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.