Law Day, U.S.A.

Law Day, U.S.A.

On May 1 the United States celebrates Law Day, U.S.A.. It is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.


Through the efforts of then American Bar Association President Charles S. Rhyne, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 (Previously known as May Day or International Workers' Day) would now be known as Law Day, U.S.A. in 1958. [ [ Law Day - May 1st (Law Library of Congress)] ] Its observance was later codified into law by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961. [ [ Notes on 36 U.S.C. § 113] ]

In contrast, most countries celebrate May Day on the same date, as it is designated Labour Day or International Workers Day. Law Day, U.S.A., along with Loyalty Day, was created to counterbalance these celebrations, which were perceived as communist.

Now, many local bars and legal education associations, such as the Florida Law Related Education Association use Law Day as a legal education tool, particularly for students.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1958 Proclamation Establishing Law Day

WHEREAS it is fitting that the people of this Nation should remember with pride and vigilantly guard the great heritage of liberty, justice and equality under law which our forefathers bequeathed to us; and

WHEREAS it is our moral and civic obligation as free men and as Americans to preserve and strengthen that great heritage; and

WHEREAS the principle of guaranteed fundamental rights of individuals under the law is the heart and sinew of our Nation, and distinguishes our governmental system from the type of government that rules by might alone; and

WHEREAS our government has served as an inspiration and a beacon light for oppressed peoples of the World seeking freedom, justice and equality of the individual under law; and

WHEREAS universal application of the principles of the rule of law in the settlement of international disputes would greatly enhance the cause of a just and enduring peace; and

WHEREAS a day of national dedication to the principle of government under law would afford us an opportunity better to understand and appreciate the manifold virtues of such a government and to focus the attention of the World upon them;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER, President of the United States of America, do hereby designate Thursday, May 1, 1958 as Law Day - USA. I urge the people of the United States to observe the designated day with appropriate ceremonies and activities, and I especially urge the legal profession, the press, and the radio, television and motion picture industries to promote and to participate in the observance of that date.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand, and caused the Seal of the United States of America to be affixed.

DONE at the City of Washington this Third Day of February in the Year of our Lord Nineteen Hundred and Fifty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the One Hundred and Eighty-second.

(Signed) DWIGHT D. EISENHOWER By the President

JOHN FOSTER DULLES Secretary of State

The White HouseFebruary 3, 1958

Statutory definition

Law Day, U.S.A. is defined as follows in USC|36|113:

* (a) Designation.— May 1 is Law Day, U.S.A.
* (b) Purpose.— Law Day, U.S.A., is a special day of celebration by the people of the United States—
** (1) in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States and of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other and with other countries; and
** (2) for the cultivation of the respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.
* (c) Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue a proclamation—
** (1) calling on all public officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Law Day, U.S.A.; and
** (2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Law Day, U.S.A., with appropriate ceremonies and in other appropriate ways, through public entities and private organizations and in schools and other suitable places.


ee also

* May Day
* Labour Day
* Loyalty Day
* Holidays of the United States

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Look at other dictionaries:

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