Law

Numerous books, films and other works first published in 1926 enter the public domain on January 1.

Winnie-the-Pooh, an Ernest Hemingway Classic and a Massive Library of Sound Recordings Will Enter the Public Domain on January 1

Works newly available to copy, republish and remix in 2022 also include poems by Langston Hughes and Dorothy Parker

Crowds outside the U.S. Supreme Court in 2012 protest its landmark decision in the Citizens United case, which removed limitations on corporate donations to political figures. Zuckerman would later issue his own protest by creating a custom postage stamp with controversial political imagery in response to the ruling. 

Artist Wins Legal Battle With Post Office Over Custom Postage Stamp

Federal judge cites violation of First Amendment by USPS in deciding not to print custom postage for customer that contained a political message

Muhammad Aziz (center) stands outside of a New York City courthouse with members of his family and lawyers on November 18, 2021.

History of Now

Two Men Wrongfully Convicted of Killing Malcolm X Are Exonerated After 55 Years

Muhammad A. Aziz and Khalil Islam, who each served more than 20 years of a life sentence, had always maintained their innocence

Claudette Colvin, pictured here in 1998, recently filed a request to have her arrest record expunged.

Claudette Colvin, Who Was Arrested for Refusing to Give Up Her Bus Seat in 1955, Is Fighting to Clear Her Record

The civil rights pioneer pushed back against segregation nine months before Rosa Parks' landmark protest but has long been overlooked

Houdini exposed fake Spiritualist practices by having himself photographed with the "ghost" of Abraham Lincoln.

For Harry Houdini, Séances and Spiritualism Were Just an Illusion

The magician spent years campaigning against fraudulent psychics, even lobbying Congress to ban fortune-telling in D.C.

Julie Green poses in front of a selection of The Last Supper plates in 2015. The artist died on October 12 at age 60.

Remembering Julie Green, Who Painted the Last Meals of Death Row Inmates

The artist, who died this month at age 60, sought to emphasize condemned prisoners' humanity

Attorney, author, scholar and reverend Pauli Murray, pictured here on December 22, 1976

LGBTQ+ Pride

The Trailblazing, Multifaceted Activism of Lawyer-Turned-Priest Pauli Murray

New documentary tells the story of a Black and LGBTQ thinker who helped lay the legal groundwork for fighting gender- and race-based discrimination

Almost 75 years after the mobster’s death, an eclectic bunch of enthusiasts continue to chase his memory.

Inside the Global Cult of Al Capone

A recent auction of the Chicago gangster's mementos testifies to his enduring appeal—and the thorny nature of collecting items owned by criminals

Adam Driver (left) plays Jacques Le Gris, a French squire accused of raping Marguerite, wife of knight Jean de Carrouges (right, played by Matt Damon).

Based on a True Story

The True History Behind 'The Last Duel'

A new film from Ridley Scott dramatizes the 1386 trial by combat of a medieval man accused of a horrific crime

Mary Ware Dennett wrote The Sex Side of Life in 1915 as a teaching tool for her teenage sons.

The Sex Education Pamphlet That Sparked a Landmark Censorship Case

Women's rights activist Mary Ware Dennett was arrested in 1929 for mailing a booklet deemed "obscene, lewd or lascivious"

Johnson is the only convicted Salem "witch" who has not yet received an official pardon.

History of Now

This Eighth-Grade Class Wants to Clear the Name of an Accused Salem 'Witch'

Elizabeth Johnson Jr. was sentenced to death in 1693 but escaped execution after receiving a reprieve from Massachusetts' governor

Officers Paul Douglas (left) and Theodore Santos (right) stand with their newest Covid-19 K9 unit: a female black lab named Huntah (left) and a male golden lab-retriever mix, Duke (right).

Covid-19

Massachusetts Becomes First U.S. State to Enlist Covid-Sniffing Canines

Duke and Huntah are first dogs used by law enforcement to detect coronavirus cases

Group portrait of three Chinese children, each holding an American flag and a Chinese flag, in a room in Chicago, 1929

Innovation for Good

Illinois Becomes First State to Mandate Teaching Asian American History

The move arrives amid a surge in anti-Asian hate crimes across the country

The Maple Fire photographed burning up Jefferson Ridge in Olympic National Forest, Washington. In court documents, prosecutors alleged that men convicted of illegal logging in the National Forest may have started the Maple Fire.

Innovation for Good

For the First Time, Tree DNA Was Used to Convict Lumber Thieves in Federal Investigation

Genetic evidence showed that two men illegally chopped down and sold valuable bigleaf maple trees inside Olympic National Forest

#FreeBritney activists protest at Los Angeles Grand Park during a conservatorship hearing for Britney Spears on June 23, 2021 in Los Angeles.

Britney Spears and the Age-Old History of Men Policing Women's Trauma

The singer's conservatorship, on trial this month, recalls the history of hysterectomies, insane asylums, forced contraception, among others

His exposés of New York City slums would “send a chill to any heart,” wrote Jacob Riis, who also covered crime.

A Sensational Murder Case That Ended in a Wrongful Conviction

The role of famed social reformer Jacob Riis in overturning the verdict prefigured today's calls for restorative justice

Early Juneteenth celebrations featured picnics, rodeos, horseback riding and other festivities.

Juneteenth, the U.S.' Second Independence Day, Is Now a Federal Holiday

June 19, 1865, marked the end of slavery in Texas and, by extension, the Confederate states

A new analysis of a ceramic jar discovered in Athens suggest its owners placed the curse ahead of a lawsuit.

Ancient Athenians Used a Jar Filled With Chicken Bones to Curse Their Enemies

The object's owners inscribed the names of at least 55 intended victims on its surface

Nicola Sacco and Bartolomeo Vanzetti leave jail at Dedham, Mass., en route to the courthouse where they are to be sentenced by Judge Webster Thayer to die in the electric chair.

Sacco and Vanzetti's Trial of the Century Exposed Injustice in 1920s America

The pair's path to becoming media sensations began 100 years ago. To this day the two remain emblems of prejudice in the American justice system

Artist Kenny Altidor unveiled this Brooklyn mural of George Floyd in July 2020.

Remembering George Floyd and the Movement He Sparked

Kevin Young, director of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, reflects on the one-year anniversary of Floyd's killing

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