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What is Liberty Day?

Liberty Day is a celebration originated by Colorado Lions to call attention to both the Declaration of Independence and the U. S. Constitution. Events are scheduled statewide with the cooperation of Lions on the local and district level, elected government representatives and school superintendents and teachers.

Many students lack a basic understanding of America's fundamental liberties and the role elected officials play in maintaining those liberties. The Lions of Colorado are making sure that the basic liberties ensured by America's founding documents are not forgotten.

How Liberty Day started

The idea for Liberty Day originated in the summer of 1996. During a tutoring program, Lions in Denver discovered a tremendous need in the schools for supplemental resources regarding the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution. They took their idea for developing a statewide educational effort directly to the top. Several Colorado state officials were asked for their support: Gale Norton, Attorney General for the State of Colorado; Chuck Berry, Speaker of the Colorado House of Representatives; former state governor Richard Lamm; and David Skaggs of the U.S. House of Representatives. Their enthusiasm for the project immediately matched that of the Lions, and they agreed to serve as honorary co-chairpersons. Since that time, the list of honorary co-chairpersons has grown to include 21 elected officials from Colorado.

When is Liberty Day celebrated?

Liberty Day is celebrated annually on March 16th, the birthday of James Madison, who:

  • Helped write the Virginia Plan, the basis of discussion for the creation of the U.S. Constitution;
  • Kept detailed notes on those debates in the Constitutional Convention of 1787;
  • Wrote many of the articles in support of that new Constitution, which became known as the "Federalist Papers"
  • As a member of the first Congress, introduced the Bill of Rights to the House of Representatives in 1789;
  • Was Secretary of State (1801-1809) under President Thomas Jefferson;
  • Was President of the United States