Law Day is observed every year in the United States on May 1st. It is a day to appreciate the liberties that people enjoy in America, as well as recognize the laws that founded the country.
It is not a federal holiday, businesses run on normal business hours and schools and offices remain open.
In 1957, Charles Rhyne, then the President of the American Bar Association, and the legal counsel for President Eisenhower, had the idea for Law Day, a day to commemorate the United States legal system.
At the time, the government was keen to suppress the other celebration that takes place on May 1st, May Day. Also known as International Workers' Day, many Americans believed that May Day had communist undertones as a celebration of the working class.
Then, in February of 1958, President Eisenhower issued a proclamation that established Law Day as a yearly observance to be celebrated every year on May 1st. The day was made official by Congress in 1961. Since then, every year, the President of the United States has issued a proclamation for Law Day, calling for the American flag to be displayed on all government buildings for Law Day.
Every year, the American Bar Association defines a theme for Law Day.
How is Law Day observed?
Law Day encourages Americans to reflect on and appreciate the freedoms that they enjoy as citizens of the United States as laid out on the U.S. Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, such as the right to freedom of speech and free press, and, more relevant for this day, to right to free trial and to be judged by a jury of your peers.
This raises awareness and respect for the law, and it helps cement the people's loyalty to the United States.
The American Bar Association often hosts luncheons and fundraising events for Law Day.