Constitution’s Extra Page Shown In Public For First Time

The Constitution‘s extra page is on display at the National Archives from Friday through Monday as the document celebrates its 225th anniversary next week.

The so-called “fifth page” of the constitution has never been on display before, making the next four days a little bit more special than previous Constitution Day celebrations, reports CBS Local.

The extra page is on display in the East Rotunda Gallery until Monday, which is officially known as Constitution Day. The Constitution’s fifth page is the transmittal page. The page is signed by George Washington and details how the Constitution was supposed to be ratified an put into effect.

The Constitution’s fifth page is somewhat of a mystery to people, because schools teach that the document has only four pages, which contain the basic articles that formed the current US government, notes Yahoo! News.

The extra page is the transmittal page for the Constitution and the Resolutions of the Constitutional Convention. When describing the importance of the Constitution’s extra page, the National Archives wrote in a blog post last week that:

“Without the resolution, the Constitution, in the words of James Madison, ‘was nothing more than the draft of a plan, nothing but a dead letter, until life and validity were breathed into it by the voice of the people.'”

The newly displayed document also tells of the instructions for conducting the first presidential election, along with how the new government would replace the one that was established through the Articles of Confederation.

The Constitution’s extra page is now housed in an oxygen-free encasement, along with the original Declaration of Independence, the four-page Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. The National Archives began work on the current restoration of the documents in 1999.