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Library of Congress, ABA Create Traveling Magna Carta Exhibit, Part II

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Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy, 1215-2015 is an exhibit about the Magna Carta that features sixteen banners and a video, and includes an exhibit pamphlet. Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy does not include one of the original copies of the document, but complements an upcoming Washington, D.C. standing exhibit by the Library of Congress featuring Lincoln Cathedral’s 800-year-old copy of the Great Charter.

One can contribute funds online here to support the exhibit. A donation of $2,500 will earn one recognition in The Earls Circle, a donation of $500 will earn one recognition in The Lords Circle, a donation of $10,000 will earn one recognition in King John’s Circle, a donation of $25,000 will earn one recognition in the 1215 Society, and a donation of $50,000 will earn one recognition as The Great Charter.[1]

The A.B.A. states, “The public service and educational programs of the American Bar Association receive funding through the ABA Fund for Justice and Education (FJE). The FJE qualifies as an exempt fund under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, and all contributions to the FJE are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law.”

The traveling exhibit is part of a broader effort by the A.B.A. to celebrate the 800th anniversary of King John sealing the Magna Carta. The A.B. A. stated, “The American Bar Association is pleased to join the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth nations in honoring the 800th Anniversary of the sealing of Magna Carta in 1215.”

The fundamental concepts of liberty that had their beginnings in Magna Carta were transplanted to the American colonies where they were accepted, refined, and embedded in the instruments of government as well as the thinking of the American people. Magna Carta provided the basis for the idea of a higher law, one that could not be altered either by executive mandate or legislative acts. This concept, embraced by the leaders of the American Revolution, is embedded in the supremacy clause of the United States Constitution. Throughout American history, the rights associated with Magna Carta have been regarded as among the most important guarantees of freedom and fairness.

In anticipation of this milestone event, the American Bar Association created an ABA Magna Carta Anniversary Committee, chaired by Stephen N. Zack, Past President of the American Bar Association.

Under Mr. Zack’s leadership, the ABA Magna Carta Anniversary Committee is developing plans for events within the United States and the United Kingdom, leading up to a delegation of 600-800 U.S. lawyers participating in commemorative meetings and events in London and Runnymede from June 11-14, 2015.

In honor of the 800th Anniversary of Magna Carta, on June 11-14, 2015 in London, the ABA will present a series of continuing legal education programs and plenary sessions featuring preeminent speakers. The focus will include the original 1215 version of Magna Carta and its four subsequent versions, as well as the Charter of the Forest that emanated from the 1215 Magna Carta and constrained the powers not only of the King but also of the barons.

Approximately 600-800 lawyers and their guests are anticipated to attend the meeting. Participants will be able to participate in optional excursions to Runnymede, where Magna Carta was sealed by King John and the ABA has a Memorial to Magna Carta, and to Temple Church, where the barons met to formulate their demands before Runnymede.

The American Bar Association is raising funds to refurbish and repair the ABA Memorial to Magna Carta, which is situated in Runnymede. The Memorial, a classical Greek structure that sits in an enclosed grassy area on the Runnymede meadow, is the main memorial to Magna Carta at Runnymede and was erected in 1957 on land deeded to the Magna Carta Trust. The construction of the Memorial was funded by donations from individual ABA members.

[1] I assume that means a person or organization who donates $50,000 will be called “The Greater Charter Donor,” or suchlike and not “The Great Charter” as if that person or organization was the Great Charter.

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