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How Law Day remains relevant today

The theme of Law Day 2022 is “Toward a More Perfect Union: The Constitution in Times of Change.” Celebrated each year on May 1, Law Day is an opportunity to recognize the importance of law and its role in American society. 

The idea of Law Day was conceived to honor the fact that, in our country, laws are used to solve problems and ensure that everyone is seen as equal under the law. The tradition of Law Day began in 1958 when President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a proclamation declaring that every year, on May 1, citizens should be reminded of our nation’s dedication to the ideals of equality and justice under the law. 

The history behind this proclamation is important as it shows the profound difference between the United States and other countries. In 1958, the United States was deeply involved in the Cold War with the communist Soviet Union. Each year on May 1, the Soviets would hold a parade to display the new weapons in their arsenal and provide a show of force to world powers looking on. Law Day was a tangible way to prove the difference between our nations: one ruled by might and intimidation of its people, and another ruled by laws and citizen governance.  

Eisenhower’s proclamation read: “In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive, it must choose the rule of law.”  

Law Day is also meant to remind us that liberty and the rule of law require our attention and participation. So, let us celebrate our freedoms and put our faith in law and all its qualities: fairness, equality, diversity, due process, accountability, and compassion. Let us work to set aside our differences and find ways to come together and compromise for the benefit of all Americans. Most of all, let us recognize that our laws stand as a protection for us against discrimination and harm.   

To learn more about activities being hosted by the American Bar Association to celebrate Law Day, click here. You may also download The Missouri Bar’s free coloring sheet celebrating Law Day 2022 here.