Jun 082024
James Madison, Bill of Rights, Constitution

James Madison

James Madison suggested the Bill of Rights in 1789. He realized that many people felt the new Constitution was not strong enough without some statements about individual rights, including freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The Bill of Rights added the first ten amendments to the Constitution and became effective December 15, 1791. Children could read a kid-friendly version of the rights: Bill of Rights.

Jun 192024
Charters of Freedom Hall, National Archives, Washington

Charters of Freedom Hall, National Archives, Washington

National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) was created in 1934. It centralizes federal documents and makes them available to the public. The National Archives Building in Washington, DC, houses originals of the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. One of the four copies of the Magna Carta is also there.  Children can visit the National Archives website at: http://www.nara.gov.

Sep 252024

First United States Congress met in 1789. One of their first acts was to start the process to adopt the Bill of Rights. Congress told George Washington to submit copies of the Bill of Rights to all the states so that each state could begin its ratification process. New Jersey on November 20, 1789, became the first state to ratify the document. The Bill of Rights was finally adopted on December 15, 1791, when Virginia ratified the amendment. Older children can find out more at: Bill of Rights.