Posts Tagged ‘history’

  • 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: Dawes Severalty Act Signed, Tribes Further Dispossessed

    On February 8, 1887, President Grover Cleveland signed the Dawes Act, dividing up tribal lands into plots for individuals to farm.  The effect of the Act was to weaken tribes, break up traditional families, and put Indian lands into non-Indian hands.  Under the Act, farmers did not get ownership of the land for 25 years; […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Thanksgiving

    In 1777, the Continental Congress passed the first official Thanksgiving Day proclamation.  In 1817, New York proclaimed a day of Thanksgiving, soon followed by many other states.  Abraham Lincoln set the day as the last Thursday in November.  FDR changed it to the fourth Thursday in November in 1939 (approved by Congress in 1941). More […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Washington Becomes a State

    Washington State was once part of the Oregon Territory.  In 1852, settlers wrote Congress asking for a new territory called Columbia.  Congress obliged, but changed the name to Washington Territory to honor the first President.  Originally, Washington Territory included western Idaho and part of Montana. Washington Territory went through some interesting times.  For some years, […] Read more...
  • Check it Out: Conspiracy

    Based on the surviving transcript, Conspiracy dramatizes the meeting on January 20, 1942, in Wannsee, where 15 of Adolph Hitler’s mid-ranking men and government officials discussed how to implement Hitler’s latest directive. By the end of the two-hour meeting the men had decided the practicalities of the “final solution,” which entailed the annihilation of all Jews […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Final Draft of the Constitution Sent to Congress

    On September 17, 1767, the final draft of the Constitution was sent to Congress.  It had been a long hard struggle to find a compromise that would pass, and even so, two days earlier Edmund Randolph wanted to review it again.  Randolph was outvoted and on September 17 the Constitution was signed. More information is […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First Continental Congress Met

    The First Continental Congress met on September 5, 1774 in Carpenters’ Hall in Philadelphia.  Every colony except Georgia sent delegates.  The delegates included John Adams, Samuel Adams, George Washington, John Jay and Patrick Henry.  The First Continental Congress formulated some common goals and produced a list of grievances against Britain.  The Congress disbanded on October […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First Labor Day Celebrated

    The first Labor Day was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882 in New York City.  Two years, later, the holiday was changed to the first Monday in September.  While it is unclear who first suggested Labor Day (some sources say it was a carpenter, others a machinist), it is clear that the holiday was supported […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Flag Day

    On June 14, 1777, the Continental Congress adopted the stars and stripes design for the flag of the United States. While the first national observance of Flag Day occurred on June 14, 1877, the centennial of the adoption of the flag, it was not an official national observance until years later. President Wilson in 1916, […] Read more...
  • The Lieber Code at 150

    President Obama’s recent speech before the National Defense University was designed to initiate a discussion around Presidential power and the conduct of war. The laws of war have been the subject of intense academic discourse since their first systematic explication in the work of Frances Lieber. Professor Lieber first tackled the subject in a series […] Read more...