Bill of Rights Day

The first amendments to the Constitution were ratified on December 15, 1791. The 10 amendments protect the most basic rights of Americans, known as the Bill of Rights. It consists of notions like freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, the right to protest, and equal protection under the law. Other amendments include the right to bear arms, protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, and so forth.

Former President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued a proclamation that dedicated December 15 as Bill of Rights Day. This was made in honor of the Constitution and to celebrate the document’s 150th anniversary. The first Bill of Rights Day took place just eight days after the Pearl Harbor attack and America’s entry into World War II.

In a historic radio address, President Roosevelt made an opening for the first Bill of Rights Day in 1941. He stated, “No date in the long history of freedom means more to liberty-loving men in all liberty-loving countries than the 15th day of December 1791.” Roosevelt also mentioned that there isn’t a country across the globe that hasn’t felt the effects of the Bill of Rights, directly or indirectly. Hitler and the Nazis in Germany were denounced during the famous speech, for taking away individual freedoms.

President Harry Truman issued another proclamation five years later in 1946 after Congress requested to observe Bill of Rights Day again. World War II had come to an end just a year before, in 1945. But it wasn’t until 1952 that President Truman proclaimed the Bill of Rights Day to be observed every year. The proclamation is usually coupled with a proclamation on Human Rights Day and Week.

In 2019, President Donald Trump proclaimed December 15 as Bill of Rights Day again. “During Human Rights Day, Bill of Rights Day, and Human Rights Week, we celebrate the Bill of Rights for safeguarding our God-given rights and protecting us from the abuse of government power,” Trump noted. “I call upon the people of the United States to mark these observances with appropriate ceremonies and activities.”