National Bill of Rights Day is observed every year on December 15th to commemorate the ratification of the Bill of Rights, the first ten amendments to the Constitution that guarantees certain civil rights and liberties to all Americans. The First Congress of the United States first proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution in a joint resolution on September 25, 1789. Ten of the proposed amendments were approved by three-fourths of the state legislatures and the Bill of Rights was ratified on December 15, 1791.
In November of 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a proclamation dedicating December 15 as Bill of Rights Day in honor of the document’s 150th anniversary. The first Bill of Rights Day would fall just eight days after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in his radio address to the nation on December 15, 1941, President Roosevelt pointed out the poignancy of celebrating the first national Bill of Rights Day amidst the nation’s entrance into World War II.
The National Archives has many programs and resources available to commemorate Bill of Rights Day. The original handwritten Bill of Rights is on display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom in the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC.
Other educational resources for National Bill of Rights Day are made available by the following organizations: