Original Bill of Rights will call Philly its home

Gov. Tom Corbett spoke Wednesday at the National Constitution Center, which announced an agreement with the New York Public Library. Students from Samuel Powel Elementary were on hand for the event. Rikard Larma/Metro
Gov. Tom Corbett spoke Wednesday at the National Constitution Center, which announced an agreement with the New York Public Library. Students from Samuel Powel Elementary were on hand for the event. Rikard Larma/Metro

One of the original copies of the Bill of Rights is coming home.

The National Constitution Center, just steps away from Independence Hall where the original 10 amendments to the United States Constitution were conceived, will now display one of the 12 surviving copies on loan from the New York Public Library.

In an agreement between the library and the Commonwealth, the historic document will be displayed at various venues throughout both New York and the Commonwealth for the next 100 years. It will be on display at the Constitution Center from Fall 2014 until 2017.

“For the first time in decades, this historic document will be seen by ‘We the People,’ the people who were granted these inalienable rights and privileges that we are still guided by today,” said Gov. Tom Corbett, who spoke at the museum this morning.

The Federal Government and each of the 13 states received a copy of the Bill of Rights in 1789. Today, only 12 remain.

The library, which obtained the copy in 1896 ,hasn’t displayed the document for extended periods of time due to preservation concerns.

Scholars believe New York’s original copy was destroyed in a fire. Pennsylvania’s copy disappeared in the 19th Century.

The original 10 amendments to Constitution are referred to as the Bill or Rights. The 10 were added after the Constitution was signed at the request of revolutionaries.

Since the adoption of the list in 1791, 17 more amendments have been made.


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