Sequoia National Park was founded on this day in 1890, and while the park’s 128 years is nothing to sneeze at, some trees in the giant sequoia grove had called this place home for thousands of years before they were given the protection of a national park. The Giant Forest in Sequoia National Park is where General Sherman, the largest tree in the world, stands. It is estimated to be 2,300 to 2,700 years old—a silent witness to both natural and human history. By the time Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa ‘found’ the Pacific Ocean in 1513, General Sherman had been growing for more than 1,500 years.
Movies: Nine from Little Rock
Operation Arkansas: A Different Kind of Deployment Photo by Courtesy of the National Archives September 20, 2007 Soldiers from the 101st Airborne Division escort the Little Rock Nine students into the all-white Central High School in Little Rock, Ark.
Also on this day,
1789 | Bill of Rights adopted as amendments aim to form a more perfect union
The US Congress passes 12 amendments to the nation’s constitution, ensuring protections for individual liberties, including the freedom of speech and the press, the right to assembly, and the right to exercise religion. Ten of the amendments, comprising the Bill of Rights, will be ratified by the states.1970 | ‘The Partridge Family’ says hello, world
‘The Partridge Family’ introduces America to the fictional family band and their groovy tour bus. The show will run for four seasons, launching the careers of Danny Bonaduce, Susan Dey, and teen idol David Cassidy, as well as producing a few hit records.1983 | Massive Maze prison break in Northern Ireland
Thirty-eight armed prisoners bolt from Northern Ireland’s infamous, and supposedly “escape-proof,” Maze Prison in the biggest jailbreak in Britain’s history. Primarily housing IRA members, the Irish rebels will dub the large breakout the ‘Great Escape’ and consider it a victory for their cause.
The Bill of Rights is the first ten amendments to the United States Constitution. Proposed following the oftentimes bitter 1787–88 battle over ratification of the U.S. Constitution, and crafted to address the objections raised by Anti-Federalists, the Bill of Rights amendments add to the Constitution specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, clear limitations on the government's power in judicial and other proceedings, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states or the people. The concepts codified in these amendments are built upon those found in several earlier documents, including the Virginia Declaration of Rights and the English Bill of Rights 1689, along with earlier documents such as Magna Carta (1215). In practice, the amendments had little impact on judgements by the courts for the first 150 years after ratification.
On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison introduced nine amendments to the constitution in the House of Representatives. Among his recommendations Madison proposed opening up the Constitution and inserting specific rights limiting the power of Congress in Article One, Section 9. Seven of these limitations would become part of the ten ratified Bill of Rights amendments. Ultimately, on September 25, 1789, Congress approved twelve articles of amendment to the Constitution, each consisting of one one-sentence paragraph, and submitted them to the states for ratification. Contrary to Madison's original proposal that the articles be incorporated into the main body of the Constitution, they were proposed as supplemental additions (codicils) to it. Articles Three through Twelve were ratified as additions to the Constitution on December 15, 1791, and became Amendments One through Ten of the Constitution. Article Two became part of the Constitution on May 5, 1992, as the Twenty-seventh Amendment. Article One is technically still pending before the states.
Although Madison's proposed amendments included a provision to extend the protection of some of the Bill of Rights to the states, the amendments that were finally submitted for ratification applied only to the federal government. The door for their application upon state governments was opened in the 1860s, following ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment. Since the early 20th century both federal and state courts have used the Fourteenth Amendment to apply portions of the Bill of Rights to state and local governments. The process is known as incorporation.
There are several original engrossed copies of the Bill of Rights still in existence. One of these is on permanent public display at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
The Bill of Rights, twelve articles of amendment to the to the United States Constitution proposed in 1789, ten of which, Articles three through twelve, became part of the United States Constitution in 1791. Note that the First Amendment is actually "Article the third" on the document, Second Amendment is "Article the fourth", and so on. "Article the second" is now the 27th Amendment. "Article the first" has not been ratified