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Senate Approves Historical Documents Display

May 23, 2008

Senate Approves Historical Documents Display

Columbia, SC – The South Carolina Senate today gave key approval to H.3519, a bill that allows for the placement of a “Foundations of American Law and Government” display in public buildings. The bill outlines the requirements for the display including the eleven documents that should be included in the display. State, county and local government buildings, as well as school boards, are all defined as acceptable places for the display.

The bill stipulates that the following eleven documents should be included in the display:

  • The Ten Commandments;
  • The Lord’s Prayer;
  • The Magna Carta;
  • The Mayflower Compact, 1620;
  • The Declaration of Independence;
  • ‘The Star-Spangled Banner’ by Francis Scott Key;
  • The Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution;
  • The Preamble to the South Carolina Constitution;
  • The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution;
  • The national motto ‘In God We Trust’;
  • The image of Lady Justice;
  • The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863;
  • Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech.

All of the documents to be included in the display are documents that have played a significant role in the foundation and development of the American system of law and government. The bill does not prohibit local governments from developing their own policy related to the display of any one or all of the documents included in the “Foundations of American Law and Government” display.

“The Historical Documents bill passed by the Senate is a win, because it will help to further educate people about the documents that formed the foundation of our country’s history and provide deeper meaning to the great and rich history that we have in this country, says Senator Larry Martin (R-Pickens). “It will also be a great tool for history, civic and government teachers to use in their classroom.”

The bill will receive a mandatory third reading tomorrow before returning to the House.

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