New Citizens Take Oath on Anniversary of Bill of Rights


"They come anticipating ten amendments, exactly ten amendments. What they find is that the original document, the one Congress sent to the states for ratification, actually has 12 articles of amendment on it, and the First Amendment isn't first," Marvin Pinkert, Director of the National Archives Experience said.

The original document presented to Congress contained two articles not included in the final Bill of Rights. The first called for an amendment which would require one representative for every 50,000 people in the country.

"Had this been ratified, our current House of Representatives would have about 6,000 members to it," Pinkert said. "Of course they didn't anticipate we'd ever be a nation of 300 million people."

The second article included in the original Bill of Rights eventually became the 27th Amendment, which outlines that Congress shall not raise its salary without standing for election, to the Constitution in 1992.

But even if these two amendments didn't make the final cut, American citizens are still appreciative of the guidance and protections the Bill of Rights has offered.

"The Bill of Rights to me is the charter of freedoms that we have," Robert Kyle of Richmond, Va. said. "It contains the rights for us as citizens, as individuals under our government. Without it, it's a ship that's rudderless, so it's the guide for all of us."

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