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Happy Anniversary Magna Carta!

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PARENTS! Still homeschooling your kids, or at least looking for something new for them to do?

Then how about a civics lesson by way of Runnymede?

Today marks the 805th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta in a field at Runnymede.

In case you weren’t following us back in 2014-2015, the Law Library, together with other divisions of the Library of Congress, put together an amazing exhibit just ahead of the 800th anniversary, featuring the Lincoln Cathedral’s copy of the Magna Carta.

King John of England (reigned 1199–1216). 1215 Exemplar of Magna Carta. Great Charter of Liberties. Manuscript on parchment, June 1215. Loaned by kind permission of the Dean and Chapter of Lincoln Cathedral, England. From the Library of Congress’s website.

The Library still maintains a page on its Exhibitions website, full of information and related research material, together with pictures of items that were displayed during the exhibit.

Want your kids to learn more about our Founding Fathers and their inspirations for our most basic governing documents?

The exhibition page has information on due process, including some history on Miranda rights.

How about reading more on early court cases involving the right to a trial by jury and the impetus behind the 7th amendment to the Constitution?

There is some very interesting material on the writ of habeas corpus (immunity from illegal imprisonment), including items about Japanese-American interments during World War II.

Ansel Adams (1902–1984). Mess Line, Noon, Manzanar Relocation Center, California [Japanese internment camp], 1943. Photographic reproduction. Prints and Photographs Division, Library of Congress.
Those residing in the D.C. area may be interested in reading about the Stamp Act and early instances of “Taxation without Representation.”

Or inspire them with the story of a 12-yer-old girl who traced the lineage of every president (except poor Martin Van Buren) back to King John.

There is even a “Learn More” section listing titles for readers of all ages.

And, by the way, the Magna Carta website is for adults as well!

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