After he received a C on a paper when he was 19, Gregory Watson went on a mission to get a constitutional amendment ratified.

Twenty-five years ago, the 27th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified — nearly two centuries after it was written. The improbable story of how that happened starts with the Founding Fathers themselves and winds up at the University of Texas. And it’s a heartening reminder of the power of individuals to make real change.
Let’s back up to 1982. A 19-year-old college sophomore named Gregory Watson was taking a government class at UT Austin. For the class, he had to write a paper about a governmental process. So he went to the library and started poring over books about the U.S. Constitution — one of his favorite topics.
“I’ll never forget this as long as I live,” Watson says. “I pull out a book that has within it a chapter of amendments that Congress has sent to the state legislatures, but which not enough state legislatures approved in order to become …