ON THIS DAY IN 1725 (Old Style Nov. 30), GEORGE MASON  WAS BORN: He is often called the father of the Bill of Rights for two reasons: He was the principal author of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, upon which Madison later based the Bill of Rights. And, as a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, he was prominent among those who refused to sign the draft document because it did not yet contain such a bill.

As a result of pressure from Mason and others, a Bill of Rights had to be promised in order the secure ratification.