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Let’s talk about Law Day

Law Day, May 1, is a national day set aside annually to celebrate the rule of law. Law Day underscores how law and the legal process contribute to the freedoms that all Americans share. Law Day also provides an opportunity to recognize the role of courts in our democratic republic and the importance of jury service to maintaining the integrity of the courts.

Law Day’s roots 

The tradition of celebrating Law Day dates to 1958, when President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed that every year on May 1, we as a nation “should remember with pride” how our laws help people to be treated fairly and how our laws have inspired other countries to treat their citizens more fairly. In 1961, Congress, by joint resolution, designated May 1 as the official date for celebrating Law Day.

Why May 1? 

When the Soviet Union existed and was a major world power, the Soviets had a parade every year on the first day of May to display their new weapons. This parade showed that the Soviet Union was a nation that ruled by force. To demonstrate the difference between our nations, American politicians and lawyers wanted to show that we are a nation that is ruled by laws made by our citizens, so we began celebrating Law Day on the same day: May 1.

How to celebrate 

Law Day programs are designed to help people understand how the law keeps us free and how our legal system strives to achieve justice. Each year, thousands of Law Day programs are conducted for youth and adults across the country. Find Law Day events, news, history, and more on the Law Day website, www.lawday.org. In addition, as part of the Law Day celebration, The Missouri Bar, along with judges, lawyers, and court clerks, thank the thousands of Missourians who report for jury duty in state courts each year. Citizens can continue the celebration by sharing information about Law Day with family and friends.

To learn more about The Missouri Bar, Law Day, and public resources regarding the law, visit MoBar.org and MissouriLawyersHelp.org.