This year marks the 800th anniversary of the signing of the Magna Carta, one of the earliest documents that established rights for people—such as the right to due process and freedom against unlawful imprisonment—which worked to safeguard average citizens against the British monarchy. The spirit of the Magna Carta is felt in our country’s founding documents, such as the Bill of Rights, as it had a profound effect on the founding fathers.
The document continues to resonate with lawmakers to this day. In fact, during the 2015 legislative session, the Utah Legislature passed a joint resolution (SJR 17) recognizing the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta. In addition to recognizing the anniversary of the document, SJR 17 recognizes “principles embodied in the Magna Carta, including freedom, justice the rule of law, and that no leader is above the law, have stood the test of time and sustain free peoples and nations today.” (The resolution’s chief sponsor was Senator Howard Stephenson, and the House sponsor was Representative Kim Coleman.)
In April 2015, the Utah State Bar will be hosting a traveling exhibition, Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215–2015. The exhibition includes images of documents, books, and other objects from Library of Congress collections that illustrate the Magna Carta’s influence throughout the centuries and explain the document’s long history.
The Magna Carta exhibit and related events will be hosted at various college campuses this week, including Utah Valley University, Utah State University, Weber State University and the University of Utah. Events will also take place in various locations around Salt Lake City, St. George and Ogden.
The Utah State Bar, Law Related Education, the Utah State Office of Education, and the Utah Commission on Civic and Character Education have jointly sponsored statewide video and essay competitions, asking entrants to respond to the question: “Magna Carta: What’s So Great about the ‘Great Charter?’ Winners will receive college scholarships as well as Salt Lake City accommodation and tickets to two award dinners.
All Magna Carta events are free and open to the public.
Monday-Tuesday, April 6-7: St. George
Washington County Courthouse
206 West Tabernacle, St. George UT, 84770
8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Wednesday-Thursday, April 8-9: Orem
Utah Valley University Library, Lakeview Room (4th Floor)
800 West University Parkway, Orem, UT 84058
April 8: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 9: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Friday-Saturday, April 10-11: Logan
Utah State University Merrill-Cazier Library Atrium
3000 Old Main Hill, Logan, UT 84321
April 10: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
April 11: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Monday-Tuesday, April 13-14: Ogden
Weber State University Shepherd Union, Exhibition Room #211
3910 West Campus Drive, Ogden, UT 84408
April 13: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
April 14: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Also April 13 at 7 p.m.:
Lecture by Dr. Stephen Francis on Magna Carta in conjunction with the
Weber Historical Society, Weber State University, and the Weber County
Bar Association in the Wildcat Theater, followed by a Weber County
Bar Association reception adjacent to exhibit.
April 14: Salt Lake City
Gala at the University of Utah, in The Tower at Rice Eccles Stadium
Wednesday-Friday, April 15-17: Salt Lake City
Matheson State Courthouse Rotunda
450 South State Street, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Also April 15 at Matheson State Courthouse:
12:30 p.m. in Room W19, Brown Bag Talk: Magna Carta as an
American Charter of Liberties, by Law Library of Congress Curator of
Rare Books Nathan Dorn
1:30 p.m. in the Rotunda, Magna Carta: Enduring Legacy 1215–2015;
see the traveling exhibit with Exhibit Curator Nathan Dorn.
Saturday-Sunday, April 18-19: Salt Lake City
Main Public Library, Main Floor
210 East 400 South, Salt Lake City, UT 84111
April 18: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April 19: 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.