Last weekend of NC's Bill of Rights display

Posted June 17, 2016

North Carolina reclaimed its copy of the Bill of Rights in 2005, two years after federal agents seized it in a sting. A Union soldier stole the document at the end of the Civil War.

— North Carolina's original copy of the Bill of Rights is on display through Sunday – and it may be a while before it's on public display again.

The document's history reads like a real-life version of the movie "National Treasure."

Each of the original 13 colonies received a copy of the Bill of Rights for ratification. North Carolina's copy was stolen from the State Capitol by a Union soldier after the Civil War in 1865, then recovered by the FBI in a sting operation in 2003. It was subsequently tied up in a court battle before it was finally returned to the state in 2005.

Its appearance is part of the "Treasures of North Carolina: Stories from the State Archives" exhibit at the North Carolina Museum of History. It was also briefly on display at the opening of the exhibit in October 2015.

The exhibit, which features a variety of other private and public documents and correspondence, has been extended till July 31, but without the Bill of Rights.

"We can only show the Bill of Rights a limited amount of time because of its fragile condition," said museum spokeswoman Susan Lamb. "This is a rare opportunity to see it."

No future displays have been scheduled yet, she said.

The historic document will be viewable until 5 p.m. Sunday. Admission to the exhibit is free.


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