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Happy Birthday, César Chávez!

“Sculpture located in César Chávez Plaza in downtown Sacramento, California’s capital city on the site of the old city plaza” by Carol M. Highsmith, //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013633592/

“Sculpture located in César Chávez Plaza in downtown Sacramento, California’s capital city on the site of the old city plaza” by Carol M. Highsmith, //www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2013633592/

Sí se puede.—César Chávez
First President of the
United Farm Workers
Organizing Committee (UFWOC)

Born March 31, 1927, César Estrada Chávez is perhaps the most renowned Latino civil rights activist. Two years ago, perhaps with the aim of seeing “one of America’s greatest champions for social justice” get his rightful place among his peers, President Obama proclaimed “March 31, 2014, as Cesar Chavez Day.”  The president issued the third iteration of the César Chávez Day, Presidential Proclamation, March 30, 2016.

The Presidential Proclamation serves as a brief overview of the achievements of this leader of Latino civil rights. Within it, the president reminds us that migrant farm workers “were exposed to dangerous pesticides and denied the most basic protections, including minimum wages, health care, and access to drinking water.”

Also this month, on March 17, 1966, we celebrated the 50th anniversary of the event best known as the March to Sacramento.  Thanks to Roberto Bustos (“El Capitán”), who marched along with César Chavez, we are reminded of that “twenty-five-day, three-hundred mile pilgrimage from California’s San Joaquin Valley” to Sacramento, California (Steven Harmon Wilson, p. 143).

For those of you who enjoy documentaries, there is a documentary titled The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle, which according to Jack Hailey, “traces the history of the United Farmworkers Union and the life of its founder” (Jack Hailey, IMDb).

FALQs: New Zealand’s Flag Referendums

Between March 3 and March 24, 2016, New Zealanders were able to vote in the country’s second referendum related to whether or not to change the official flag.  Previously, in November-December 2015, voting in the first referendum narrowed the list of possible alternative flag designs from five to one; the second referendum was a run-off […]

James Madison’s 265th Commemorative Birthday

On Wednesday, March 16, the Law Library and the Library’s Manuscript Division commemorated James Madison’s 265th birthday with a panel discussion by distinguished attorneys and Madison biographers Mary Sarah Bilder and David O. Stewart, and a birthday cake celebration that featured musical performances by Stephen Winick and Jennifer Cutting of the American Folklife Center. The events were […]

Becoming the Plutarch of Renaissance Lawyers

Quid sit quod multi vitas principum and ducum… diligentissime conscripserint atque inde genus hoc scribendi profectum, paulatim ad eos homines pervenerit, qui leniores quodammodo virtutes profitentur, Philosophos dico, Medicos, Oratores, Poetas… donec ad Rhetores ac Grammaticos deventum est, nemo adhuc extiterit, qui sibi Legumlatorum et Iurisprudentum vitas in argumentum iusti et peculiaris operis desumpserit… How […]

How Many Federal Laws Were Passed Last Year?

The following is a guest post by Shameema Rahman, senior legal research specialist in our Public Services Division. The United States Congress passed 115 Public Laws in 2015. The laws are numbered from Public Law 114-1 through Public Law 114-115. The number 114 represents the current congress followed by the numerical order of the law. These public […]

¡Happy Birthday, Benito Juárez!

…el respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz.–Benito Juárez 210 years ago, on March 21, 1806, Benito Juárez (Benito Pablo Juárez García), one of Mexico’s most renowned leaders, was born.  Ask any Mexican about Benito Juárez, and you may find them promptly reciting a well-known aphorism of his:  “… el respeto al derecho ajeno es […]

Manuscript Waste Bindings at the Library of Congress – Pic of the Week

In this week’s pic of the week post, we catch up with Library of Congress employee Dan Paterson, who is a senior rare book conservator in the Conservation Section of the Library’s Conservation Division. Since 2013, Dan has been surveying book bindings in the Library’s special collections, looking for bindings that incorporate manuscript waste. Manuscript […]

New Resource Covers the Laws of 157 Countries on the Extradition of Citizens

The Law Library of Congress has recently published a chart containing information on the terms that apply to the extradition of citizens in 157 jurisdictions around the globe. Of the countries surveyed, 60 were found to have laws that prevent the extradition of their own citizens, while the laws of 31 other countries generally allow such requests. […]

A Founding Father is Born on March 16, 1751

Today the Library of Congress is commemorating the 265th anniversary of James Madison’s birth. Madison, the fourth president of the United States, was born on March 16, 1751 in the Colony of Virginia. The Library’s James Madison Memorial Building serves as the national memorial to James Madison. The building was approved by an act of […]