Bill of Rights exhibit opens



December 30, 2016 - 12:00 AM

HUMBOLDT — One of the hallmark components that put the United States on the road to well over two centuries of uninterrupted democracy was the Bill of Rights, amendments to the Constitution about three years after the fact.
A small but meaningful display in the lobby of Humboldt’s City Hall will draw attention to the document over the next several weeks.
Tom Rutledge, former mayor and president of the Humboldt Historic Preservation Alliance, introduced the exhibit Thursday morning. He pointed out recognizing the 225th anniversary of the basic rights conferred on citizens was another in HHPA’s and Humboldt’s endeavors to remain relevant and look to the future.
“If we aren’t doing something, we’re dying” as a community, Rutledge said.
In the next week or two another ceremony in City Hall’s lobby, will feature a couple of speakers, including Kim Ralstin, editor and publisher of The Humboldt Union, who will speak about impact of the 10 basic rights.
The Bill of Rights was the result of anti-federalists concerns. They are “specific guarantees of personal freedoms and rights, and explicit declarations that all powers not specifically delegated to Congress by the Constitution are reserved for the states and people,” Wikipedia declares. They are based in some measure on the Virginia Declaration of Rights, of which George Mason was  the main author, as well as the 1689 English Bill of Rights and the Magna Carta, which reached age 800 in 2015.
Two of the amendments mentioned often in recent political discourse are the First, ensuring freedom of speech, and the Second, which gives citizens the right to bear arms.
The exhibit may be viewed when City Hall is open, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

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