Among the holidays in December is the little known holiday called the "Bill of Rights Day" created by Franklin Roosevelt in 1941.
On this day in 1791 the Bill of Rights can into effect when it was officially ratified by three-fourths of the states. These first ten amendments to the Constitution (called the Bill of Rights) limit the power of the federal government by enumerating individual protections on the freedom of religion, speech, assembly, and petition. Also included is the right to bear arms and prohibitions against cruel and unusual punishment and self-incrimination.
Here's a link to the Wikipedia entry for an explanation of the Bill of Rights.
The National Archives has a transcript of the Bill of Rights here.
For 217 years these basic principles have helped to limit the power of the federal government and protect individual freedom in a number of ways.
Happy Bill of Rights Day,