"Enlightened statesmen will not always helm." James Madison

On this date, June 12, in 1776, Virginia adopted the Declaration of Rights. Drawn upon by Thomas Jefferson for the opening paragraphs of the Declaration of Independence, it was widely copied by the other colonies and became the basis of the Bill of Rights. Written by George Mason, it was adopted by the Virginia Constitutional Convention on June 12, 1776 - three weeks before the Declaration of Independence. Rather than demanding mere equality with other British subjects, it reasons from universal natural rights and remains a part of the Commonwealth's Constitution to this day. Take that King George!