Archive for the ‘legal history’ Category

  • This Week in Legal History

    Congress Probes Communism in Hollywood, October 20, 1947 “Are you now, or have you ever been, a Communist?” Senator Joe McCarthy’s crusade to stamp out communism reached Hollywood when film industry members were called before the House Committee on Un-American Activities to testify about communism in the film industry. Ten writers and directors (later known […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History

    Formal Transfer of Alaska Territory to the United States, October 18, 1867 Although considered foolish at the time, the United States bought the Alaska territory for $7,200,000 from Russia at the behest of William Seward, Secretary of State. Opposition in the House of Representatives postponed appropriation of funds for over a year. The new territory […] Read more...
  • Columbus Day

    Regardless of the actions of the Seattle City Council, the second Monday in October is designated by Congress as Columbus Day. That law was enacted in 1998 and is codified at 36 U.S.C. 107 (forgive the non-Bluebook format). The phraseology of the statute is intriguing. Perhaps in a nod to the separation of powers, it […] Read more...
  • History of the Revised Code of Washington

    Our state was created in 1889.  However, the Revised Code of Washington was adopted in 1950.  What gives?  Was the state lawless prior to that time?  The answer is no.  Codes were created and published in the state privately before that time.  The fascinating history of statutory compilation in Washington has been documented by one […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: President James A. Garfield Dies, Leading to Famous Insanity Defense Trial

    President James A. Garfield died on September 19, 1881, after serving less than half a year in office. President Garfield died at a New Jersey seaside location, where he was recovering from two bullet wounds he suffered on July 2, 1881. Garfield’s assassin was Charles Guiteau, an attorney, theologian, and rebuffed office seeker. Guiteau insisted […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Nuremberg Race Laws Went Into Effect In Nazi Germany

    On September 15, 1935, the Nuremberg Laws were adopted.  The Law for the Protection of German Blood and German Honour prohibited marriage between Jews and “Germans” and also prohibited Jewish households from employing “German” women under the age of 45.  The Reich Citizenship Law basically stripped Jews of German citizenship. Learn more about the Nuremberg […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: KKK bombs Church in Alabama

    On September 15, 1963, members of the Klu Klux Klan bombed a predominantly African-American church in Birmingham, Alabama during the Civil Rights Movement. The blast at the 16th Street Baptist Church killed four young girls and injured twenty other people. Despite an investigation by the F.B.I., no one was charged with responsibility for the crime […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History: Attica Prison Riot Ends

    Attica Prison Riot Ends, September 13th 1971 On September 9th, 1971, prisoner’s in New York’s Attica Correctional facility began a riot to demand better living conditions and more human treatment. After four days of violence, taking of hostages and stalled negotiations, the Attica prison riots ended on September 13th when New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller […] Read more...
  • This Week in Legal History: Clinton Affair

    Starr Report Released, September 11th 1998 On September 11, 1998, Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr released the Starr Report, a 455 page report detailing President Clinton’s relationship with Monica Lewinsky. The report concluded with a discussion of eleven potential grounds for impeachment. To learn more see: The Starr Report Richard Posner, An Affair of State : […] Read more...
  • Trial of the Month: John Hinckley Jr. Trial

    In 1981, John Hinckley Jr. attempted to assassinate President Reagan. He shot the President, a police officer, and a Secret Service agent. He also seriously wounded Press Secretary James Brady. The attack was an attempt to gain the affections of Jodie Foster. On August 28, 1981, Hinckley pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. On […] Read more...