The Williamsburg Charter

The Williamsburg Charter was signed by 100 nationally prominent figures on June 22, 1988, in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of Virginia’s call for a Bill of Rights. Among the signers were Presidents Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter; the late Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court William Rehnquist; the late activist Coretta Scott King. The lead drafter was Os Guinness, the then Executive Director of The Williamsburg Charter Foundation, a bicentennial celebration of the First Amendment.

Williamsburg Charter

Representing Government

  • President Jimmy Carter
  • President Gerald R. Ford
  • Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist
  • Chief Justice Warren E. Burger, retired
  • Secretary of Education William J. Bennett
  • Senator Dennis DeConcini, D-Arizona; Trustee; Bicentennial Commissioner
  • Senator Robert Dole, R-Kansas, Minority Leader, U.S. Senate
  • Senator Mark O. Hatfield, R-Oregon; Trustee
  • Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, D-New York; Trustee
  • Senator Ted Stevens, R-Alaska; Trustee; Bicentennial Commissioner
  • Representative James Wright, Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Representative Representative Robert Michel, R-Illinois, Minority Leader, U.S. House of Representatives
  • Representative Don Bonker, D-Washington; Trustee
  • Representative James Slattery, D-Kansas; Trustee
  • Governor Michael S. Dukakis, Chairman, Democratic Governors Association
  • Mr. Charles Z. Wick, Director, United States Information Agency
  • Ms. Pamela Plumb, President, National League of Cities

Members of the Drafting Committee

  • Mr. William Bentley Ball, Attorney, Ball, Skelly, Murren & Connell
  • Dr. Os Guinness, Executive Director, The Williamsburg Charter Foundation
  • Mr. Nat Hentoff, Columnist, The Washington Post and Village Voice, and Staff Writer, The New Yorker
  • Dean Kelley, Director, Religious and Civil Liberties Division of the National Council of Churches
  • Pastor Richard Neuhaus, Director, Center for Religion and Society
  • Mr. George S. Weigel, Jr., President, The James Madison Foundation

Academic Consultants

  • Professor Robert N. Bellah, University of California at Berkeley
  • Professor Peter L. Berger, Boston University
  • Professor Robert A. Destro, U.S. Civil Rights Commission
  • Professor Edward Gaffney, Jr., Loyola Law School
  • Dr. William A. Galston, The Roosevelt Center
  • Professor James Davison Hunter, University of Virginia
  • Professor George M. Marsden, Duke University
  • Professor David Martin, The London School of Economics
  • Professor William Lee Miller, University of Virginia
  • Mr. A. James Reichley, The Brookings Institution
  • Professor William Van Alstyne, Duke University School of Law
  • Professor Robert Wuthnow, Princeton University

Representing Political Parties

  • Mr. Frank Fahrenkopf, Jr., Chairman, Republican National Committee
  • Mr. Paul Kirk, Jr., Chairman, Democratic National Committee

Representing the Commission on the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution

  • Mr. Frederick K. Biebel
  • Representative Lindy Boggs, D-Louisiana
  • Dr. Mark W. Cannon, Executive Director
  • The Honorable Lynne V. Cheney
  • Representative Philip Crane, R-Illinois
  • Mr. William J. Green
  • Reverend Edward Victor Hill
  • Senator Edward M. Kennedy, D-Massachusetts
  • Mrs. Betty Southard Murphy
  • Dr. Thomas H. O’Connor
  • Mrs. Phyllis Schlafly
  • Mr. Obert C. Tanner
  • Senator Strom Thurmond, R-South Carolina
  • Mr. Ronald H. Walker
  • Judge Charles E. Wiggins

Representing the Commonwealth of Virginia

  • Governor Gerald Baliles
  • Senator Paul Trible
  • Senator John Warner
  • Representative Herbert H. Bateman
  • Representative Thomas Jerome Bliley, Jr.
  • Representative Rick C. Boucher
  • Representative Stan Parris
  • Representative Owen Bradford Pickett
  • Representative Norman Sisisky
  • Representative D. French Slaughter, Jr.
  • Representative Frank R. Wolf
  • Mayor John Hodges, Williamsburg
  • Professor A.E. Dick Howard, Chairman, Virginia Commission on the Bicentennial of the United States Constitution
  • Mr. Charles R. Longsworth, President, Colonial Williamsburg Foundation
  • Dr. Paul Verkuil, President, College of William and Mary

Representing American Communities of Faith

  • Mr. Edward L. Ericson, Former President, American Ethical Union
  • Bishop Charles H. Foggie, African Methodist Episcopal Zion Church
  • His Eminence Archbishop Iakovos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of North and South America; Trustee
  • Very Reverend Leonid Kishkovsky, President-elect, National Council of Churches
  • Rabbi Gilbert Klaperman, President, Synagogue Council of America
  • Archbishop John L. May, President, U.S. Catholic Conference; Trustee
  • Reverend Patricia A. McClurg, Past President, National Council of Churches
  • Imam Warith Deen Muhammad, Muslim American Community Assistance Fund
  • Elder Dallin H. Oaks, Apostle, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
  • Dr. Adrian Rogers, President, Southern Baptist Convention
  • Mr. John Lewis Selover, Chairman, Christian Science Board of Directors
  • Bishop Rembert Stokes, President, Council of Bishops, African Methodist Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Leon H. Sullivan, Pastor, Zion Baptist Church, Philadelphia; Trustee
  • Metropolitan Theodosius, Orthodox Church of America
  • Dr. John H. White, President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Professor Elie Wiesel, Nobel Laureate
  • Mr. Neil Wilson, World President, Seventh-day Adventists
  • Bishop Seigen H. Yamaoka, Buddhist Church of America

Representing Organizations Concerned with Religion and Public Life

  • Dr. Arie R. Brouwer, General Secretary, National Council of Churches; Trustee
  • Reverend John Buchanan, Chairman, People for the American Way
  • Dr. James C. Dobson, President, Focus on the FamilyDr. Robert P. Dugan, Jr., Director of Public Affairs, National Association of Evangelicals; Trustee
  • Mr. James Dunn, Executive Director, Baptist Joint Committee
  • Mr. Samuel Ericsson, Executive Director, Christian Legal Society
  • Reverend Thomas Gallagher, Secretary for Education, U.S. Catholic Conference
  • Rabbi Joshua O. Haberman, President, Foundation for Jewish Studies
  • The Honorable Philip M. Klutznick, Honorary President, B’nai B’rith; Trustee
  • Mr. Norman Lear, Founding Chairman, People for the American Way
  • Dr. Robert Maddox, Executive Director, Americans United for Separation of Church and State
  • Mr. Tom Neumann, Executive Vice-President, B’nai B’rith International
  • Mr. Michael A. Pelavin, Chairman, National Jewish Community Relations Council
  • Mr. Samuel Rabinove, Legal Director, American Jewish Committee
  • Mr. Jerry P. Regier, President, Family Research Council
  • Ms. Jacqueline Wexler, President, National Conference of Christians and Jews

Representing Business

  • Mr. Howard F. Ahmanson, Jr., President, Fieldstead & Company
  • Mr. Andrew Athens, President, Metron Steel Corporation; Trustee
  • Mr. Richard T. Baker, Former Chairman, Ernst & Whinney; Trustee
  • Mr. Dennis W. Bakke, President, Applied Energy Services; Trustee
  • Mr. Robert J. Brown, President, B&C Associates; Trustee
  • Mr. Philip B. Chenok, President, American Institute of Certified Public Accountants
  • Mr. Donald K. Cliffor, Jr. Ambassador Holland Hanson Coors, President’s Special Representative for the National Year of the Americas; Trustee
  • Mr. T. J. Dermot Dunphy, President, Sealed Air Corporation
  • Mr. William J. Flynn, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Mutual of America; Chairman, “First Liberty” Summit Committee; Trustee
  • Ms. Mary Falvey Fuller, Chairman and President, Falvey Motors, Troy, Michigan; Trustee
  • Dr. Thomas S. Haggai, Chairman and President, IGA, Inc.; Trustee
  • General David C. Jones, Former Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Trustee
  • Mr. William S. Kanaga, Chairman, U.S. Chamber of Commerce; Trustee
  • Mr. Harvey Kapnick, Chariman & President, Chicago Pacific Corporation
  • Mr. George S. Kovats, The Stewardship Foundation
  • Mr. Henry Luce III, President, The Henry Luce Foundation; Trustee
  • Mr. William E. MacDonald, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (Retired), Ohio Bell; Trustee
  • Mr. J. Willard Marriott, Jr., Chairman, Marriott Corporation; Trustee
  • Mrs. Forrest E. Mars, Jr.; Trustee The Honorable Alonzo L. McDonald, Chairman, The Avenir Group, Inc. and Chairman, The Williamsburg Charter Foundation
  • Mr. Luis G. Nogales, President, ECO, Inc.; Trustee
  • The Honorable Charles H. Percy, Charles Percy & Associates; Trustee
  • Mr. Dudley Porter, Trustee, Maclellan Foundation
  • Mr. Edmund Pratt, Jr., President, Business Roundtable
  • Mrs. Linda Gosden Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Robinson, Lake, Lerer & Montgomery; Trustee
  • Mr. Donald Seibert, Former Chairman, J.C. Penney Company, Inc.
  • Mr. Michael L. Stefanos, President, Dove Bar International; Trustee
  • Mr. Frank D. Stella, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, F.D. Stella Products Co.; Trustee
  • Mr. Michael T. Timmis, Vice-Chairman, Talon, Inc.; Trustee Sidney Topol, Chairman, Scientific-Atlanta; Trustee
  • Mr. Alexander B. Trowbridge, President, National Association of Manufacturers
  • Mrs. Anne Wexler, Chairman, Wexler, Reynolds, Harrison & Schule; Trustee
  • Mr. C. Davis Weyerhaeuser; Founder and Trustee, the Stewardship Schule; Trustee
  • Mr. Edward Lee White, Jr., President, Cecil B. Day Foundation

Representing Education and Public Policy

  • Dr. Thomas A. Bartlett, Chancellor, University of Alabam
  • Dr. Derek Bok, President, Harvard University
  • Dr. Ernest Boyer, President, The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
  • Dr. John Brademas, President, New York University
  • Mr. Richard T. Burress, Associate Director, The Hoover Institution; Trustee
  • Dr. James E. Cheek, President, Howard University
  • Mr. Edward Crane, President, Cato Institute
  • Mr. Christopher DeMuth, President, American Enterprise Institute
  • Mr. Edwin Feulner, President, The Heritage Foundation
  • Ms. Mary Hatwood Futrell, President, National Education Association
  • Dr. George Gallup, Jr., President, Gallup Poll; Trustee
  • Mr. David Gardner, President, University of California
  • Mr. William Gorham, President, Urban Institute
  • Mr. Samuel Husk, Chairman, Education Leadership Consortium
  • Professor Barbara Jordan, Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin
  • Dr. Ernest Lefever, President, Ethics and Public Policy Center
  • Dr. Bruce K. MacLaury, President, The Brookings Institution; Trustee
  • Dr. Robert M. O’Neil, President, University of Virginia
  • Dr. Frank H. T. Rhodes, President, Cornell University
  • Mr. Albert Shanker, President, American Federation of Teachers
  • Dr. Thomas A. Shannon, Director, National School Boards Association
  • Mrs. Manya Ungar, President, National Congress of Parents and Teachers

Representing Labor Unions

  • Mr. Lane Kirkland, President, AFL-CIO
  • Mr. Howard D. Samuel, President, Trade and Industrial Department, AFL-CIO

Representing Law

  • The Honorable Mark A. Constantino, U.S. District Judge
  • Mr. Robert MacCrate, President, American Bar Association
  • Mr. Walter L. Sutton, President, National Bar Association
  • The Honorable Robert H. Wahl, President, American Judges Association

Representing the Media

  • Mr. Ben Armstrong, Executive Director, National Religious Broadcasters
  • Mr. Robert Brunner, Chairman, Radio-Television News Directors Association
  • Mr. Walter Cronkite
  • Ms. Patricia Diaz Dennis, Federal Communications Commissioner
  • Mr. Edward O. Fritts, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Association of Broadcasters; Trustee
  • Mr. David R. Gergen, Editor, U.S. News & World Report; Trustee
  • Mr. Wallace Jorgenson, Chairmen of the Joint Boards, National Association of Broadcasters
  • Mr. John Seigenthaler, President, American Society of Newspaper Editors

Representing Medicine

  • Dr. William S. Hotchkiss, President, American Medical Association
  • Dr. C. Everett Koop, U.S. Surgeon General

Representing Minorities and Ethnic Groups

  • Madame Nien Cheng, Author
  • Ms. Suzanne Shown Harjo, Executive Director, National Congress of American Indians
  • Dr. Benjamin Hooks, Executive Director, NAACP
  • Dr. John E. Jacob, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Urban League
  • Dr. Kyo Jhin, Chairman, Asian-American Voter’s Coalition
  • Dr. Vernon E. Jordan, Jr., Former President, Urban League
  • Mrs. Coretta Scott King, President, Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Non-Violent Social Change; Trustee
  • Ms. Beverly LaHaye, President, Concerned Women for America
  • Mr. Pluria W. Marshall, Chairman, National Black Media Coalition
  • Mr. Oscar Moran, President, League of United Latin American Citizens
  • Mr. Raul Yzaguirre, President, National Council of La Raza

Representing Senior Citizens

  • Mr. Horace B. Deets, Executive Director, American Association of Retired Persons

Representing Voluntary Organizations

  • Mr. William Aramony, President, United Way of America; Trustee
  • Mr. Andrew S. Miller, National Commander, Salvation Army
  • Mr. Richard F. Schubert, President, American Red Cross
  • Mr. Carmi Schwartz, Executive Vice President, Council of Jewish Federations

Representing Youth

  • Mr. David W. Bahlmann, National Director, Camp Fire, Inc.Mrs. Frances Hesselbein, National Executive Director, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A.
  • Mr. Fritz Kidd, Student Chairman, National Association of Student Councils
  • Mr. Ben H. Love, Chief Scout Executive, Boy Scouts of America
  • Mr. Tony Ortiz, National Honor Society, Century III Leaders
  • Mr. Grant Shrum, President, 4-H National Council

Other Organizations and Individuals

  • Mrs. Susan Garrett Baker, founding member of the Committee for Food and Shelter; Trustee
  • The Honorable Stuart E. Eizenstat, Partner, Powell, Goldstein, Frazer & Murphy; Trustee
  • Mr. Joe Gibbs, Head Coach, Washington Redskins; Trustee
  • The Honorable Robert S. McNamara, Former President, World Bank; Trustee
  • The Honorable Robert S. Strauss, Partner, Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld; Trustee
  • Ms. Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, Chairman, Maryland Special Initiative for Community Service; Trustee