In 1958 President Dwight Eisenhower proposed that Law Day be celebrated every year on May 1. The day is to focus on the rights of Americans and the documents that created and guarantee those rights such as the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and specifically, the Bill of Rights which spells out the rights of free speech, a free press, and the right to a fair trial.
While a joint resolution by Congress in 1961 made Law Day a legal holiday (although not a government holiday), the motive behind Law Day was not just to celebrate American freedoms and rights. It was also an attempt to diminish the celebration of International Workers’ Day which was also celebrated on May 1.
International Workers’ Day focused on the working class as the governing class and was celebrated in socialist and communist countries (most notably the Soviet Union). To take the focus off the communist and socialist celebration, President Eisenhower proposed Law Day and Congress made it law.
In this election year, perhaps candidates and citizens alike would do well to reflect on the documents being celebrated on Law Day.