Mark Bill of Rights Day on December 15 with Programs and Resources From the National Archives
Press Release · Wednesday, December 8, 2021
The National Archives commemorates Bill of Rights Day on December 15, with an expert panel discussion of “Anti-Federalists and the Bill of Rights” and the launch of new civics programs for students in grades K–12 that are part of the National Archives’ national civic education initiative: We Rule: Civics for All of US.
The original Bill of Rights, the first 10 amendments to the Constitution, is on permanent display in the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, alongside our nation’s other founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Open daily with limited capacity, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m. Tickets are required. Advance and same-day timed entry tickets must be reserved on Recreation.gov. Visit our National Archives News Bill of Rights Day page for related programs and online resources.
Bill of Rights Day Program: Anti-Federalists and the Bill of Rights
Wednesday, December 15, at 1 p.m. ET
Register to attend online. Watch the free program livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.
Did you know that the 1787 Constitutional Convention considered and rejected a Bill of Rights? Only after pressure from opponents of the new national government were the first 10 amendments adopted—but most of these “Anti-Federalists” were disappointed with the Bill of Rights. Using clips from the documentary series Confounding Father: A Contrarian View of the U.S. Constitution, a panel discussion will focus on the arguments of the Anti-Federalists, why they opposed ratification of the Constitution, and how their opposition led to a Bill of Rights. Moderated by Richard Hall, director and co-producer of Confounding Father, panelists include Mary Sarah Bilder, Founders Professor of Law at Boston College Law School, and Woody Holton, McCausland Professor of History at the University of South Carolina.
This program is part two of a two-part series. The first part was Slavery and the Constitutional Convention, viewable on the National Archives YouTube channel.
Bill of Rights Day Distance Learning Programs for Students—“We Rule: Civics for All of US”
December 15 & 16
The National Archives presents five new interactive and engaging distance learning programs led by educators from National Archives facilities and Presidential Libraries nationwide. Each program incorporates National Archives primary historical sources to strengthen and promote civic understanding, literacy, and engagement.
- The Bill of Rights Protects You (Grades 6–12)
Wednesday, December 15, at 11:15–11:55 a.m., ET. Register online.
Examine the Bill of Rights’ limits on government and the rights of the people. Students will analyze three case studies that underscore the remedies that citizens have to address instances where their rights have been violated.
- Make Your Voice Count: Learning About the First Amendment (Grades K–2)
Wednesday, December 15, at 1:15–1:45 p.m., ET. Register online.
Explore the Bill of Rights and how it outlines both limits on government and the rights of the people.
- The First Amendment: Five Rights in One! (Grades 3–5)
Wednesday, December 15, at 2:15–3 p.m., ET. Register online.
Learn about the importance of First Amendment rights, identify examples in photos and short documents, and discover how to exercise those freedoms.
- No Conscription Without Representation: Voting Rights and the Constitution (Grades 9–12)
Thursday, December 16, at 11:15–11:45 a.m., ET. Register online.
Explore the progression of U.S. voting rights—with focus on the effort to lower the voting age to 18—using National Archives primary source records including the Constitution, constitutional amendments, legislation, a Supreme Court case, photos, videos, and political cartoons.
- Voting Rights, the Constitution, & Representative Government (Grades 6–8)
Thursday, December 16, 1:15–1:45 p.m., ET. Register online.
Explore the progression of U.S. voting rights and its impact on representative government using National Archives primary source records including the Constitution, constitutional amendments, legislation, photos, and political cartoons.
Related Online Resources:
- Bill of Rights Blog posts on the Pieces of History blog
- Congress Creates the Bill of Rights - eBook and mobile app
- DocsTeach: Amending America
- Transcription of the enrolled original of the Joint Resolution of Congress proposing the Bill of Rights
- High-resolution downloads of the Bill of Rights
- Inside the Vaults video: The Bill of Rights and the First Federal Congress
- Why a Bill of Rights?:The story of how and why the Constitution got its first ten amendments.
- “Amending America” Exhibit Shows How Changes in the Constitution Affect the Way Our Democracy Works
This page was last reviewed on December 8, 2021.
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