Magna Carta has its 800th Anniversary

by Kasey Nethery | Staff Writer
Published: Last Updated on

The University of Indianapolis held an event for students to come listen to a talk about the Magna Carta at 8 p.m. in the Christel DeHaan Fine Arts Center, Room 115. The celebration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta was on Monday, Sept. 21. According to Interim Executive Director of the Strain Honors College and Assistant Professor James Williams, the Magna Carta is a document that established a government that was and is still operating within that government system. The Magna Carta dates back to 1215.

Williams, in his Magna Carta PowerPoint, said that the Magna Carta is still valuable in today’s law and judicial systems. He also said that it was an innovation of time and a concrete symbol.

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Photo by Kameron Casey

The lecture was set up to engage the audience. At the beginning, before the presentation started, Williams played music from the time period. Once the lecture started, the music stopped, and Williams began to speak. Williams had the PowerPoint set up to display important text and some pictures, along with some fun facts. One such fun fact was that in Irish pubs, they have a cup with the image of a crown on it. If the servers do not fill it up to the crown, then the customer would not be getting their money’s worth.

Williams discussed the history of the Magna Carta and the background of the people involved in making it. He said that King Henry came to power at that time, and after his death, the second son, King John, took over and rebelled against the people. The lecture was supposed to last an hour, but Williams covered all the material and got everything done in 45 minutes. So he had extra time at the end of the lecture for questions.

After the lecture, sophomore psychology and pre-med major Glen Ilunga said some things about the lecture stuck out to him.

“King John and how horrible he was. Also the copy of the Magna Carta that was $20 million,” Ilunga said.

Sophomore art therapy major Abby Kepley said that the lecture not only helped her with her classes, but also with her general knowledge of the Magna Carta.

“I wanted to come to this event because I didn’t know what it was about, and it was important to me that I found out,” Kepley said. “I have two classes that are parallel with that time period. I thought it would help me better understand the classes that I am in.”

Williams said that he took the time to present the lecture about this event for multiple reasons.

“[I wanted students] to increase outrage from history, to become aware of anniversaries in history, to get a liberal arts education, [to] reflect on important events and to get knowledge on the material without having to take a history class,” Williams said.

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