Bill of Rights Day: A fun quiz to test your knowledge

Published 7:00 am Saturday, December 11, 2021

Bill of Rights Day, celebrated yearly on Dec. 15, commemorates the day in 1791 when three-fourths of the states ratified 10 amendments that became a permanent part of the U.S. Constitution.

The quiz below provides an opportunity for you to test your knowledge of the Bill of Rights. The answers are listed at the bottom of the quiz.

1. Which Founding Father, originally an opponent of the Bill of Rights, is said to have “hounded his colleagues relentlessly” to secure Congress’s passage of the Bill of Rights (which were then sent to the states for ratification)?

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A. John Jay

B. Alexander Hamilton

C. Patrick Henry

D. James Madison


2. Which state was the first to ratify the Bill of Rights?

A. New Jersey

B. Pennsylvania

C. South Carolina

D. Vermont


3. Which three states did not ratify the Bill of Rights until 1939?

A. New York, North Carolina and Maryland

B. Massachusetts, Connecticut and Georgia

C. North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina

D. Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Vermont


4. What previously existing document(s) influenced both the content and the organization of the Bill of Rights?

A. Magna Carta

B. English Bill of Rights

C. Virginia Declaration of Rights

D. All of the above


5. In 1992, one of the proposed amendments that was not included in the original Bill of Rights was ratified and became the 27th Amendment. What issue does this amendment address?

A. Congressional compensation

B. Voting age

C. Electoral votes for the District of Columbia

D. Presidential tenure


6. The U.S. Supreme Court has based decisions on all of the 10 amendments that comprise the Bill of Rights except one. Which of the amendments hasn’t been part of a case?

A. Second Amendment (right to bear arms)

B. Third Amendment (involuntary quartering of soldiers)

C. Fourth Amendment (protection from unreasonable searches and seizures)

D. Fifth Amendment (so-called “right to remain silent”)


7. In a speech urging the annual observance of Bill of Rights Day, which president said the  “anniversary should be remembered and observed by those institutions … which owe their very existence to the guarantees of the Bill of Rights: the free schools, the free churches, the labor unions, the religious and educational and civic organizations of all kinds which, without the guarantee of the Bill of Rights, could never have existed; which sicken and disappear whenever, in any country, these rights are curtailed or withdrawn.”

A. Franklin D. Roosevelt

B. Harry S. Truman

C. John F. Kennedy

D. Gerald R. Ford


8. Thirteen original copies of the Bill of Rights were sent to the then 13 states for ratification. Which state’s original copy was recovered in 2003 in an FBI sting?

A. Connecticut

B. Massachusetts

C. North Carolina

D. Virginia


9. For a year-and-a-half in the late 1940s, an original copy of the Bill of Rights and other important historical documents were sent on exhibit to every state by what famous transport carrier?

A. Spirit of St. Louis

B. HMS Victory

C. Freedom Train

D. Partridge Family Bus


10. Which president said: “A bill of rights is what the people are entitled to against every government on earth, general or particular, and what no just government should refuse.”

A. James Monroe

B. Thomas Jefferson

C. John Adams

D. George Washington


ANSWERS: 1-D, 2-A, 3-B, 4-D, 5-A, 6-B, 7-A, 8-C, 9-C, 10-B