"Bill of Rights" Day
In 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared December 15th "Bill of Rights Day" to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights, which came into effect on December 15, 1791.
The Bill of Rights was largely a response to the Constitution’s opponents, or Anti-Federalists, who argued that the strong national government created by the Constitution failed to protect the basic principles of human liberty. In exchange for agreeing to vote to ratify the Constitution, they wanted a "bill of rights" that would spell out the essential rights of the people and place limits on the powers of the federal government. The Bill of Rights was initially drafted and proposed by James Madison as a series of 12 amendments in 1789. It was influenced by a number of different documents, including George Mason’s 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights, the 1689 English Bill of Rights, and earlier English political documents such as the Magna Carta (1215). Ten of the amendments were eventually ratified and became the Bill of Rights in 1791.
For additional information, go to the following sources:
- The Founder’s Constitution
- The Constitution of the United States: A History (National Archives)
- Against the Federal Constitution, Patrick Henry, June 5, 1788
Bill of Rights Golf (Univ. of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)