Law Day, U.S.A., 1971
By the President of the United States of America
Change is the immutable first law of nature, and governments reveal themselves most in the manner by which they provide for change. History is littered with the remains of governments that failed to meet this challenge: of those that gave too great a scope to unbridled impulse, and of those that gave too little scope to the human spirit.
Between these two extremes—between the tyranny of anarchy and the tyranny of totalitarianism—the law has its dominion. Our forefathers established government and founded a free nation on that high place. They gave us laws that could be changed by orderly process so that the nation and its people might remain free.
This ability to change by orderly process is essential to democratic government, for the success of such a form of government depends upon a capacity constantly to resolve the basic paradox of a system of liberty under law: that the supremacy of the law rests on its recognition of the supremacy of the people.
The continuing success of America testifies to the wisdom with which the founders of this nation addressed this paradox, and to the legal skill with which they resolved it.
It is fitting that we honor not merely the law, but the lawgivers, and that we honor above all those citizens who keep the law.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD NIXON, President of the United States of America, do hereby urge the people of the United States to observe Saturday, May 1, 1971, as Law Day in the United States of America with appropriate public ceremonies and by the reaffirmation of their dedication to our form of government and the supremacy of law in our lives. I especially urge the legal profession, the schools and educational institutions, civic and service organizations, all media of public information, and the courts to take the lead in sponsoring and participating in appropriate observances throughout the nation.
And, as requested by the Congress, I direct the appropriate Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all public buildings on that day.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this 2d day of March, in the year of our Lord, nineteen hundred seventy-one, and of the Independence of the United States of America the one hundred ninety-fifth.