The National Archives is showing Americans a little-known part of their past by putting the so-called "fifth page" of the Constitution on display. It is the first time the public has been granted access to the paper, which was signed by George Washington and detailed the ratification process of America's most sacred document.
The Associated Press reported the Constitution's fifth page went on display Friday through Monday, which is Constitution Day. The other four pages of the Constitution are on display at the National Archives, along with the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence.
"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,'" read a National Archives article from last week.
The nation is marking the Constitution's 225th anniversary this September. It was not the original foundation of the independent American government, having been preceded briefly by the Articles of Confederation, which failed to bring a sense of unity to the loosely affiliated states of the new nation.
The ratification process began in 1787 when the Constitutional Congress decided the document would "be laid before the United States in congress assembled" instead of being decided upon by Congress and the legislatures of the 13 states.
The East Rotunda Gallery in the National Archives museum houses the Letter of Transmission.
The document also laid out how the first presidential election should occur and how the Constitution would replace the Articles of Confederation.
The fifth page is now stored in an oxygen-free case and has been going through a restoration process since 1999. You can watch a video of the experts replacing the 1950s encasement with the newest one of the fifth page below.
While visitors will be able to view a previously unseen document, another mystery has pushed its way to the forefront of the conversation. A letter written by George Washington to Arthur St. Clair, the president of the old Continental Congress, has never been recovered, according to Yahoo News. The note -- a supposed "sixth page" of the Constitution -- was meant to ensure that future historians did not forget the ideas behind the Constitutional Convention.