Learned Hand (1872–1961) was an influential United States judge and judicial philosopher. He served on the Southern District Court of New York and the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Hand has reportedly been quoted more often than any other lower-court judge by legal scholars and by the Supreme Court of the United States. Born and raised in Albany, New York, Hand majored in philosophy at Harvard College and graduated with honors from Harvard Law School. After a short career as a lawyer in Albany and New York City, he was appointed as a Federal District Judge in Manhattan in 1909 at the age of 37. The profession suited his detached and open-minded temperament, and his decisions soon won him a reputation for craftsmanship and authority. He ran unsuccessfully as the Progressive Party’s candidate for Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals in 1913, but withdrew from active politics shortly afterwards. In 1924, President Calvin Coolidge promoted Hand to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which he went on to lead as the Senior Circuit Judge (later retitled Chief Judge) from 1939 until his semi-retirement in 1951. Friends and admirers often lobbied for Hand’s promotion to the Supreme Court, but circumstances and his political past conspired against his appointment. Hand possessed a gift for language, and his writings are admired as legal literature.
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Today’s selected anniversaries:
The Library of Congress , today the de facto national library of the United States, was established as part of an act of Congress providing for the transfer of the nation’s capital from Philadelphia to Washington, D.C.
Unable to resolve a series of disputes over the Balkans in the aftermath of the 1876 Bulgarian April Uprising, Russia declared war on the Ottoman Empire, starting the Russo-Turkish War.
The Armenian Genocide in the Ottoman Empire began with the arrest and deportation of hundreds of prominent Armenians in Constantinople.
Irish republicans led by teacher and political activist Patrick Pearse began the Easter Rising, a rebellion against British rule in Ireland, and proclaimed the Irish Republic an independent state.
The Hubble Space Telescope was launched by the Space Shuttle Discovery in mission STS-31.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (chemistry) A binary compound of bromine and some other element or radical.
2. A dull person with conventional thoughts.
3. A platitude
Wikiquote quote of the day:
The poem… is a little myth of man’s capacity of making life meaningful. And in the end, the poem is not a thing we see — it is, rather, a light by which we may see — and what we see is life.
–Robert Penn Warren
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