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On June 15, 1215, King John set his seal to the Magna Carta at the fields of Runnymede in England

June 15, 2025

|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 15 of June, repeating indefinitely

On June 15, 1215, King John set his seal to the Magna Carta at the fields of Runnymede in England.

So why are we remembering this event on an American history page? The Magna Carta is seen as one of the most important legal documents in the history of democracy. It set an important modern precedent, stating that the king and government were not above the law and demanding the protection of the rights and property of freemen.

The barons that demanded the agreement were not thinking of universal rights, yet their demands would resonate with many. Over 500 years later, it would resonate with the American colonists, who sought to protect their own rights from being trampled on.

The document is considered so important to Americans that its memorial at Runnymede was erected, not by British officials surprisingly, but by the American Bar Association.

Did you know? King John did not agree to the Magna Carta voluntarily but under threat of several of his barons. The king hoped that the agreement would avert civil war (it did not ⚔️).

 

 

King John signs the Magna Carta, James William Edmund Doyle, 1864

-Written by Anna Zemaitaitis, Communications and Design Officer

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June 15, 2025
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