AT Mount VERNON, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 1937, IN LAYING A WREATH UPON THE SARCOPHAGUS OF GEORGE WASHINGTON

HERE, upon the mortal remains of God's great servant, we deposit a wreath as a token of the gratitude and love of the American people on the 150th anniversary of the day when Washington signed the Constitution of the United States.

On September 17, 1787, the Victor of the Revolution affixed his signature to the ordinance by which We the People of the United States enjoy our liberty.

The Constitution which bears the signature of Washington confirmed and made perpetual the liberty which we had won by the sword. Until that Constitution was established, the outcome of his toils and dangers was uncertain. Upon its establishment, the independence of the United States and the liberty of the American people became secure forever.

We may be sure that Washington looked upon the signing of the Constitution as the crowning act of his life. He was giving to his countrymen, if they would ratify and preserve it, a government destined to flourish for all time-a government established by the people themselves, uniting them in an indestructible union to preserve the blessings of liberty for themselves and their posterity.

At this hour, in many states, grateful citizens are laying wreaths upon the graves of those patriots who shared with Washington the labor of forming the Constitution. Happy the memory of these founders of the American Union! Happy their fortune to have been associated in immortal toil with one of God's immortals! Here, at America's holiest spot, from the tomb of Washington, we send salutations in his behalf to his fellow deputies of the constitutional

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