Archive for the ‘legal history’ Category

  • Trial of the Month: Menendez Brothers Sentenced

    On July 2, 1996, the Lyle and Erik Menendez were sentenced to life in prison without parole for the brutal murder of their parents. The parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, were murdered in their home on August 20, 1989. Lyle and Erik were not suspects until 1990, when Erik’s confession to his psychotherapist was revealed. […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Secretary of the Interior J. P. Usher Creates the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation

    On July 8, 1864, Secretary of the Interior J.P. Usher created the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis Reservation. For centuries the Salish-speaking people had lived along the Chehalis River in two groups, the Upper and Lower Chehalis, until American settlers arrived. In 1855, the Chehalis groups did not sign the treaties offered by the U.S. […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Independence Day

    On July 4, 1776, the First Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence and ordered it to be printed. The document was drafted by Thomas Jefferson, and served to formally sever ties with Great Britain, declaring the colonies independent. Independence Day celebrations date back to the eighteenth century, but Independence Day, or the Fourth of […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Johnson Signs Civil Rights Act

    On July 2, 1964, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the historic Civil Rights Act, which outlawed segregation in businesses, public places, and banned discriminatory practices in employment.  In 1963, President John F. Kennedy proposed civil rights legislation, and after his assassination, Johnson vowed to carry out civil rights reform.  Passage of the act […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Truman Orders U.S. Troops to Korea

    On June 27, 1950, President Truman ordered U.S. Air and Naval forces to join forces with South Korea’s army in order to prevent the communist conquest of the independent nation.  Two days earlier, 90,000 communist troops of the North Korean Army invaded South Korea, prompting a U.N. Security Council emergency meeting and the call for […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Memorial Day

    Memorial Day, initially called Decoration Day, was first observed on May 30, 1868, to honor the Civil War soldiers who died in battle by decorating their graves. While Memorial Day was celebrated in the years following 1868, it was not declared a national holiday until 1971 when Congress declared it be celebrated on the last […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Norway’s Constitution Day

    Syttende Mai (May 17th) is Norway’s Constitution Day. Norway had been a part of the Danish Autocracy for 400 years, and on May 17, 1814, Norway signed the constitution that declared the country an independent nation. The Norwegian Parliament held the first Syttende Mai celebration in 1836—even though they would not become fully independent until […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Earth Day

    Before 1970 there were no legal or regulatory devices to protect the environment. In the spring of 1970, Senator Gaylord Nelson, inspired by the student anti-war movement, created Earth Day as a way to force environmental protection onto the national political agenda. On April 22, 1970, Earth Day was observed by millions of Americans who […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Bay of Pigs Invasion

    On April 17, 1961, a CIA-backed group of Cuban refugees tried to invade Cuba at the Bay of Pigs. As soon as the party landed, they were met with resistance from Castro’s forces, and promised US air support never materialized. Of the 1,200 exiles trying to recapture their homeland, 100 died and the rest were […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Hugo Grotius is Born, April 10, 1583

    Hugo Grotius (10 April 1583 – 28 August 1645), was a Dutch jurist, theologian, and philosopher.  His theories of natural law and seminal works on the law of war and peace and the law of the sea are still influential in international jurisprudence.  He is often referred to as the father of international law. Read more...