Bill of Rights Day

Next Sunday, 15 December 2024

Bill of Rights Day is commemorated every year on December 15. The Bill of Rights consists of the first 10 amendments made to the United States Constitution. Its purpose is to define the personal freedoms and rights of the American people.

These amendments, collectively known as the Bill of Rights, are like the guardian angels of American freedom, ensuring that personal liberties remain sacred.

The Bill of Rights was first written on September 25, 1789, and was later ratified on December 15, 1791. This is why Bill of Rights Day is celebrated on this day. 

Bill of Rights Day

Bill of Rights Day is not a federal holiday, so businesses and schools remain open as usual. 

What is the Bill of Rights

The Bill of Rights, comprising the initial 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution, safeguards the individual rights of Americans and places constraints on the authority of both federal and state governments. They are bound by legal powers, and any act of Congress that is in violation of them could be annulled by the Supreme Court.

The 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights are:

  • First Amendment: Freedom of religion, press, assembly, and petition
  • Second Amendment: The right of citizens to keep and bear arms
  • Third Amendment: Rights regarding the housing of soldiers
  • Fourth Amendment: Bars the Government from unreasonable search and seizure
  • Fifth Amendment: The entitlement to a fair legal process, the privilege against self-indictment, and protection from being tried for the same offense more than once
  • Sixth Amendment: Entitlements of the accused, such as the right to a prompt and public trial
  • Seventh Amendment: The right to a trial by jury
  • Eighth Amendment: Protection against excessive fines, bail, and punishment
  • Ninth Amendment: Other unspecified rights of people
  • Tenth Amendment: Powers reserved to the states and to the people

The original 10 amendments in the Bill of Rights act as the foundation for the most traditional American values. Through the years, more amendments were added to the Bill of Rights as needed. 

The original document is displayed in the National Archives Building in Washington D.C. 

Bill of Rights Complete History

Initially, the United States Constitution went into effect in June 1788 without any bill of rights. However, the inclusion of the protection of human rights remained a pressing concern among many. 

Even before a full year had passed, James Madison, accompanied by many Government leaders proposed 12 amendments to guarantee the human rights of citizens. Out of these 12 amendments, only 10 were accepted by the states. 

President Thomas Jefferson about Bill of Rights

Bill of Rights Day was established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt who issued a Presidential Proclamation in November 1941, declaring that this holiday should be observed on December 15, and encouraging people to be patriotic on this day. The first Bill of Rights Day was commemorated on the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the document. 

President Roosevelt believed that Bill of Rights Day was the most important day for freedom and all liberty-loving people. As the first Bill of Rights Day was observed during World War II, President Roosevelt also denounced Hitler and his party for taking away the individual freedoms of the people in his country. 

In 1946 a request was made in Congress for Bill of Rights Day to be observed again, so President Harry Truman issued a proclamation for that purpose. It was only in 1962 that Bill of Rights Day became an annual observance, determined every year by a proclamation from the current serving President. The day is often paralleled with Human Rights Week. 

The Black Community's Struggle for Rights

Although the Bill of Rights came into effect on December 15, 1971, it was a long struggle for black people to achieve the same rights. The black people, slaves at the time, were not considered citizens of America but properties. 

The path to human rights was a long, bloody, and tedious journey for the Black community. It took a civil war in the 1860s and a hundred more years for them to be included in the Bill of Rights. 

How to Observe Bill of Rights Day

In his proclamation, President Roosevelt called upon the people of the United States to commemorate Bill of Rights Day by displaying the United States flag on their homes and public buildings and to get together in patriotic events and prayers celebrating their freedoms and rights. 

You can take this day to learn more about the Bill of Rights and your rights as a citizen of the United States. 

These articles might interest you:

Bill of Rights Day
Bill of Rights Day

Bill of Rights Day - Next years

Monday, 15 December 2025

Tuesday, 15 December 2026

Wednesday, 15 December 2027

How many days until?

Select the event: