Exploring the Evolution of Memorial Day with HeinOnline

American History, Current Events, Political Science, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Presidential Library
Tara Kibler

As previous generations have done before us, this Memorial Day we honor those who have given their lives in military service to the United States. In this post, we will revisit the surprisingly controversial history of Memorial Day and use HeinOnline to examine its institution as a U.S. federal holiday.

Before We Get Started:

Don’t miss out! Make sure you have the databases we’ll be mentioning in this post. Follow the links below to start a trial today.

The Origins of Memorial Day

Memorial Day is a federal holiday dedicated to the remembrance of fallen United States soldiers…

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Class is Now in Session: Celebrating Teacher Appreciation Week

American History, Current Events, Education, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Agency Library, U.S. Supreme Court
Tara Kibler

HeinOnline is honoring educators of all kinds for Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-11 2019). We thank those teachers who furthered our own development, as well as those who are currently guiding future generations. Celebrate Teachers’ Week by setting aside those lesson plans and exploring the growth of education in the United States.

Revisiting U.S. Education with HeinOnline

The United States system of education has evolved under a variety of influences dating back to the Colonial Era.

17th-18th Centuries

Compulsory education is rooted in the ideals of the Thirteen Colonies…

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Food and Drug Law

Food and Drug Law, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Benjamin Boron



Civilization has long been concerned with the quality and safety of foods and medicines. Up until the late 20th century, there were few laws regulating the ingredients of food products or the misrepresentation of medicinal substances.

On June 30, 1906, Congress passed the Pure Food and Drug Act which was signed by President Theodore Roosevelt and was a key piece of Progressive Era legislation. This was the first of a series of significant consumer protection laws enacted by Congress in the 20th century that eventually led to the creation of the Food and Drug Administration in 1930.

The Food and Drug Administration is a federal agency of the United States and is responsible for protecting and promoting public health by ensuring the safety…

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Two New Titles Added To the U.S. Federal Legislative History Library

Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

HeinOnline's U.S. Federal Legislative History Library is a research powerhouse containing more than 2,400 titles and covering all major public laws. Documents contained in legislative histories include various bill versions, House reports, Senate reports, congressional hearings, the full text of the final public law, and more. Researchers use these documents to clarify ambiguous statutory language and to determine legislative intent behind all or portions of a public law.

This month, we've added two significant compiled legislative histories dealing with extremely relevant topics: cybersecurity and tax hikes. Both legislative histories were compiled by William H. Manz. Manz is an attorney and adjunct professor at St. John's University Law School in Jamaica, New York, where he previously held the position of Senior Research Librarian…

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No Money, More Problems: Healthcare in the United States

Exploring HeinOnline, Searching, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

With the recent news that "Obamacare" health insurance premiums are set to rise an average of 22% next year, the healthcare crisis in the U.S. has once again come to the attention of the taxpaying public.

Officials cite the following reasons for the price increase:

  • Fewer insurers willing to participate in the public healthcare market
  • Not enough "healthy" people signed up for insurance
  • Those who signed up for insurance are sicker than the industry predicted

Although federal subsidies should help most Americans pay for this increase, the central issues surrounding the cost of medical care and the health insurance industry are problems which remain unsolved. This informative article from the nonpartisan group commonwealthfund.org provides an excellent comparison of healthcare in industrialized nations worldwide…

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Voting in America

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Furtak

Four debates down, one election to go! Televisions, computers, and mobile devices in the United States have been taken over by the presidential election for more than a year. Back in June, this blog post encouraged readers to step away from the current political climate to study the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Take another break and check out a few key historical amendments and public laws related to voting in the United States.

Important Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

HeinOnline's World Constitutions Illustrated is an excellent resource for all types of constitutional research. It contains constitutions and constitutional histories of all countries of the world…

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Research Gun Control and the Second Amendment

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Congressional Documents, U.S. Federal Legislative History, World Constitutions Illustrated
Shannon Furtak

It's nearly impossible to turn on the news in the United States without learning of a new mass shooting or other deadly incident involving guns. After each incident, the debate over gun control is reignited, with one side calling for stricter regulation of gun sales and ownership and the other side arguing that any type of such restrictions violate the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Regardless of your position on this controversial issue, start your research in HeinOnline. The entire text of the current United States Constitution is available in the World Constitutions Illustrated library, which also contains constitutions and constitutional histories for all countries of the world…

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Voting Rights Act of 1965

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

There is nothing quite like an election year to make social gatherings heated and uncomfortable. Political opinions are often deeply rooted and are nearly always unchangeable. Avoid the next big blowout, along with any mention of Clinton or Trump, and instead discuss an important historical aspect of the federal election process: the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

The Fifteenth Constitutional Amendment prohibited the denial of the right to vote based on race, color, or previous condition of servitude. Despite this, between 1868 and the 1950s, southern states took measures to suppress the African-American vote by passing legislation to create voter restrictions, including literacy tests, poll taxes, and property ownership requirements…

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Mourning the Loss of Muhammad Ali

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, U.S. Federal Legislative History
Shannon Furtak

On June 3, a legend passed away, leaving much of the world in mourning.

Muhammad Ali — born Cassius Clay, and known fondly as The Greatest, The Champ, The People's Champion, and The Louisville Lip — was widely regarded as one of the most celebrated and controversial sports figures of the 20th century.  This excellent biographical obituary from time.com describes his early life, his boxing career, and his larger-than-life presence in the world.

Ali fought battles both inside and out of the boxing ring. He rose to worldwide fame after winning a gold medal in the 1960 Rome Olympics, but returned home to a nation divided over civil rights and plagued by segregation and racism…

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A Brief History of Beer Laws

Current Events, Exploring HeinOnline, Law Journal Library, Statutes at Large, Subject Compilations of State Laws
Shannon Furtak

It's American Craft Beer Week! With locally-owned breweries popping up in cities all over the country, the small-business beer industry is booming and rejuvenating formerly abandoned industrial areas in the process. Of course, beer is (usually) alcohol, and alcohol and the law have had a rather contentious relationship throughout American history. Check out this brief timeline of events, and click the available links to access the laws in HeinOnline:

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