legal history

The Kallikaks and the Eugenicists

Spurred by the same fears, prejudices and societal issues that were driving the progressive movement in general, the eugenics movement in the U.S. focused on identifying, sequestering and even sterilizing people who were deemed to be "unfit."

The Scopes Trial

The Scopes Trial, aka the Monkey Trial, played out in Dayton, Tennessee, in the summer of 1925. It all stemmed from a state law prohibiting the teaching of evolution.

Mendez v. Westminster fought the segregation of Mexican-American students in the state of California in the 1940s -- and it went on pave the way for the much more famous Brown v. Topeka Board of Education.

Loving v. Virginia, Part 2

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.

Loving v. Virginia, Part 1

Mildred and Richard Loving's relationship went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court when they were arrested for breaking Virginia's anti-miscegenation laws. On June 20, 1963, Mildred wrote a letter to the ACLU asking for help. Tune in to learn more.

When teachers Mildred and Patty Hill's song "Good Morning to All" was published in 1893, there was no public performance right for songs. After the tune was paired with the birthday lyrics, its popularity soared and sparked a tremendous copyright battle.

On Oct. 27, 1845 Mary Ann Bickford's body was found in her Boston boardinghouse room. Her paramour Albert J. Tirrell was eventually charged with murder. Tirrell hired Rufus Choate to defend him, and Choate claimed his client had episodes of somnambulism.

The Contentious Invention of the Sewing Machine

The mechanization of stitching happened by way a series of inventions, several of which finally came together. Though Elias Howe is often credited with inventing the sewing machine, his invention had more to do with the combination of existing ideas.