CRF Blog

Today Is Bill of Rights Day

by Damon Huss

Two-hundred and twenty years ago today, the first 10 amendments were added to the U.S. Constitution. During the recent National Council for the Social Studies conference in Washington, D.C., I had the pleasure of paying a visit to the National Archives where the Bill of Rights is on display with the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and fascinating associated exhibits. Travel tip: the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom should be on anyone’s list when visiting the nation’s capital.

President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued Proclamation 2524 in 1941 to designate the first commemorative Bill of Rights Day, with this purpose:

The fifteenth day of December, 1941, is therefore set apart as a day of mobilization for freedom and for human rights, a day of remembrance of the democratic and peaceful action by which these rights were gained, a day of reassessment of their present meaning and their living worth.

Please look at these selected classroom resources from CRF’s Bill of Rights in Action to explore the Bill of Rights and its legacy:

John Peter Zenger and Freedom of the Press

The Alien and Sedition Acts: Defining American Freedom

The Patriot Act: What Is the Proper Balance Between National Security and Individual Rights?

Blasphemy! Salman Rushdie and Freedom of Expression

Wartime and the Bill of Rights: The Korematsu Case

Religious Rights in Conflict

Free Press vs. Fair Trial: The Lindbergh Baby Kidnapping Case

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