Payson Celebrates Bill Of Rights


Eleven years after America's forefathers signed the Declaration of Independence, delegates from 12 sovereign states gathered in the nation's capital -- Philadelphia, Penn. -- to discuss a national constitution to consolidate their separate governments into one.

Not all of the 55 delegates who attended were in favor. A dissident faction of men feared that a centralized government would breed the tyranny and oppression they had just fought to overcome a decade prior. In fact, Rhode Island was so against the convention, they refused participate.

The Constitutional Convention began in May of 1787. Battles fought during the stifling summer over representation, taxation and trade nearly deadlocked the debates. Had constitutional dissenters -- Patrick Henry and James Monroe -- not been as vocal, a compromise may not have been reached in September of that year.

Forty-two original amendments to the Constitution were proposed to limit federal power and protect individual rights. That number was pared to 12, two of which failed during ratification. On Dec. 15, 1791, three-fourths of the states had ratified 10 amendments, and thus became the Bill of Rights.

The Bill of Rights stands between tyranny and liberty. Let's celebrate it!

Rim country's Bill of Rights Day Committee is organizing a grassroots celebration in Payson, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Dec. 11, at the Tonto Apache Gym.

Families are encouraged to read and discuss the Bill of Rights in their homes and businesses, in libraries and schools.

Support our Payson Bill of Rights celebration. Admission is $1 or one can of food per person.

Vendor space is $25 or free for vendors wishing to donate $100 or more in merchandise for the silent auction.

The goal is to raise at least $2,500. Local Modern Woodmen of America camps have pledged up to $2,500 in matching funds for all money raised. Proceeds will go to Rim Country Literacy and Payson Community Kids.

For for information about the Bill of Rights, visit

For more information on Bill of Rights Day, or to volunteer, take a table, or donate, contact or call (928) 468-1111.

The Ten Original Amendments: The Bill of Rights.

Passed by Congress September 25, 1789. Ratified December 15, 1791.


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.


A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.


No soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.


No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the militia, when in actual service in time of war or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use without just compensation.


In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the assistance of counsel for his defense.


In suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury shall be otherwise reexamined in any court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.


Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.


The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.


The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

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