Naturalizations Highlight National Celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day
In a first for the federal Judiciary, America’s newest citizens are being invited to join an annual celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, by taking part in more than two dozen naturalization ceremonies that will be held from Maine to Alaska on Sept. 17 and 18.
The events will be conducted at such iconic locales as Glacier Point in Yosemite National Park, the Alamo in San Antonio, and the National Archives’ Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in Washington, D.C. Other ceremonies will occur in historic U.S. courthouses in New York and St. Louis; at universities in Alabama, Louisiana and Maine; at a riverfront amphitheater in Des Moines, and the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia.
“Naturalization ceremonies are a living testament to both Citizenship Day and Constitution Day," said Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. "They demonstrate the active efforts of immigrants to become educated about our government and to pledge allegiance to our country's laws. These ceremonies also serve as an important reminder to us all of our collective responsibility, as citizens, to promote civic education so that our Constitution and government remain vital for generations to come."
Katzmann, who will host a naturalization ceremony in the historic Thurgood Marshal U.S. Courthouse in Manhattan, noted that in addition to newly naturalized citizens and their families, students from area schools will observe and participate. At the New York ceremony, the New York City Housing Authority Youth Chorus will lead attendees in the singing of the National Anthem, and students from the Harlem Educational Activities Fund will read the Preamble to the Constitution.
At some naturalizations nationally, students will be presenting the Colors; singing the National Anthem; leading the Pledge of Allegiance; or delivering hand-written welcome letters to the new citizens.
Constitution Day and Citizenship Day is observed nationally every September 17, marking the date that delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the nation’s founding document in 1787. In 2004, Congress mandated that schools receiving federal funding provide education about the Constitution to commemorate its principles on the anniversary day.
Federal judges naturalized more than 360,000 immigrants last year. This is the first time the Federal Judiciary has coordinated a day of naturalization ceremonies throughout the country.
The highlight is the oath ceremony, during which immigrants swear their allegiance to the United States and receive their naturalization certificate. This is the final step in becoming a U.S. citizen. Those naturalized will be able to vote, serve on juries, apply for a U.S. passport, and enjoy all the other rights and privileges of U.S. citizens.
In addition to the naturalization ceremonies, the U.S. Courts Educational Resources page is providing content for students and teachers on other topics related to Constitution Day and Citizenship Day:
- 225th anniversary of the federal court system established by the Judiciary Act of 1789;
- The Preamble to the Constitution; and
- The rule of law.
The naturalizations are part of a larger national celebration of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, organized by the Civics Renewal Network, a 26-member consortium that includes the U.S. Courts, the Library of Congress, National Archives and Records Administration, and the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
Other events include a “Preamble Challenge,” in which school classes and other groups recite the 52-word Preamble to the Constitution; and a visit with Congressional delegations by nearly 50 students chosen for their civic engagement.
Naturalization Program Schedule
The following is a list of naturalization ceremonies being hosted by federal courts. Where confirmed, exact locations and presiding judges are included. All times are local.
Auburn University, Auburn, 11 a.m.; Chief Judge W. Keith Watkins, U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Alabama
East High School, Anchorage, 11:30 a.m.; District Judge Sharon L. Gleason, U.S. District Court for the District of Alaska
Los Angeles Convention Center; U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
Sacramento Memorial Auditorium, 10 a.m.; Chief Judge Morrison C. England, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California
Yosemite National Park Glacier Point; U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael J. Seng, Eastern District of California
Hartford; District Judge Alvin Thompson, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut
National Archives and Records Administration, Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, 10 a.m.; District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan, U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia
Nampa Civic Center, Nampa, Sept. 18, U.S. District Court for the District of Idaho
Indiana State Museum, Indianapolis, Sept. 18, at10 a.m.; District Judge William T. Lawrence, U.S. District Court for the District of Indiana
Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa
Simon Estes Riverfront Amphitheater, Des Moines, Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.; Chief Judge James E. Gritzner, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Iowa
Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics, Lawrence, Kans.; U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
Loyola University, Roussel Hall, New Orleans, 10 a.m; Senior District Judge Mary Ann Vial Lemmon, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
University of Southern Maine, Hannaford Auditorium, Portland, 10 a.m.; Senior District Judge George Z. Singal, U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
Adams National Historical Park, Quincy, Mass.; U.S. District Court for the District of Maine
Landmark Center, St. Paul, 10:30 a.m.; District Judge Donovan W. Frank, U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota
Old Courthouse, St. Louis, 1 p.m.; District Judge Henry E. Autrey, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri
United World College,Montezuma, N.M., 1 p.m.; Chief Judge Christina M. Armijo, U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico
Thurgood Marshall United States Courthouse, Manhattan, 8 a.m.; Chief Judge Robert A. Katzmann, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, Cleveland, 2 p.m.; Chief Judge Solomon Oliver, Jr., U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
Toledo College of Law, McQuade Auditorium, Toledo, 12 noon; U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio
U.S. District Courthouse, Oklahoma City, 12 noon; Chief Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange, U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma
National Constitution Center (auditorium), Philadelphia, 10:30 a.m.; Senior District Judge John R. Padova, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania
Dallas, Sept. 25; District Judge Barbara J. Lynn, U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas
Alamo Plaza, San Antonio,, 10 a.m.; Magistrate Judge John Primomo, Western District of Texas
This is the Place State Heritage Park, Salt Lake City; Senior Judge David Sam, U.S. District Court for the District of Utah
Frontier Culture Museum, Staunton, 11 a.m.; U.S. Magistrate Judge James G. Welsh, Western District of Virginia
Related Topics: Events and Ceremonies