Pop quiz: What is the Bill of Rights?
Don't worry — your right to be wrong is protected.
Quick pop quiz: What is the Bill of Rights? What do the rights outline? When did they become law?
If you don’t remember exactly what the Bill of Rights is or what it does, it’s probably also news to you that today is “Bill of Rights Day.” Saturday Dec. 15, 2012 marks the 221st anniversary of the Dec. 15, 1791 signing into law of what many historians consider the most dynamic and important document in our nation’s history. That’s saying something in the face of serious competition from The Declaration of Independence and The Constitution.
More from Daily Dose: Top Tweets of 2012
The Bill of Rights is the name given to the first ten amendments to the Constitution. The amendments were drafted by James Madison, who at the time was a member of the House of Representatives. Back in the 1780s, a number of state reps had begun chafing at the apparent limitless power given to the federal government by the Constitution, and wanted the individual rights of their constituencies protected. Madison led this charge by recommending changes to the actual wording of the Constitution. This notion — then as now — was looked upon as heresy.
Bing: Bill of Rights Day news
Madison and his colleagues reconsidered their approach and instead submitted the changes as amendments, which could be viewed as “improvements” to the nearly sacred document. The initial 17 amendments were whittled down via voting to a basic ten. These were approved state by state, and with Virginia ratifying on December 15, 1791, the Bill of Rights went into effect.
More from Daily Dose: Seismologists reveal earthquake hotspots
When people get up in arms over government intrusion into their lives, it’s the Bill Of Rights that they’re figuratively waving in defiance. The bill covers all the individual liberties that define America’s system of government at its best: establishing freedom of speech and freedom of the press; keeping government out of religion; the right to bear arms; the right to a fair and speedy trial; protection against unreasonable search and seizure of one’s home; and the prevention of cruel and unusual punishment in criminal sentences.
The Constitution has since been amended an additional 17 times, but these first ten have provided U.S. citizens with the rights that we exercise, but perhaps don’t fully appreciate, every day.
Photo: Dieter Spears/Getty Images
More from Daily Dose:
Do employers hire drinking buddies?
10 trends to watch in 2013
Merriam-Webster Dictionary’s top 10 words for 2012
inspire: live a better life
Summer and winter tend to hog all the glory when it comes to travel high seasons. Sure, you want to soak up all the time at the beach you can during the summer, and you just want to escape the cold during the last months of the year.
Who just wants to stand around and watch the red and gold leaves slowly fall from their tree branches to the ground as we move from summer to fall? Instead, take in the changing seasons while you're on the move.
In September, I'll turn 38. I'm at the age now where, when people ask how old I am, it takes me a minute to remember. I don't know if that's because I've already been 37 different ages and it's hard to keep straight which one I am now, or if it's because I'm in denial, or if it's because I am going senile. Maybe a combination of all of the above. Regardless, my 30s have flown by and soon they will be but a memory. So, in an effort to preserve the memory I have left (or at least keep a record of it), and to celebrate what has been an amazing decade so far, here are 30 things that have happened to me in my 30s (and will probably happen to you too):
Traveling doesn't have to be stressful. And what you can fit in your carry-on can make all the difference (and not just a fresh pair of socks), especially when you get that low battery signal.
Volunteering (and these other rituals) might be just as good as exercise when it comes to extending your life.
Use these tricks to set a better tone for the rest of the week.
Whether it involves a food fight, mermaids or a torch-lit procession, people the world over know how to have a good time. Here are some of the biggest, boldest, booziest celebrations around, along with some tips to get the full experience.
Research could mean more effective treatment for human disorders.
An entry a day might keep the doctor away (or at least the shrink).
One woman's shout-outs to daily moments of joy — and how to cultivate them.
Our best health and fitness tips including the one move that tones all, berry news, and more.