On September 17, the nation celebrates Constitution Day - an opportunity to learn about our founding document and the people who were instrumental in "framing" it. The founders realized that the country would be growing and the document would have to adapt to changes in the future so they built into it a process to create amendments. This was crucial because the Constitution laid out the outline and responsibilities of the government, but omitted listing the rights of the citizens.
Several states would not ratify the Constitution without a guarantee of rights - and so the first ten amendments were added. Called "The Bill of Rights," these amendments ensure that the democracy the founders envisioned could become a reality. More amendments have been added in the past 225 years, but those first ten are so much a fabric of our society that they often are taken for granted.
"The Bill of Rights and You!" is a new addition to our annual Celebrate the Constitution exhibit that opens on September 9. Take some time to stop by and refresh your knowledge of this important document and the process by which amendments are added. It's all basic citizenship!