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From The Coalition Column of the April 2008 issue of Perspectives on History

News Briefs, April 2008

Lee White, April 2008

New Congressional Members Appointed to the NHPRC

Senator Benjamin L. Cardin (D-Md.) was recently named as the U.S. Senate's representative to the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). He will be replacing Senator Christopher Dodd (D-Conn.) on the panel. Senator Cardin was elected to the Senate in 2006. He represented Maryland's Third Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives 1987–2006.

Earlier this year House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Rep. John B. Larson (D-Conn.) as the House representative on the NHPRC. Larson is presently in his fifth term as congressman from Connecticut's First Congressional District. In 2006, Larson was elected vice chair of the Democratic Caucus making him the fifth-ranking Democrat in the House. Among his other positions before entering Congress, Larson was a high school history teacher.

The NHPRC is governed by a 15-member body, chaired by the Archivist of the United States, and is composed of representatives of the three branches of the Federal government and of professional associations of archivists, historians, documentary editors, and records administrators.

Magna Carta

In March, the only Magna Carta permanently in the United States was returned to public display in the West Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives. The Magna Carta had been on display at the National Archives on loan from H. Ross Perot for more than 20 years. Last fall, Perot took back the copy and put it up for auction. In December 2007, it was purchased by financier David M. Rubenstein for $21.3 million. He has put the document on "permanent loan" to the National Archives. Only four originals of the 1297 Magna Carta are known to exist.

—Lee White is the executive director of the National Coalition for History. He can be reached at lwhite@ historycoalition.org.