• There were originally 12 amendments to the Constitution, but the first 2 were never ratified. Amendments 3 through 12 then became the Bill of Rights.
  • The structure and content of the Bill of Rights was influenced by the Virginia Declaration of Rights drafted in 1776 by George Mason.
  • The Bill of Rights Day is celebrated on December 15.
  • The most recent, Amendment XXVII, was ratified on May 2, 1992. It was originally proposed on September 25, 1789, and was one of the two that was not passed in the original Bill of Rights. Amendment XXVII deals with compensation to members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

To learn more, and to read the full text of the Bill of Rights, see the Bill of Rights site at the National Archives.

To read the Virginia Declaration of Rights, which was a model for the Bill of Rights and key phrases in the Declaration of Independence, see the Virginia Declaration of Rights site at the National Archives.

Read more and test your knowledge at GPO's Government Book Talk Blog Quiz and History for Bill of Rights Day December 15.