It seems like all the best days of the first part of the year are the first days of the month. January 1st is New Year’s Day. February 1st is Groundhog Day eve. March 1st has so many great national days your head will spin — national peanut butter lover’s day, national hotel slipper day, national stop bad service day, but my favorite of the March 1st national days, is National March 1st Day. It’s very meta. I’m still unpacking the full meaning of a day celebrating a day on the day of the day.
Of course, April 1st, is the day we all scare the innocent and trusting by telling them their deepest fears have come true – their pets have died, their jobs are being eliminated, etc. — then we wipe their pain and trauma away with a hearty “April fools!” Sometimes, when the target of the April Fool’s Day prank is a child, we film their reaction so they can always remember how they felt when we convinced them that we were selling them to another family to pay for their sibling’s college. What a day. In fact, many (few or none) of you may have noticed that this column was set to run in last month’s edition. We will call that a lame, and unintended, April Fool’s Day joke. The cool part though is that my column is still relevant for May.
For lawyers, May 1st is no joke. It’s Law Day, proclaimed so by President Eisenhower in 1958. By the time you read this, many of you will have already celebrated Law Day and participated in some Law Day events. Whether you did or didn’t, I think President Eisenhower’s Proclamation is worth your time and contemplation:
Proclamation 3221—Law Day, 1958
“By Dwight D. Eisenhower the President of the United States of America
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 for the individual under laws; and
Whereas universal application of the principle 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 laws 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.
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 day.”
About this article: This article was originally published in the “Natural Resources” issue of Communiqué, the official publication of the Clark County Bar Association, (May 2023). See https://clarkcountybar.org/member-benefits/communique-2023/communique-may-2023/.
About the author
Brandon Kemble is an Assistant City Attorney in the Civil Division with the City of Henderson. Brandon handles litigation for the City and provides legal advice and legislative support for various City departments. Brandon serves as the CCBA President through December 2023.
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