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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bill of Rights Day


217 years ago today, Virginia became the tenth of fourteen states to ratify the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution—the Bill of Rights. With them, American citizens were granted the freedom of speech, of the press, and of religion; unreasonable searches and seizures; and the right to a speedy and public trial by jury.

Or as wags of the period described it in relation to the new national government that the Constitution had created, the Bill of Rights was a "tub for the whale."

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