LONDON (AP) — Documents being displayed at the British Library show that Britain offered the United States a copy of the Magna Carta in hopes of persuading a reluctant America to enter World War II and fight against Nazi Germany.
The Foreign Office offer, made before the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941, was floated after the U.S. Congress passed the Lend-Lease Act, which offered material to the British to fight the Nazis.
Though the offer was previously known, it is the first time the documents are being displayed. They are part of a landmark exhibition on the Magna Carta, the 1215 charter that sets out the principle that everyone, including the monarch, is subject to the law.
The exhibition opens Friday and includes Thomas Jefferson's handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence.