March 31, 2008 Library of Congress to Mark 50th Anniversary of Law Day With Panel Discussion on the Rule of Law on May 1

Press Contact: Audrey Fischer (202) 707-0022
Public Contact: Alisa Carrel (202) 707-9838

The Library of Congress will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Law Day with an examination of what the Rule of Law means to established and emerging countries. The panel discussion will be held at the Library at 1 p.m. on Thursday, May 1 in the Northeast Hall and Pavilion on the second floor of the Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First Street S.E., Washington, D.C. Sponsored by the Law Library of Congress, the program is free and open to the public. Seating is limited and advance reservations are required [contact Barbara Moore at or (202)707-9834 by April 25]. In the late 1950s, the American Bar Association instituted Law Day on May 1 to draw attention to both the principles and practices of law and justice. President Dwight D. Eisenhower established Law Day in 1958. The original proclamation described Law Day as “… a special day of celebration by the American people in appreciation of their liberties and the reaffirmation of their loyalty to the United States of America; of their rededication to the ideals of equality and justice under law in their relations with each other as well as with other nations; and for the cultivation of that respect for law that is so vital to the democratic way of life.” For more information on Law Day, visit This year’s theme is “The Rule of Law: Foundation for Communities of Opportunity and Equity.” To address this theme, the Law Library has assembled a panel of distinguished individuals who will explore the Rule of Law in emerging and developed countries within the context of being a part of a system of checks and balances that prevents dictatorship and despotism. Panelists include Rob Boone, director of the American Bar Association Rule of Law Initiative; Thomas Carothers, vice president for studies, International Politics and Governance at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace; Kurt L. Schmoke, dean of Howard University School of Law and former mayor of Baltimore; and Jane E. Stromseth, faculty director of the Human Rights Institute and Professor of Law at Georgetown Law School. The panel will be moderated by Judge Harry T. Edwards, U.S. Court of Appeals for District of Columbia Circuit. Founded in 1832, the Law Library provides Congress, other government agencies and the public with legal information housed in its collection of more than 2.6 million volumes. For more information about the Law Library, go to


PR 08-065
ISSN 0731-3527