Historian’s Notebook: The Bill of Rights at 225

This post is from Jessie Kratz, Historian of the National Archives. It's from the Winter 2016 issue of Prologue magazine.  The travels of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution have been chronicled frequently over the years—in fact, they are fascinating stories. However, the third “Charter of Freedom”—the Bill of Rights—has been largely overlooked. As we … Continue reading Historian’s Notebook: The Bill of Rights at 225

Don Wilson: Embracing Independence

The National Archives was created on June 19, 1934. During the month of June, the National Archives History Office is sharing stories about the former Archivists of the United States. Today's post comes from Sarah Basilion. Don W. Wilson was appointed seventh Archivist of the United States by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. He was the … Continue reading Don Wilson: Embracing Independence

A Record-Setting Amendment

The 27th amendment, ratified on May 7, 1992, was originally proposed on September 25, 1789. Yes, that date is correct. The amendment was part of the original 12 proposed amendments sent to the states for ratification in 1789. Amendments 3 through 12 were ratified on December 15, 1791, becoming what we now call the Bill of … Continue reading A Record-Setting Amendment

Amending the Constitution: 100 Days to 200 Years

The Constitution hasn’t changed much since it was adopted in 1787. However, it has been tweaked by 27 amendments—some were ratified in a few months, another took more than two centuries. The ink on the Constitution had barely dried in 1787 when people discovered what it did not say. It did not spell out adequately, … Continue reading Amending the Constitution: 100 Days to 200 Years