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Celebrating the New Year with a Look Back at the Old Year

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We have now completed our first full calendar year of In Custodia Legis.  Our team of bloggers covers current legal trends and subjects from around the world so you never know what the next topic of a post will be.  But I can tell you what the most popular posts of the past year were.

To celebrate the new year, here are the top twenty posts of 2011 with a selection of my favorite quotes:

  1. The Inspiring Story of Nelson Mandela
  2. Today, July 18, is Nelson Mandela’s 93rd birthday and the second annual Nelson Mandela International DayThis day was officially observed for the first time last year following the adoption of a resolution by the U.N. General Assembly on November 10, 2009.

  3. Top Law Library of Congress Web Pages
  4. An Irishman’s “Gust of Passion” in the American Trial Collection
  5. The Law Library’s staff may not know that I spent several happy months in the Law Library reading room while I was researching my dissertation on Irish immigrants in late 18th-century Philadelphia.  Court records are one of the richest narrative sources on the lives of immigrants during the early national period.  The records I found in the Law Library did not disappoint.

  6. Slavery in the French Colonies: Le Code Noir (the Black Code) of 1685
  7. There’s a Congressional App for That
  8. I recently got a new smart phone and have started exploring apps that can help me keep up with Congress and do my job (Andrew has mentioned a couple before). I’ve compiled a sampling of apps for various devices. What’s your favorite app for getting in touch or keeping up with Congress?

  9. Maps, Parliaments, and Trials: An Irish Sampler
  10. March 17th marks Saint Patrick’s Day, a feast day of the Roman Catholic Church that has also become a secular celebration around the world.  It celebrates Saint Patrick (ca. 387-461 AD), probably the most recognized of the patron saints of IrelandThe origins of the holiday can be traced to the early 17th century.  The wearing of the color green has become customary on this day, as has the displaying of shamrocks; the simple clover which, according to legend, was used by Patrick to explain the Holy Trinity to Irish pagans.

  11. Cinco de Mayo is Not Mexican Independence Day?
  12. No, May 5th is not Mexican Independence Day. Mexico’s independence is celebrated on September 16th and shouldn’t be confused with the holiday of May 5th.   The celebration of “Cinco de Mayo commemorates the “Battle of Puebla” (May 5, 1862). …

    Many Americans — particularly college students around say age 21 — tend to celebrate this Mexican holiday by imbibing Mexican beer and tequila, the Mexican spirit, and even donningsombreros, without really considering what the holiday represents.

    Conspirators of the Lincoln Assassination
  13. Tattoos and Copyright in The Hangover Part II
  14. The Conspirators of the Lincoln Assassination – Pic of the Week
  15. The History of the Mexican Constitution
  16. February 5, 2011 marked the 94th anniversary of the Constitution of 1917.  On that day, Mexican President Venustiano Carranza promulgated the Constitution that is still in force today in Mexico.

  17. I’m Just A Bill
  18. The old Schoolhouse Rock lessonI’m Just a Billprovides a quick introduction to the legislative process. However, there is more detailed information available through the Law Library of Congress on the legislative process.

    There is a Legislative Process page in THOMAS which contains links to very detailed guides: the House of Representatives’ How Our Laws Are Madeand the Senate’s Enactment of a Law.”

  19. Tweaking THOMAS

    Looking Up the Old Law Library
  20. Looking Up the Old Law Library – Pic of the Week
  21. Do You Remember How to Use a Card Catalog?
  22. When you walk into the Reading Room of the Law Library of Congress, you might notice something you haven’t seen in a while. A card catalog that is still in use, though no new cards have been added since December 1980.

  23. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
  24. New United States Code Website from House Law Revision Counsel
  25. What Does This Symbol Mean?
  26. Ultimately, learning new and random facts like this is one of my favorite things about answering “Ask A Librarian” questions.  Even though this one, sadly, did not lead to a hidden treasure map.

  27. A Different View of the World – Pic of the Week
  28. The Law Library of Congress Strategic Plan Released (the complete plan iPDF)
  29. What is on Jeopardy?


  1. Too bad Christine Seller’s Aug 16 post “The Curious History of the 2011 Debt Ceiling Legislation” isn’t on the list. Guess I didn’t forward that eye-opener to enough people!

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