Happy Bill of Rights Day!
In 1787, our forefathers envisioned a new legal system for the United States. They created our US Constitution, which provided basic rights for the “people,” — or, at least provided rights for land-owning white men — while, at the same time, increased the authority of the collective states as a federal government.
Four years later, they proposed twelve amendments to the US Constitution. The first ten amendments were aproved on December 15, 1791. We called these ten amendments the “Bill of Rights.”
“One hundred fifty years after the Bill of Rights became law, President Franklin D. Roosevelt called on the American people to observe December 15 as Bill of Rights Day. Just days after he made his speech, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and celebrations were cancelled. Though relatively obscure, it remains a federal holiday.”
The original Bill of Rights included 12 amendments, but only 10 became law in 1791. There have been a total of 27 amendments. The last amendment, pertaining to pay raises for US Senators and Representatives, was ratified in 1992. It was one of the original 12 amendments first proposed for the Bill of Rights.
The final omitted article, which deals with the size of electoral districts, has not been ratified. http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/uscongress/a/greatcomp.htm
Text of the Bill of Rights: http://www.billofrights.org/