first 10 amendments

In school they teach you
how to multiply 9x8
make you read Macbeth
and have you memorize the first 10 amendments to the constitution.
But they don’t teach you how to
stop loving someone who has
stopped loving you
or how to deal with losing
a friend to an unsaid goodbye
and a relative to a cancer that ate
away their brain.
At home I learned from my father that
alcohol can make as many problems
as it solves
but damn does it feel good
to let my throat burn instead of my heart
and to tune out the problems in my head
that I just couldn’t solve.
Because life isn’t 9x8
and it isn’t the way authors describe
their characters in a story.
It’s those nights you lay awake
missing someone
wishing things could be different
and it’s the next day when you realize they can’t
and then it’s how you pick yourself up
after being down for so long.
I taught myself that.
In school they teach you
how to multiply 9x8
make you read Macbeth
and have you memorize the first 10
amendments to the constitution.
But they don’t teach you how to
stop loving someone who has
stopped loving you
or how to deal with losing
a friend to an unsaid goodbye
and a relative to a cancer that ate
away their brain.
At home I learned from my father that
alcohol can make as many problems
as it solves
but damn does it feel good
to let my throat burn instead of my heart
and to tune out the problems in my head
that I just couldn’t solve.
Because life isn’t 9x8
and it isn’t the way authors describe
their characters in a story.
It’s those nights you lay awake
missing someone
wishing things could be different
and it’s the next day when you realize they can’t
and then it’s how you pick yourself up
after being down for so long.
I taught myself that.
In school they teach you 
how to multiply 9x8
make you read Macbeth
and have you memorize the first 10 amendments to the constitution.
But they don’t teach you how to 
stop loving someone who has
stopped loving you 
or how to deal with losing 
a friend to an unsaid goodbye
and a relative to a cancer that ate
away their brain.
At home I learned from my father that 
alcohol can make as many problems 
as it solves
but damn does it feel good
to let my throat burn instead of my heart
and to tune out the problems in my head 
that I just couldn’t solve.
Because life isn’t 9x8 
and it isn’t the way authors describe
their characters in a story.
It’s those nights you lay awake
missing someone
wishing things could be different
and it’s the next day when you realize they can’t
and then it’s how you pick yourself up
after being down for so long.
2

September 17th 1787: US Constitution signed

On this day in 1787, the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. The document was thus adopted by the Constitutional Convention, which included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. It was later ratified by the states and came into effect on March 4th 1789. The Constitution sets out the rules and principles that govern America to this day, and defines the powers of the three branches of federal government and the states. The first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and established basic rights of citizens, including freedom and speech and religion. The Constitution has since been amended 17 times, giving a total of 27 amendments. America’s is the oldest written constitution still used today.

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”

225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

After the state legislature had failed to ratify the Constitution on several occasions, the United States Congress twice considered legislation to tax imports from the state as foreign goods.

On May 29, 1790 Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution. On June 1, George Washington forwarded copies of the state’s ratification documents to Congress. Included with their ratification was a list of 18 human rights and 21 proposed amendments. Most of the 21 amendments were included in the Bill of Rights passed by Congress in September 1789 and sent to the states for adoption. On June 30, Rhode Island passed all 12 of the proposed amendments, though only amendments 3 through 12 would be adopted as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Message from President George Washington Forwarding Copies of Rhode Island’s Ratification of the U.S. Constitution, 6/1/1790, SEN1A-E2, Records of the U.S. Senate

225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On January 28, 1790, President George Washington forwarded copies of a letter from the Governor of Rhode Island and an act from the Rhode Island legislature calling for a ratifying convention. However, the convention adjourned without taking a ratification vote, and Congress considered legislation that would tax imports from Rhode Island as foreign goods.

On May 29, Rhode Island finally ratified the Constitution. They included with their ratification a list of 18 human rights and 21 proposed amendments. Most of the 21 amendments were included in the Bill of Rights passed by Congress and sent to the states for adoption. On June 30, Rhode Island passed all 12 of the proposed amendments, though only amendments 3 through 12 would be adopted as the first 10 amendments to the Constitution.

Rhode Island Act Calling for a Constitutional Convention, 1/28/1790, SEN 1A-E2, Records of the U.S. Senate

4

225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On September 9, 1789, the Senate passed this resolution introduced by Senator Oliver Ellsworth that captured all of the Senate revisions to the House proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution

On September 25, Congress passed 12 amendments that were sent to the states for approval. Ten of the amendments were ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became part of the Constitution in 1791. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Senator Ellsworth’s Draft of Amendments Proposed to the Bill of Rights as Passed by the House, 9/9/1789, Sen 1A-C2, Records of the U.S. Senate

5

225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.

On June 8, 1789, Representative James Madison introduced a series of proposed amendments to the newly ratified U.S. Constitution. That summer the House of Representatives debated Madison’s proposal, and on August 24 the House passed 17 amendments to be added to the Constitution. Those 17 amendments were then sent to the Senate.

On September 2, the Senate began considering amendments to the Constitutions as proposed and passed in the House. The Senate compiled this document over six days. The Senate’s debate continued for another two days and resulted in additional changes to the amendments not shown on this document.

On September 25, Congress passed 12 amendments that were sent to the states for approval. Ten of the amendments were ratified by the required three-fourths of the states and became part of the Constitution in 1791. These first 10 amendments to the U.S. Constitution are known as the Bill of Rights.

Notes Recording Senate Consideration of House Proposed Articles of Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, 9/2/1789, SEN1A-C2, Records of the U.S. Senate