Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sept 17: U. S. Constitution, Minidoka Dam

The Historical Society included two “Moments in Idaho History” for this day, two of which were already in my database (one with only the year, however).

On This Day
First, on this day in 1904, construction began on Minidoka Dam, northeast of Rupert.

The Society also noted briefly that on September 17, 1787, convention delegates approved the final form of the U. S. Constitution. That document, by the way, did not include a “Bill of Rights.” The delegates supported the principles involved, but felt that such a declaration was not necessary for a system written in the name of “We the people.” The first ten amendments were added after the required number of states ratified the constitution approved at the convention.

For a really “good read” about the Constitutional Convention, get your hands on Miracle at Philadelphia by Catherine Drinker Bowen, (Little, Brown and Company, © Catherine Drinker Bowen, 1966). [The book was re-issued in 1986, and that version is still in print.] Part of the “Miracle” was that they could function at all -- during a Philadelphia summer before air conditioning. A passage from mid-June makes the point: “Members went out into the afternoon, walking wearily through streets to lodgings that afforded little relief. … on days like this, if a breeze stirred it was from the southwest, a breath from the furnace. The city sweltered and the delegates endured.”

From here on, I will not include the Historical Society “Moments” unless I have something to add to the item.

References: Idaho State Historical Society, “Moments in Idaho History” web site.
Samuel Eliot Morison, The Oxford History of the American People, Oxford University Press (1965).

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