Freedom of Information Day

Freedom of Information Day takes place annually on 16 March It was proposed in 1979 by Jim Bohannon, talk show host, to the Society of Professional Journalists, in order to commemorate the anniversary of the the birth of American statesman, lawyer, diplomat, philosopher, and Founding Father James Madison who was born March 16, 1751 into a prominent Virginia planting family.

Madison served as a member of the Virginia House of Delegates and the Continental Congress during and after the American Revolutionary War. However he became dissatisfied with the weak national government established by the Articles of Confederation and helped organize the Constitutional Convention, which produced a new constitution to supplant the Articles of Confederation. Madison’s Virginia Plan served as the basis for the Constitutional Convention’s deliberations, and he was one of the most influential individuals at the convention.

After the ratification of the Constitution, Madison emerged as an important leader in the United States House of Representatives and served as a close adviser to President George Washington. He was the main force behind the ratification of the United States Bill of Rights, which enshrines guarantees of personal freedoms and rights within the Constitution. During the early 1790s, Madison came to oppose the economic program and accompanying centralization of power favored by Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton. Along with Thomas Jefferson, Madison organized the Democratic-Republican Party, which was, alongside Hamilton’s Federalist Party, one of the nation’s first major political parties. After Jefferson won the 1800 presidential election, Madison served as Secretary of State from 1801 to 1809. In that position, he supervised the Louisiana Purchase, which doubled the size of the United States.

Madison succeeded Jefferson as President with a victory in the 1808 presidential election and served as the fourth president of the United States from 1809 to 1817. After diplomatic protests and a trade embargo failed to end British attacks against American shipping, he led the United States into the War of 1812. The war was an administrative morass and ended inconclusively, but many Americans saw it as a successful “second war of independence” against Britain. The war convinced Madison of the necessity of a stronger federal government, and he presided over the creation of the Second Bank of the United States and the enactment of the protective Tariff of 1816. He retired from public office in 1817 and died in June 28, 1836. He is generally considered to be one of the most important Founding Fathers of the United States, and historians have generally ranked Madison as an above-average president.

Madison also co-wrote The Federalist Papers, co-founded the Democratic-Republican Party, and became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution, and he joined with Alexander Hamilton and John Jay in writing The Federalist Papers, a series of pro-ratification essays that is widely considered to be one of the most influential works of political science in American history and He is hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” for his pivotal role in drafting and promoting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights.

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