The Magna Carta
May 7 – June 5, 2011
Don’t miss seeing the Magna Carta (Great Charter of English Liberties) – one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy – on display now for a limited time only at San Francisco’s Legion of Honor as part of BritWeek 2011. It’s the first public display on this continent in its nearly 800-year history (it was in the U.S. twice before, both times for private events only).
The Great Charter was agreed by King John of England and his barons on June 15, 1215 at Runnymede, near Windsor. Its declaration that no free man should be imprisoned without due process underlies the development of common law in England as well as the concepts of individual liberty and constitutional government that created the United States. One of four surviving manuscripts from the revised 1217 issue, the document displayed at the museum is an original Magna Carta, not a copy. Seventeen originals still survive from the 13th century, including the manuscript shown in San Francisco.
I saw the Magna Carta years ago at the British Museum while living in London – this was Barry’s first time. The Magna Carta (in Latin with an English translation) will be on display in San Francisco through June 5th, so don’t miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see “one of the world’s great symbols of freedom and the rule of law” before it returns to England. Viewing is included in the museum’s general admission ticket.
The Legion of Honor Museum is located in Lincoln Park (34th Ave & Clement St), in San Francisco. Museum hours are Tues-Sun 9:30am-5:15pm (closed on Monday).
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