Posts Tagged ‘legal history’

  • 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: Woman Lawyer’s Bill Passed in California

    Through the efforts of Clara Shortridge Foltz and Laura deForce Gordon, the words “white male” were replaced with “person” in the state requirements to take the bar exam.  This had the effect of not only allowing women to take the bar, but minorities as well.  Ms. Foltz, the single parent of five children, went on […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Roosevelt Signs Lend-Lease Program

    The Lend-Lease program was Franklin Roosevelt’s way to circumvent US laws requiring that all sales to foreign governments be made in cash.  Roosevelt strongly believed that the Allied powers needed help.  This program was met with skepticism; some of the provisions of the bill permitted the President to shut down strikes.  However, Great Britain was […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Confederate Constitution Adopted

    The Confederate Constitution, adopted on March 11, 1861, provides an interesting insight into the political opinions of the South during the antebellum period. While much of the Confederate version is clearly taken straight from the US Constitution, there are differences. The President is limited to a single six year term, for example. The Bill of Rights […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Decided

    2 Live Crew was a rap group who recorded a song called “Pretty Woman”. This song was based heavily on a prior work recorded and co-written by Roy Orbison. Orbison’s record label sued for copyright infringement. The Orbison version was a wistful ballad about a lovely woman walking. By contrast, the 2 Live Crew version […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Constitution Goes into Effect

    Work began on the US Constitution in September of 1786. While all states did eventually ratify the Constitution, not all of them did so before the Constitution took effect on March 4, 1789. The Constitution was the result of intense negotiation and compromise. The Bill of Rights was written as part of these negotiations. The Constitutional […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Dr. Seuss Day

    Theodor Seuss Geisel, pseudonym Dr. Seuss, was born on March 2, 1904. The famed children’s book author started out writing political cartoons, and during WWII he even made movies for the US Army. His early political work is little known, and given its controversial content it may be better that Dr. Seuss remain simply the […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: Salem Witch Trials

    On February 29, 1692, the first arrests were made in the Salem Witch Trials. The Salem court of Oyer and Terminer (hear and determine) accepted evidence that no modern court would: spectral evidence and witch marks. Spectral evidence involved reports of what would sound like hallucinations to modern jurors. The witnesses would describe their visions […] Read more...
  • Today in Legal History: First African-American Member of Congress Sworn In

    On February 25, 1870, Hiram Rhodes Revels, R-Miss, became the first African-American member of the Senate.  Revels was a college-educated minister who had helped with the formation of black troops for the civil war, started a school, and had been a chaplain in the Union Army. More information is available at: History.com Biographical Directory of […] Read more...