This Day in the Law
Today's Date – January 31
Select Month:

On January 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing many slaves from the Confederate states during the Civil War.

On January 2, 1882, John D. Rockefeller organized the Standard Oil Company into a legal trust – creating the first monopoly trust in American history.

On January 3, 1947, the very first session of Congress was televised to the American public.

On January 4, 2007, the 110th United States Congress elected Nancy Pelosi as the first female Speaker of the House of Representatives in U.S. history.

On January 5, 1919, the German Worker’s Party was formed in Munich, Germany by a few members, including Anton Drexler, Gottfried Feder, and Dietrich Eckart.

On January 6, 1773, the first public protest to a legislature made by blacks in New England occurred. This was the first public protest of its kind.

On January 7, 1999, one of the most famous scandals of our time began to play out in the Senate.

On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered the very first "State of the Union" address to Congress.

On January 9, 1799, William Pitt the Younger, Britain’s youngest ever Prime Minister, introduced the new concept of "income tax."

On January 10, 1946, the United Nations ("UN") General Assembly met for the first time at Westminster Central Hall in London, England, and included 51 representative nations.

On January 11, 1759, the first life insurance company in American history incorporated into business.

On January 12, 1948, the United States Supreme Court decided the seminal case of Spiuel v. Oklahoma State Board of Regents in favor of Ada Sipuel, a black woman who was seeking admission to the School of Law of the University of Oklahoma.

On January 13, 1972, former secretary and housewife, Bernice Gera, won her suit against the NABL and became the first female umpire in professional baseball.

On January 14, 1638, the "Fundamental Orders" of the Connecticut Colony council were adopted.

On January 15, 1822, Demetrius Ypsilantis was elected president of the Greek legislative assembly in their fight for independence from the Turkish Ottoman Empire.

On January 16, 1707, Scotland ratified the Acts of the Union that created the United Kingdom of Great Britain, which was the precursor to today's United Kingdom.

On January 17, 1946, the United Nations Security Council held it first session in London, England.

On January 18, 1871, Wilhelm I of Germany was crowned the first German Emperor, after defeating Emperor Napoleon III in the Franco-Prussian War.

On January 19, 1946, US General Douglas MacArthur created the International Military Tribunal for the Far East in Tokyo, Japan to try the senior Japanese war criminals of WWII.

On January 20, 1265, the very first English Parliament was conducted in the Palace of Westminister.

On January 21, 1977, President Jimmy Carter pardoned nearly all American Vietnam War draft evaders, many of which had immigrated to Canada.

On January 22, 1946, President Harry Truman signed a presidential directive creating the Central Intelligence Group ("CIG").

On January 23, 1941, Charles Lindbergh testified to the U.S. Congress for a neutrality agreement with Adolf Hitler and the German Nazis.

On January 24, 1916, the U.S. Supreme court decided in Brushaber v. Union Pacific Railroad (1916), that federal income tax was constitutional.

On January 25, 1919, a Peace Conference in Paris, France was held in the aftermath of World War I which created the League of Nations.

On January 26, 1838, the legislature of Tennessee enacted the very first prohibition law in the United States.

On January 27, 1967, the Outer Space Treaty was opened for signature in Washington D.C., London, and Moscow (of which the United States, Britain and the USSR signed).

On January 28, 1932, the Wisconsin state legislature enacted the very first unemployment insurance in the United States.

On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz, a German mechanical engineer, received the very first patent (DRP No. 37435) for a gas-fueled car to be powered by the internal combustion engine.

On January 30, 1933, German President Paul von Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler Chancellor of Germany.

On January 31, 1846, after the Milwaukee Bridge War, Juneautown and Kilbourntown unified together to form the City of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.