December 15, 2009

Bill of Rights Day (U.S.)

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt declared this observance in 1941, on the 150th anniversary of the signing of the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights can be summed up in this way:

1) Freedom of speech, press, and religion; right of assembly and to petition

2) The right to bear arms

3) Homeowner must consent to house soldiers

4) No unreasonable searches or seizures

5) No self-incrimination, due process of law

6) Right to speedy, public jury trial, right to counsel

7) Civil trial by jury

8) No excessive bail or cruel and unusual punishment

9) Protection of rights not specifically stated in Constitution

10) Powers not delegated by Constitution go to the states or the people

Did you know...?

  • The term “Bill of Rights” originated in Great Britain, with a bill that Parliament passed in 1689.
  • One could say that the 4,000-year-old Code of Hammurabi and the Magna Carta (adopted in 1215) were also bills of rights.
  • According to Wikipedia, Australia is the only Western nation that does not have a constitutional or legislative bill of rights.

Play the Bill of Rights Game at the Constitution Center.

The First Amendment is arguably the most known and one of the most important of the Bill of Rights. It includes five freedoms, which are explored on this website.

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