The Washington Post

It’s the Constitution’s birthday! What’s your agency doing?

Former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images Former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.Va.) (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

A very happy Constitution Day to all Loop fans!

Yes, indeed, Sept. 17 is the 226th anniversary of the adoption of the Constitution by the delegates meeting in Philadelphia in 1787. (It’s also the 106th birthday of former Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, but we digress.).

As we all know, the Bill of Rights, which protects us, among other things,  from having to let soldiers crash in our homes without our permission — at least  “in time of peace” — was not ratified until four years later.

But how much do you know about the Constitution?

Do you know that a 2004 federal law (Public Law 108-447) requires that the head of each federal agency or department “provide educational and training materials concerning the United States Constitution to each employee” on Sept. 17?

Do you know that law, thanks to an amendment slipped into an appropriations bill by former Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W. Va.), also requires all schools receiving federal funds must also teach the United States Constitution?

So did the National Security Agency make all employees memorize the First Amendment and highlight significant First Amendment cases?

What is your agency doing Sept. 17 to comply with the law? Let us know! Leave a comment, send an e-mail ( or tweet us:@InTheLoopWP



Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.



Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read



Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Videos curated for you.
Play Videos
From clubfoot to climbing: Double amputee lives life of adventure
Learn to make traditional soup dumplings
Deaf banjo player teaches thousands
Play Videos
Unconventional warfare with a side of ale
The rise and fall of baseball cards
How to keep your child safe in the water
Play Videos
'Did you fall from heaven?': D.C.'s pick-up lines
5 ways to raise girls to be leaders
How much can one woman eat?
Play Videos
How to get organized for back to school
How to buy a car via e-mail
The signature drink of New Orleans
Next Story
Emily Heil · September 16, 2013

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.