US Bill of Rights, Declaration of Independence to be displayed in Britain for first time



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LONDON — Two of the most famous documents in American history — the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence — are going on display in Britain for the first time next year.

The British Library said Thursday the documents, on loan from the U.S., will be featured as part of an exhibition marking the 800th anniversary of the founding document of Britain's political system, the Magna Carta.

The exhibition will provide a rare opportunity to see under one roof all three documents — symbols of liberty on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.

"The bedrock of our modern day society is rooted in the historic documents of the Magna Carta, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights — the result of brave citizens who understood the importance of change and reform," said Tony Marx, president of the New York Public Library.

The New York library is lending the Declaration of Independence, which Thomas Jefferson copied in his own handwriting. The Declaration established the separation of America from Britain, and paved the way for the drafting of the American Constitution.

The Bill of Rights, one of the 14 original copies of the document produced in 1789, is lent by the U.S. National Archives.

Both documents could trace their influence back to the Magna Carta. Issued in 1215 by King John, it established for the first time that the king was subject to the law, not above it.

The exhibition, "Magna Carta: Law, Liberty, Legacy," runs from March 13 to Sep. 1, 2015.

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