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Magna Carta 800th Birthday Celebration

Historical Society of Frankford

P.O. Box 4588

Philadelphia, PA  19124

The Historical Society of Frankford invites you to our celebration of Magna Carta’s 800th birthday:

 May 12, 2015

7:30 p.m.

1507 Orthodox Street

Philadelphia, PA  19124

     Parking is easy, on Orthodox Street and in the Friends Meeting lot across the street.  The Arrott Street Terminal/Margaret-Orthodox stop of the el is a 3 block walk from us.

Our speaker is Jay H. Ginsburg, Esquire.

There will be refreshments after the program, and tours of our special collections will be offered.

     In 13th century England, a bunch of autocratic warlords became irritable about the rule of England’s worst king ever, so they sent a gaggle of serfs and peasants onto the field at Runnemede to slaughter another gaggle of serfs and peasants assembled by Bad King John.

The warlord contingent routed the royal contingent, so the warlords had the opportunity to write the terms of peace.  They had various levels of literacy, a variety of motives, and little reason to trust each other, so they convened a brain trust headed by one Stephen Langton, and that is how the most important document in the evolution of government by the people came to be drawn up by committee.  Magna Carta protects the rights of “peers”, which at the time meant warlords, but, thru the magic of Anglo-American creativity, now means us.  And us doesn’t even mean just folks that you and I would be willing to have dinner with, but now embraces illegal immigrants,  mass murderers, child molesters, war criminals, and corrupt politicians.

And, because 800 years worth of brave activists have been accorded the rights of habeas corpus and jury trials, it turns out that they have had the courage to gather to demonstrate, and to demand the right to speak about political issues, practice a minority religion or no religion, the abolition of slavery, and universal suffrage.

We think that the 800th birthday of all of that is worth a song.  Please join us.

John Bufffington

History Committee Chair

Historical Society of Frankford