Historic Dates of Interest to Libertarians

Much more in-depth and relevant than a government-issued list of holidays, the below list of dates compiled by LNC member Dr. Jim Lark marks important events – good and bad – of interest to Libertarians.


6:  Pres. Franklin Roosevelt delivers his “Four Freedoms” speech (1941)

12:  2016 State of the Union address

16:  Ratification of the 18th Amendment (1919) 

17:  18th Amendment takes effect (1920).  U.S. citizens prohibited from owning gold certificates (1934).

18:  Martin Luther King Day observed

19:  Birthday of Lysander Spooner (1808)

21:  Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission case (2010)

24 (through Jan. 30):  National School Choice Week (www.schoolchoiceweek.com)

27:  Melvin Laird (Secretary of Defense) announces end of the draft (1973)


3:  Ratification of the 16th Amendment (1913)

15:  Presidents’ Day  (Suggestion: Distribute a press release describing the requirements for a good president from a Libertarian perspective.)  

20:  Congress proposes 21st Amendment for state ratification (1933)


1:  Ratification of Articles of Confederation (1781)

9:  Pres. Franklin Roosevelt’s Emergency Banking Act passed (1933)

16:  Liberty Day (birthday of James Madison in 1751)

19:  Start of second U.S. war against Iraq (2003)

20:  U.S. invasion of Iraq (2003).  Tonie Nathan passed away (2014)

23:  Patrick Henry’s “Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death” speech (1775)


5:  Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs Executive Order 6102 prohibiting gold ownership by citizens (1933)

13:  Birthday of Thomas Jefferson (1743) (New style calendar)

15:  Protests in Tiananmen Square begin (1989).  Emancipation Day celebrated in Washington, DC (signing of Compensated Emancipation Act by Pres. Lincoln in 1862; celebrated on Apr. 16 except when that day falls upon a Saturday or Sunday).  

18:  Tax Day (Federal income taxes due for most Americans).  Patriots’ Day (commemorating the Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775) celebrated in Massachusetts.  (See note below concerning April 19.)  The same event is celebrated as Patriot’s Day in Maine.

19:  Battles of Lexington and Concord in 1775.  Tax Day for citizens of Maine and Massachusetts

20:  “420” (referred to as “Four Twenty”):  Several organizations that oppose Drug Prohibition conduct events this day.

22:  Earth Day

25:  Supreme Court decision in United States vs Carolene Products (allowed greater latitude for Congress to regulate commerce under the Commerce Clause) (1938)


3:  World Press Freedom Day

21:  Armed Forces Day observe

24:  Supreme Court decision in Helvering vs Davis (allowed Congress to interpret “general welfare” broadly; Social Security doesn’t violate 10th Amendment) (1937)

25:  Birthday of Karl Hess (1923)

27:  Supreme Court decision in Schechter vs US (National Recovery Act ruled unconstitutional) (1935)

30:  Memorial Day observed.

31:  Passage of Mecklenburg (North Carolina) Resolutions, supposedly the first local resolutions supporting independence; declared British laws null and void (1775)


5:  Birthday of Adam Smith in 1723 (Old style calendar)

12:  Formal adoption by Virginia Constitutional Convention of the Virginia Declaration of Rights, written by George Mason (1776)

14:  Peter McWilliams passed away (author of Ain’t Nobody’s Business If You Do: The Absurdity of Consensual Crimes in Our Free Society)

15:  Magna Carta agreed to by King John (1215).  (Note: Evidently a formal document was created to record the agreement on July 15, 1215)

16:  New Deal announced (1933).  Birthday of Adam Smith in 1723 (New style calendar)

17:  Pres. Richard Nixon’s War on Drugs initiated (1971). Watergate break-in (1972)

18:  Congress passes Naturalization Act (1798)

19:  “Juneteenth” celebration (announcement in Texas of the end of slavery) (1865)

21:  Constitution ratified by New Hampshire (thus making it the “law of the land”) (1788)

23:  Supreme Court decision in Kelo vs City of New London (2005)

25:  Birthday of George Orwell (Eric Blair) (1903).  Congress passes Alien Act (1798)

26:  Supreme Court decision in District of Columbia vs Heller, which held that there is an individual right under the Second Amendment to keep and bear arms for self-defense (2008)

27:  Passage of the National Labor Relations Act, known as the “Wagner Act” (1935)

28:  Supreme Court decision in McDonald vs Chicago, which held that the Second Amendment is incorporated under the Fourteenth Amendment (2010).  Supreme Court decision in “Obamacare” case(s) (2012)


2:  Vote by Congress to declare independence from Great Britain (1776)  

3:  Decriminalization Day (celebrated since 1976?)

4:  Independence Day: Declaration of Independence approved by Congress (1776)

6:  Congress approves Alien Enemies Act (1798)

7:  Birthday of Robert Heinlein (1907)

14:  Pres. John Adams signs the Sedition Act (1798)

22:  Bretton Woods Agreements signed by Bretton Woods Conference participants (1944).  (The agreements established rules and procedures for regulation of the international monetary system, along with institutions such as the International Monetary Fund and the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development.)

31:  U.S. Congress ratifies Bretton Woods Agreements Act (1945)


15:  Imposition of wage and price controls, along with suspension of convertibility of the U.S. dollar into gold on international markets (“closing the gold window”), by Richard Nixon (1971).  Public Law 93-373 passes, which legalizes private ownership of gold (1974).  (The law didn’t take effect until Dec. 31, 1974.)


5:  Jury Rights Day (http://fija.org/jury-rights-day/).  Labor Day (as celebrated in the U.S.)

11:  Anniversary of “9-11,” now known by some as “Patriot Day” (2001)

16:  Pres. Franklin Roosevelt signs Selective Training and Service Act of 1940 (first peacetime conscription?) (1940)

17:  Constitution Day (Constitution signed by delegates to Philadelphia convention in 1787) 

21:  International Day of Peace (“World Peace Day”)

25:  Congress approves 12 amendments to Constitution and sends amendments to states for ratification (1789)  

25 (through Oct. 1):  Banned Books Week


1:  Beginning of federal government’s 2017 fiscal year

14:  Pres. Jimmy Carter legalizes the home brewing of beer (1978)

21:  Revenue Act of 1942 passes (1942).  (Among other things, the Act imposed a “Victory Tax” of 5% on individual income over $624.)

22:  Pres. Lyndon Johnson signs the Gun Control Act of 1968 (1968)

25:  Pres. Jimmy Carter signs Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (1978).  (Note:  Powers under the Act were expanded under the USA Patriot Act.)

26:  Passage of the USA Patriot Act (2001).  Passage of the “Bank Secrecy Act” (1970)

27:  Statue of Liberty unveiled in 1886 (on Oct. 28?)

28:  Resistance to the Townshend Acts (1767).  Passage of the National Prohibition Act, known as the Volstead Act (1919)

29:  Massachusetts Resolves written by Samuel Adams (1765)


8:  Election Day   

9:  Supreme Court decision in Wickard vs Filburn, which greatly expanded Congressional power to regulate economic activity (1942)

15:  Articles of Confederation approved by Continental Congress (1777)  (Note:  The Articles were not ratified until March 1, 1781.)

16:  International Day for Tolerance.  First Kentucky Resolution is passed by the Kentucky legislature (1798).

21:  Libertarian Party founder David Nolan passed away (2010)

24:  Thanksgiving


3:  The Second Kentucky Resolution is passed by the Kentucky legislature (1799)

5:  Ratification of 21st Amendment (repeal of Prohibition) (1933)

10:  Supreme Court decision in McConnell vs Federal Election Commission, which ruled that most of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act is constitutional (2003)

11:  Anniversary of founding of the LP (1971).  Birthday of George Mason (1725)  

15:  Bill of Rights Day  (date of ratification of Bill of Rights in 1791)

18:  Passage by Congress of the 18th Amendment (1917).  Supreme Court decision in Korematsu vs United States, which ruled that Executive Order 9066 (putting Japanese Americans into internment camps during World War II) was constitutional (1944).

23:  Pres. Woodrow Wilson signs Federal Reserve Act (1913)

24:  The Virginia legislature passes the Virginia Resolution (authored by James Madison) (1798)

26:  The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics ceases to exist (1991)

27:  Signing of Flushing Remonstrance concerning religious liberty (1657)  

31:  Private ownership of gold by U.S. citizens becomes legal again (1974)