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This Day In Founders History – 17 September
On this day in 1787, the U.S. Constitution was signed on the last day of the Federal Convention. Nearly a dozen men left before the signing and several refused to sign it, but the majority did sign. According to Madison’s notes from the Federal Convention, Benjamin Franklin made an observance to some men around him. He pointed to the chair the convention president sat in during the convention, which had a sun painted on it. Franklin stated, “I have often and often, in the course of this session, and the vicissitudes of my hopes and fears as to its issue, looked at that behind the President, without being able to tell whether it was rising or setting; but now at length, I have the happiness to know, that it is a rising, and not a setting sun.”
One notable birthday on this day in history in 1730, that of Friedrich Wilhelm von Steuben, often referred to as Baron von Steuben, a Prussian-born military officer. Von Steuben served in the Continental Army as inspector general and Major General. He taught the Continental Army the essentials of military drills, tactics and disciplines, and he wrote the Revolutionary War Drill Manual, a book that served as the standard U. S. drill manual until the War of 1812. During the final years of the war, he served as Washington’s chief of staff.