May 1 is officially Law Day. It’s not a government holiday but local bar associations host luncheons with featured speakers and their attorney members often visit schools and talk to students about the American legal system. In a global era such as ours matters such as human rights, criminal justice, intellectual property, human migration and environmental regulation among other issues have international implications for making and enforcing laws. They also create an opportunity for participating in shared concerns.
When did May 1 become known as Law Day, U.S.A.? President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed this date (previously known as May Day or International Workers Day) on February 5, 1958. The efforts of then American Bar Association President Charles S. Rhyne were crucial in this effort. Its observance was codified into law by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961. Eisenhower in making his proclamation stated, “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.” In addition to emphasizing our country’s dedication to a rule of law the day was also created to counterbalance the International Workers Day celebrations which were perceived as communist.~