[George] Mason’s obvious legacy is in his contribution to America’s founding documents: the Declaration of Independence through the Virginia Declaration of Rights, the Constitution through his role at the Philadelphia Convention, and the Bill of Rights through his dogged opposition to a Constitution without one. Mason may have taken a circumscribed view of the rights he advocated — limiting the right of representation to white men or restricting freedom of the press to a ban on prior restraint — but he put words on paper that could be given more expansive meanings by later generations.
— Jeff Broadwater
George Mason: Forgotten Founder (2006)
Today in the Revolution ...
Lexington minuteman Captain John Parker orders: "Stand your ground. Don't fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here."
The American Revolution begins. The shot "heard round the world" is fired in Lexington Common.