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WASHINGTON DC (WUSA) -- The United States Constitution turns 225 Monday and the National Archives is celebrating in several ways.

Through Wednesday September 19, visitors to the National Archives building in Northwest Washington can see what is referred to as the rarely seen "Fifth Page." "Very rarely do we put this document on display," said Lee Ann Potter of the National Archives, explaining it laid out a ratification process to American lawmakers. "It is really worth seeing. It's a wonderful document to help us understand the process by which our Constitution came to be."

The "Fifth Page" was only supposed to be on display through Monday, but the Archives extended its display through Wednesday until 5:00pm. "It doesn't have quite the same allure as the other four pages," Potter told 9NEWS NOW, "but the more we learn about the process, the more exciting it becomes."

It was on September 17, 1787 the Constitution was adopted by the Constitutional Convention meeting in Philadelphia. It was ratified less than a year later and took effect in 1789. It replaced the Articles of Confederation which was ratified in 1777, not long after the United States declared independence from Great Britain.

Monday morning, the Archives will be closed for a private naturalization ceremony. 225 people will be sworn in as American citizens with a view of the Constitution in the Archives' Rotunda.

Later in the morning at 11:30, the Archives will reopen to the public. There will be actors portraying our Founding Fathers walking the halls, giving interpretive lectures, and entertaining the crowd with historical knowledge. And no celebration would be complete without cake, which will be served as well.

The special event (and cake) are open to the first 225 visitors to the Archives' William G. McGowan Theater.

Written by Dan Guzman
9NEWS NOW & wusa9.com


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