December 15 is designated as Bill of Rights Day. It commemorates the ratification of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution on December 15, 1791.
"Amending America" Exhibit
Take a virtual tour of our "Amending America" exhibit, which highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form a nation that more closely mirrors our ideals.
Amending America: How Do We Amend?
This animated short, made for the “Amending America” exhibit, describes how an amendment can be proposed and ratified. It also illustrates how our Founders included Article V, which made the Bill of Rights possible.
Why the Bill of Rights?
In celebration of the Amending America” exhibit, a panel discusses the story behind the Bill of Rights, the ratification of the Constitution, and the First Federal Congress. Panelists include Joseph Ellis, Jack Takeover, and Kenneth Bowling.
The Charters of Freedom
On Bill of Rights Day in 1952 the Charters of Freedom—the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights went on display together for the first time.
Washington, DC, Exhibits
The Bill of Rights is on permanent display in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom
The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom is the permanent home of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights. Come visit seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (Last admission is 30 minutes prior to closing; closed Thanksgiving Day & Christmas Day)
" Amending America" is on exhibit in the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, until September 4, 2017
The "Amending America" exhibit highlights the remarkably American story of how we have amended, or attempted to amend, the Constitution in order to form a nation that more closely mirrors our ideals. Amending America also has a website commemorating the Bill of Rights Anniversary.
Teaching & Learning Resources
- DocsTeach Amending America Helps educators locate primary sources from the National Archives that document the creation and structure of our government.
- James Madison debates the Bill of Rights
- Professional Development for educators via webinar
- eBook Congress Creates the Bill of Rights
Distance learning programs for the K-12 classroom
eBook: Putting the Bill of Rights to the Test student workbook
The Bill of Rights and You
Explores how the Bill of Rights was created and what it means for us today.
Download the high-resolution posters at www.archives.gov/amending-america/visit/bill-of-rights-pop-up.
Articles and Blog Posts
- "Bill of Rights Day," Pieces of History
- "Ratifying the Bill of Rights . . . in 1939" by Mary Ryan, Prologue Magazine, Winter 2016
- "The Bill of Rights at 225" by Jessie Kratz, Prologue Magazine, Winter 2016
- " The Bill of Rights Goes to the States," Pieces of History
- " The Bill of Rights: 14 Originals," Pieces of History
- "A New Era Begins for the Charters of Freedom" Prologue Magazine, Fall 2003
- "Travels of the Charters of Freedom" Prologue Magazine, Winter 2002
- Read more "Pieces of History" blog posts about the Bill of Rights