Thursday, December 11, 2008

Magna Carta

I have just finished reading the latest Dick Francis, Silks. He now writes with his son Felix and the resultant book is similar to Dick's solo works, but you can sense a bit of a difference. All in all it was a good read, but the actual book is not my focus here. Instead it was a little bit I learned about the Magna Carta, one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy.

In Runnymede England, the site of the signing of this momentous document, there is a memorial dedicated to the Magna Carta. It's a pretty little structure, built in 1957 it has slim columns supporting a classical dome at the foot of a hill. The most striking thing about the memorial is who funded the memorial. I'll quote the website:
1957: Magna Carta Memorial
Standing at the foot of the Cooper's Hill Slopes is a memorial to the Magna Carta in the form of a domed classical temple containing a pillar of English granite on which is inscribed: 'To commemorate Magna Carta, symbol of Freedom Under Law.' This was built by the American Bar Association on land leased by the Magna Carta Trust. It was paid for by voluntary contributions of some 9,000 American lawyers. The memorial was designed by Sir Edward Maufe R.A. and unveiled on 18 July 1957 at a ceremony attended by American and English lawyers.

Yes, that's right the American Bar Association. That's your surprising fact of the day.

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