Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

Exhibit Theme

The Bill of Rights

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James Madison’s notes for his...
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James Madison’s notes for his speech introducing the Bill of Rights, June 8, 1789

Initially skeptical of the need for a bill of rights, Representative James Madison of Virginia became its leading proponent. His notes outlined objections to the proposed amendments and arguments for their adoption. Madison believed guaranteeing individual rights would guard against potential abuse of federal power and unify the nation in support of the new Constitution.

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1.   to prove fedts. [Federalists] friends to liberty
2.   remove remaining inquietudes
3.   bring in N.C. & R. Island
4.   to improve the Constitution

Manuscript Division, Library of Congress