“Realizing the Dream: Equality for All” was the theme of this year’s Law Day, marking the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation and the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.
Proclaiming May 1 as Law Day 2013, President Obama said, “As a nation, we are bound together not by the colors of our skin, the tenets of our faith, or the origins of our names. What unites us as Americans is our allegiance to an idea articulated more than two centuries ago: that ‘all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.’ ”
He emphasized, however, that opportunity remains painfully unequal for many and that justice too often goes undone. “Law Day,” he said, “is a chance to reaffirm the critical role our courts have always played in addressing those wrongs and aligning our nation with its first principles.”
President Eisenhower first proclaimed Law Day in 1958 after the special day was envisioned by then ABA President Charles S. Rhyne.