Bill of Rights Day Date in the current year: December 15, 2016

Bill of Rights Day December 15 is Bill of Rights Day in the United States. It is a national observance declared by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941, commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Bill of Rights ratification.

The term “Bill of Rights” refers to the first ten amendments to the Constitution of the United States. This document ensures the most fundamental rights and freedoms such as free exercise of religion, freedom of speech and the press. It protects against unreasonable searches and seizures, double jeopardy and self-incrimination, etc.

The United States Constitution was ratified and came into force in 1789. However, some of the congressmen were concerned the document did not properly cover and protect a number of important rights and freedoms of individuals.

On June 8, 1789 James Madison, who would later become the fourth President of the United States, proposed a series of 39 amendments in the House of Representatives. On September 25, Congress approved 12 amendments and submitted them for ratification.

It took the amendments 2 years, 2 months and 20 days to be ratified by the required number of states. On December 15, 1791 10 of the 12 amendments were ratified, becoming the Bill of Rights. Amendments 1—10 to the United States Constitution can be considered the foundation of American liberty and justice.

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Bill of Rights Day, national observances, United States Constitution, rights and freedoms