Sunday, February 15, 2009

The Idaho Legal History Society

An email from our friend Susie Boring-Headlee, of Chief Judge Winmill's office, reminded me of the Idaho Legal History Society (ILHS) and their continuing efforts to document and preserve the legal history of the State of Idaho.

For those of us in the Steunenberg family, you got to love the ILHS logo (reproduced here with permission) adopted in 2005, the 100th year marking the assassination of Governor Frank Steunenberg. Soon thereafter, the ILHS formally introduced itself by sponsoring the December 2006 issue of The Advocate, the official publication of the Idaho State Bar. That edition was dedicated to the events leading up to and including the Haywood trial and contains many interesting articles.

In 2007, the society co-sponsored the play,
The Gate on 16th Avenue. I had the pleasure of attending that event along with my guest, Katie Forsythe, winner of the 2006 Idaho State History Day competition and National Jamestown award for her project, "The Explosive Mining War of 1899: Taking a Stand in the Coeur d'Alenes."

The society went on to actively support former Idaho Supreme Court Justice Byron J. Johnson and his drive toward the successful production of Idaho Public Television's (IPTV) Assassination: Idaho's Trial of the Century. I again had the pleasure to participate is a small way both on and off camera in an event that I shall never forget. The premiere of the program took place at the old Egyptian Theatre in Boise on November, 7th, 2007. Don't forget to pick up your copy of the DVD.

As the above indicates, the society has certainly played an important role in promoting the examination of historical events, with the initial focus having been on the assassination of Governor Steunenberg in 1905, the subsequent trial of William Haywood in 1907 and what we have learned, or perhaps not learned, from those lessons now over a 100 years later. The ILHS has also been gracious enough to post a couple of my somewhat imperfect but sincere writings on their website.

In the more recent December 2008 edition of The Advocate, again sponsored by the ILHS, you can read a number of completed oral histories from individuals that have played important roles in the legal history of the State. Of course, I had to immediately go to the one from our friend, former Justice Byron Johnson. I learned something new about Byron
--> -->that he had pitched for the Harvard varsity baseball team. Pretty impressive that he beat Yale, even if it was only a 5-hit shutout and not a no-hitter. Pitched a few shutouts in the courtroom too so I am told.
So take a look at the ILHS website, review the annual report, what they have done, what they continue to do and what they want to do in the future
-->and then consider becoming a member. I neglected not doing so sooner but will certainly do so now.
You may click on the form below, print and complete it and forward with the membership fee to the Idaho Legal History Society.
Thanks, John

No comments: