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Website of the Week

Website of the Week Archive

Oct. 27, 2003.


This website offers a vast collection of anecdotes by and about famous people, everyday issues, and human nature. The collection is searchable by keyword, last name, first name, city, country, nationality, and occupation. Sources are cited

A few examples:

  • Search: law school.
    When Robert Hutchins was dean of the Yale Law School, he once fell into conversation with William Howard Taft, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. "Well, Professor Hutchins," Taft remarked, "I suppose you teach your students that the judges are all fools." "No, Mr. Chief Justice," Hutchins replied, "we let them find that out for themselves."
  • Search: holmes
    One day in his eighty-seventh year, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. passed a beautiful girl while out strolling with another old friend. "Oh," he remarked, turning to watch her as she walked away, "to be seventy again!"
  • Search: senator
    John Glenn, the first American astronaut in space, was once asked to describe his (presumably profound) thoughts just before taking off into space. "I looked around me and suddenly realized," Glenn replied, "that everything had been built by the lowest bidder!"
  • Search by occupation: lawyer
    One day John Marshall and his fellow Supreme Court justices, having heard disturbing rumors of their own excessive drinking, jointly agreed to abstain on their weekly consultation day - unless it was raining. The following consultation day, Marshall (the Chief Justice) instructed Joseph Story to go to the window and check for signs of inclement weather. Story soon reported back: "Mr. Chief Justice, I have very carefully examined this case," he declared, "and I have to give it as my opinion that there is not the slightest sign of rain." "Justice Story," Marshall replied, "I think that is the shallowest and most illogical opinion I have ever heard you deliver. You forget that our jurisdiction is as broad as the Republic, and by the laws of nature it must be raining some place in our jurisdiction. Waiter, bring on the rum!"
  • Search by city: Seattle
    In April 2003, Conan O'Brien learned that Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen had announced plans to build a multi-million dollar Science Fiction museum in Seattle, Washington. "It will be," O'Brien quipped, "the first museum in America that won't require a girl's bathroom."
  • Search by last name: Lincoln
    One day while he was still practicing law, Abraham Lincoln was visited by a prospective client who wished to file a suit for $2.50 against an impoverished debtor. Though Lincoln tried to dissuade him, the man was bent on exacting revenge. After considerable discussion, Lincoln reluctantly agreed to take the case. Upon receipt of his $10 fee, he promptly gave half to the defendant, who in turn immediately acknowledged, and paid, the $2.50 debt.
2008, M.G. Gallagher Law Library, University of Washington