Hillsborough marks the 231st anniversary of when the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights, went into force, protecting Americans’ essential freedom, on December 15th, 1791.
Bill of Rights Day Community Bell Ringing will take place Thursday, December 15th, 2022, at noon.
To mark the 231st anniversary of the Bill of Rights, bells will ring for 231 seconds. (3 minutes, 51 seconds.)
The public is invited to gather and “Bring Bells, Ring Bells” at the Historic 1845 Courthouse, 104 E. King Street, Hillsborough.
Historic Bells will ring simultaneously from historic sites and historic church belfries.
If you’re in the historic merchant district of Hillsborough you will hear bells for 3 minutes and 51 seconds starting at noon.
Unique in the nation, the Community Bell Ringing marks Bill of Rights Day in Orange County, Birthplace of the Bill of Rights.
Started by Scott Washington, Public Historian and former Assistant Director of the Orange County Historical Museum, back in 2012, this event has become a popular, fun, educational and meaningful way to mark the last great American holiday of the calendar year. It’s also the shortest, too.
This is a non partisan event. There are no speeches, only the sounds of bells of all sizes ringing at the same time, celebrating Bill of Rights Day and giving new meaning to the age old refrain, “Let Freedom Ring.”
Hillsborough’s connection to the Bill of Rights? Delegates debated the U.S. Constitution here July 21st to August 4th, 1788 and voted to delay ratification until the Bill of Rights was added.
There’s a marker at Churton Street and Queen Street.
Bill of Rights
The contents of the Bill of Rights, from archives.gov.
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 offence 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 defence.
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 re-examined 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.