New Multimedia Exhibit on Alabama and the U.S. Supreme Court
The ABA’s Silver Gavel Awards, which recognize outstanding work that fosters the public’s understanding of law and the legal system, chose “Alabama Justice: The Cases and Faces That Changed a Nation” as a 2020 Finalist in its Multimedia Category. The exhibit is the brainchild of Steven P. Brown, political science professor at Auburn University who was the winner of the SCHS’s Hughes-Gossett Award in 2017. Click here for further reading.
New Acquisition: Stephen Field’s 1885 Term Docket Book
There are many stories about the link between baseball and the Supreme Court, but the safeguarding of Justice Stephen Field’s 1885 Term Docket Book has not been one of them, until now. Apparently a baseball memorabilia collector preserved the book because someone pasted into it baseball box scores from the 1888 season of the Washington Senators—not because of its connection to the highest court in the land. It eventually fell into the hands of a dealer near Richmond, VA who realized its significance and contacted the Supreme Court Historical Society. Click here to continue reading.
FDR and the Courtpacking Controversy
Our documentary chronicles the 168 days between FDR's fireside chat announcing his plan to enlarge the Supreme Court to as many as 15 justices in February 1937 and the defeat of his Court-packing scheme in July. It draws on contemporary cartoons and video footage to recount the twists and turns of this riveting episode in Supreme Court history.
The documentary is accompanied by specially designed lesson plans for high school teachers to help students learn about the Courtpacking episode, which highlights important issues about separation of powers.The FDR content is available here. Clare Cushman has provided an introduction to this educational video available here. The lesson plans to accompany the cartoon-rich short documentary "FDR and the Court-packing Controversy" is available here.
Technology and the Court
As the Conference has decided to hear oral arguments by telephone in May, an unprecedented development, we thought we would look back to the arrival of phones at the Supreme Court. Click here to read further.
Pandemics and the Court
While we are certainly in unprecedented times in our lifetimes, it is not the first time in the history of the Court that steps have had to be taken to avert the consequences of a pandemic. To understand the history of pandemics and the Court, read the following article by Clare Cushman, the Society’s Director of Publications and Resident Historian. Please click here to read further.
SPECIAL NOTICE - All Programs Postponed
As a precaution, and in accordance with State and Federal directives, the Society has suspended all programs until further notice. Please check the web site for updates as the situation evolves. An email will be sent to all members when we are able to resume programs which will provide ample advance notice to members.
In the interim, the staff is continuing to work on other projects. Please reach out via email if you have questions, or call and someone will return your call as soon as possible. We hope to be able to resume program activities in the near future and appreciate your support in this difficult time. The Gift Shop staff will continue to fill orders, and the NEW Gift Shop website, supremecourtgifts.org, now offers photographs and specifics of wonderful gift, educational and literary items.
Supreme Court Historical Society New York Gala
The Gala has been rescheduled for Thursday, April 7, 2021 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. Honoring Michael R. Bloomberg, Extraordinary business person, philanthropist, author and public servant
The Society's headquarters is located at Opperman House, 224 East Capitol Street, N.E., Washington, D.C. 20003. Opperman House has two important resources: The Goldman Library and the Membership Lounge. The Goldman Library has a conference table suitable for small meetings and luncheons. The books housed therein have been collected through the efforts of Professor James B. O'Hara, a Trustee of the Society, and comprise an outstanding collection of judicial biographies, Justices' writings, and histories of the Court.
Contributions to the society may take many forms including direct financial support, grants, in-kind gifts, and bequests. Donors may designate the purpose for which a gift must be spent. Gifts to assist the Society meet its general operating budget are always needed. In addition, the Society works closely with the Supreme Court to acquire and maintain art, antiques, artifacts, and memorabilia documenting the history of the Court for display in the public and private areas of the building. You may click the link here to be taken to our giftshop where you may make an online donation to the Society. You may also call the Society at 202.543.0400 for more information
Our members are the reason we exist! Without your continued support our programs, events and publications would not be available. If you are not a member, please consider joining today. You will receive invitations to all of our events, the Journal of Supreme Court History, the Quarterly newsletter as well as access to the Society's Headquarters in Washington D.C.
Please visit our giftshop located inside the Supreme Court or here online. All members receive a 20% discount on items purchased.
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