♦ On February 21, 1787, The Congress of The Confederation, endorses a plan to revise The Articles of Confederation (The Congress of The Confederation evolved from The Second Continental Congress, and included 55 delegates representing each state)
♦ On May 25, 1787, the delegates from twelve of The thirteen states, with the exception of Rhode Island, convene in Philadelphia, in The Assembly Room of The Pennsylvania (Independence Hall) State House.
♦ On July 13, 1787, The Congress of the Confederation meet in New York City, and adopt The Northwest Ordinance, which established formal procedures for transforming territories into states.
♦ On September 17, 1787, The Federal Convention, in Philadelphia, adopt the final text of the proposed Constitution.
♦ On December 7, 1787, Delaware becomes the first state to ratify The Constitution; officially making Delaware the first state of The United States.
♦ On June 21, 1788, New Hampshire becomes the ninth state to ratify The Constitution, and two-thirds needed to officially put The Constitution into effect; establishing the new government for The United States, and making The Constitution the new (highest) law of the land.
♦ On April 30, 1789, George Washington is inaugurated as the first President of The United States, in Federal Hall, in New York City.
♦ May 29, 1790, Rhode Island becomes the thirteenth of the original thirteen colonies to ratify The Constitution; making The Constitution unanimous.
♦ On December 15, 1791, Virginia becomes the tenth state (of the now fourteen) to ratify ten proposed amendments to The Constitution; these ten amendments, known as The Bill of Rights, and some of our most treasured rights, were then added to the United States Constitution.
♦ On March 4, 1801, Thomas Jefferson is inaugurated as the third president of The United States, in Washington, D.C, making him the first president to be inaugurated in the nation’s permanent capital.
♦ On April 27, 1861, Abraham Lincoln suspendes Habeas Corpus in Maryland and parts of the midwestern states.
♦ On January 1, 1863, Abraham Lincoln issues The Final Emancipation Proclamation, declaring all slaves in The United States “forever free”.
♦ On December 6, 1865, The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified, outlawing slavery, forever, in The United States.
♦ On February 3, 1870, The Fifteenth Amendment was ratified, which forbids discrimination in accessing the polls, based on race, color, or previous conditions of servitude. This amendment allows men of all color to vote in The United States.
♦ On February 3, 1913, The Sixteenth Amendment was ratified, which grants Congress the authority to directly tax income; this amendment modified Article 1, Section 8, and Article 1, Section 9 (No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid…), which required all taxes to be levied relative to the population as determined by the census. Prior to this amendment, taxing income directly “may” have been considered unconstitutional.
♦ On April 8, 1913, The Seventeenth Amendment was ratified; transferring the selection of state Senators from the state legislation, to an election by the people of each respective state.
♦ On January 16, 1919, The Eighteenth Amendment was ratified; after one year from the ratification of this article, the manufacturing, sale, import or export of intoxicating alcohol, for the purpose of beverage, is prohibited (prohibition) in The United States.
♦ On August 18, 1920, The Nineteenth Amendment was ratified, which forbids discrimination in accessing the polls, based on sex. This amendment allows women to vote in The United States.
♦ On December 5, 1933, The Twenty-First Amendment was ratified, which repeals The Eighteenth Amendment; allowing the manufacturing, sale, import and export of intoxicating alcohol, for the purpose of beverage, in The United States.
♦ On April 12, 1937, The United States Supreme Court decides The National Labor Relations Board v. Jones & Laughlin Steel Corporation, which upholds the federal power to regulate labor relations.
♦ On May 17, 1954, The United States Supreme Court decides Brown v. The Board of Education, which strikes down school segregation as a violation of The Fourteenth Amendment’s “equal protection” clause.
♦ On March 9, 1964, The United States Supreme Court decides New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, which imposes federal constitutional standards on libel suits brought on by government officials against news media.
♦ On July 2, 1964, The U.S. Civil Rights Act of 1964 was enacted, upholding federal authority to enforce civil rights against state and local governments, and to bar discrimination.
♦ On June 7, 1965, The United States Supreme Court decides Grinswold v. Connecticut, recognizing the constitutional protection for rights of privacy in decision about giving birth and the use of contraception.
♦ On June 13, 1966, The United States Supreme Court decides Miranda v. Arizona, enforcing federal constitutional protection of rights of criminal suspects and defendants against state and local governments. This is the origin of The Miranda Rights. Police officers must read a suspect their Miranda Rights when being placed under arrest.
♦ On June 30, 1971, The United States Supreme Court decides New York Times v. The United States (“Pentagon Papers” case), striking down the idea that the federal government can prevent the publication of news stories in the name of national security.
♦ On January 22, 1973, The United States Supreme Court decides Roe v. Wade, which upholds federal constitutional protection for a woman’s right to decide whether or not to have an abortion.
♦ On July 24, 1974, The United States Supreme Court decides The United States v. Nixon, rejecting presidential claims of executive privilege, and upholding that a president must submit to a demand of evidence from a federal grand jury in an ongoing investigation.
♦ On June 29, 1992, The United States Supreme Court decides Planned Parenthood v. Casey, upholding the constitutional protection of a women’s right of choice.
There are currently 27 amendments to the United States Constitution. There have been approximately 11,372 measures proposed to amend the Constitution from 1789 through December 31, 2008.