Bill of Rights Day - December 15
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Bill of Rights History
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About Bill of Rights Day
The Bill of Rights was meant to ensure basic rights during times of war and times of peace, regardless of who is in power. In order to ensure its future, we must keep using the First Amendment and speaking out when our rights and the rights of non-citizens are threatened.
In 1941, 150 years after the first 10 amendments were ratified, President Franklin Roosevelt declared December 15 "Bill of Rights Day." Now many communities around the country observe the day. BORDC invites you to celebrate and exercise the rights guaranteed by the Bill of Rights. Some ideas for celebrating the day include:
- New! Download the Bill of Rights (11 x 17inches), take it to a copy shop, print it off, roll it into a scroll, tie a ribbon around it, and hand out to holiday shoppers, as you remind them of the Bill of Rights protections that are currently being denied all of us. Scroll can also be downloaded as a Word Document. You can also print a copy on legal-sized paper (8 1/2 x 14 inches) PDF legal-size or on letter-sized paper (8 1/2 x 11 inches) PDF letter-size.
- Download BORDC's Bill of Rights bookmarks in English or Spanish. Print 6 bookmarks on an 8.5" x 11" sheet of cardstock for an inexpensive, educational handout to distribute to your local schools and libraries.
- Entertain holiday shoppers with street theater, or include a short play or video as part of a local civil liberties forum. Visit our recommended resources page for suggestions and links.
- Read the Bill of Rights in front of city hall or other public place. Invite local elected officials to participate.
- Encourage your local government to officially proclaim December 15 Bill of Rights Day.
- Schedule a showing of FBI Unbound: How National Security Letters Violate Our Privacy at a house party, public forum, or on public access television. in your community to raise public awareness of this threat to our Bill of Rights protections.
Pass a Bill of Rights Proclamation in your community. Ask your City Council, County Board of Commissioners or other local government to declare December 15 Bill of Rights Day in your community. See Proclamations and Resolutions section for sample resolutions, ongoing local efforts, and a map of where Bill of Rights Proclamations have been passed.
Organize a reading of the Bill of Rights in your community: invite school classes, entire schools and school districts, city councilors, and others to take part in reasserting this founding document in our public lives.
Pass out copies of the Bill of Rights and Constitution See Resources section for flyers, bookmarks, copies of the Bill of Rights and Constitution, films and videos.
Panel Discussions/Public Forums: Ask local experts on the Constitution to participate in discussion about current threats facing the Constitution and/or showing films. See Resources section
Letter to the editor campaign: Use the tips from this BORDC workshop on creating Circles of Scribes -- community letter writing groups -- to get a buzz going about Bill of Rights Day in your community.
Open Microphone at a local gathering spot to give community members an opportunity to speak their minds, read from the Constitution, or use poetry to express their feelings about our loss of liberties.
Engage with local media: See Media Resources page for Public Service Announcement links, workshop tips, and press release contacts.