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On Thursday, September 17 — Constitution Day — the United States Citizenship and Immigration services, Des Moines Field Office, will hold a naturalization ceremony with the Southern District of Iowa, Des Moines Federal court, on the field at Principal Park.
The ceremony for 75 candidates — representing 32 different countries — will begin at 11 a.m.
The public is invited to attend the free event — which replaces the traditional July 4 pre-game ceremony as the Iowa Cubs 2020 season was canceled. Per the City of Des Moines guidelines, masks will be required for attendees.The Iowa Cubs first hosted a citizenship ceremony in 2009. It is now an annual event, with 327 new citizens welcomed during the first 11 years. [Earlier this summer, Principal Park hosted an informal Citizenship Week, June 22-26, when 487 new citizens were naturalized in a drive-thru process outside the stadium.]
The nation observes Constitution Day and Citizenship Day as part of Constitution Week. The commemoration honors the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787. Iowa schools were the first to recognize Constitution Day, in 1911. Nationwide observance began in 1940 as “I Am an American Day.” Citizenship Day began in 1952, based on a law signed by President Harry Truman, and in 1955, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed the first Constitution Week.