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Happy the Year of the Dog! – Pic of the Week

Today, February 16, is New Year’s Day on the Chinese lunar calendar. This is the Year of the Dog. As explained in my previous blog post, Transition from the Lunar Calendar to the Western Calendar Under Chinese Law, the People’s Republic of China officially uses the same Gregorian calendar as the one used in the U.S. Many public holidays, however, are in observance of festivals on the lunar calendar, such as the Spring Festival (Lunar New Year), Qingming Festival, Dragon Boat Festival, and Mid-Autumn Festival. Each year, China’s State Council formulates and declares the public holidays of the next year. According to the declaration of public holidays for 2018, the days for observance of  the Spring Festival this year are February 15- 21.

Here below is a Chinese calligraphic work, Lanting Xu in Regular Script (kai shu) written out by one of our talented foreign law interns Yichao Zhang. Lanting Xu is a piece of Chinese calligraphy work composed by the well-known calligrapher Wang Xizhi from the Eastern Jin Dynasty (317-420). The original Lanting Xu was written in the Running Script (xing shu). In this timeless classic in ancient Chinese calligraphy and literature, Wang described a delightful spring purification ceremony and expressed his sentiments about life, death, and passage of time.

Chinese calligraphy Lanting Xu, written by Yichao Zhang, foreign law intern at the Law Library.

The Pyramid of Niches in an 18th Century Legal Gazette

Today, February 5th, is the 101st anniversary of the Mexican Constitution of 1917.  As I have covered the history of the Mexican constitution before, I would like to observe this holiday with another Mexican matter. I have been working on a digitization proposal, and–as I was drafting the narrative and compiling the details for it–I chanced upon this […]

The French National Library – Pic of the Week

The following is a guest post from Nicolas Boring, foreign law specialist covering French speaking jurisdictions at the Law Library of Congress. I recently went back to Paris for a few days and took that opportunity to visit the Bibliothèque Nationale de France (BNF), the French national library.  Specifically, I went to the Bibliothèque François Mitterrand […]

Charles Brent Curtis, first Native American Congressional member

Yesterday, January 25, was the birthday of Charles Brent Curtis, first Native American congressional representative, senator, and the first and only Native American Vice President. Born in 1860 in Kansas to a Kanza mother and a European American father, he was a registered member of the Kaw Nation and was also part Osage and Potawatomi.  […]

Alameda County Courthouse, Oakland, CA – Pic of the Week

On my recent trip to Oakland, CA—where the temperatures were much more pleasant than in freezing Washington, D.C.—I took a walk around the beautiful Lake Merritt. Protected under the California Wildlife Act of 1870, Lake Merritt is the oldest designated wildlife refuge in the United States. Across the water, you can see the Alameda County Courthouse, which is one of […]

Bill of Rights Day–Pic of the Week

Today is Bill of Rights Day.  On this day in 1791 the Virginia General Assembly completed the ratification process for the first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution.  The process concluded a 2-year push to include language guaranteeing fundamental political rights in the constitution. Many of the rights listed in the Bill of Rights […]

Dr. Ralph Bunche, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and Peace Negotiator

Political scientist, educator, civil rights activist, anthropologist, intelligence officer, humanitarian and diplomat Ralph J. Bunche (August 7, 1904-December 9, 1971) was not a lawyer, but he worked on many treaties that directly affected U.S. and foreign laws. As a result of his mediation work, on December 10, 1950, Dr. Bunche became the first African American […]

Charter of Philadelphia – Pic of the Week

Friday, October 27, marks the 335th anniversary of the founding of the city of Philadelphia by William Penn. In 1681 Penn received a royal charter for a portion of an area that had been recently annexed from the Dutch.  As part of establishing the city he met with representatives of the local Lenape tribe and signed a treaty of purchase.  […]