You are cordially invited to this month’s MARDI GRAS Celebration and membership informational meeting. This is for everyone -- seasoned members, new members, and guests. There will be great door prizes, raffle items, and just a ton of fun. And with that, we are going to cover some fun facts of Mardi Gras and other miscellaneous fun facts:
The origins of Mardi Gras can be traced to Medieval Europe, though we have no written record of how that really transformed into the current Mardi Gras of today, but the origins of the Mardi Gras we celebrate today -- with Kings, Mardi Gras colors, and brass bands -- are traced to New Orleans. A French-Canadian explorer, Jean Baptiste Le Moyne Sieur de Bienville, landed on a plot of ground 60 miles directly south of New Orleans in 1699 and called it “Pointe due Mardi Gras.”
In 1704, a secret society was formed (Masque de la Mobile), similar to those who form our current Mardi Gras Krewes.
New Orleans was established in 1718 by Jean-Baptise Le Moyne. By the 1730s, Mardi Gras was celebrated openly in New Orleans but not in parade form.
In the early 1740s, Louisiana’s Governor, The Marquis de Vaudreuil, established elegant society balls, the model for the New Orleans Mardi Gras balls of today.
By the late 1830s, New Orleans held street processions of maskers with carriages and horseback to celebrate Mardi Gras. Newspapers began to announce Mardi Gras events in advance.
In 1871, Mardi Gras’s second “Krewe” is formed, the Twelfth Night Reveler’s, with the first account of Mardi Gras “throws.”
1872 was the year that a group of businessmen invented a King of Carnival -- Rex -- to parade in the first daytime parade. They introduced the Mardi Gras colors of purple, green and gold; the Mardi Gras song, and the Mardi Gras flag.
In 1873, the first floats were constructed entirely in New Orleans instead of France.
In 1875, Governor Warmoth of Louisiana signs the “Mardi Gras Act” making it a legal holiday in Louisiana, and in fact, while we celebrate Rodeo Week here, colleges close for Mardi Gras Week.
The official Mardi Gras colors were established in 1872 and in 1892, the Rex Parade Theme Symbolism of Colors gave meaning to the colors: purple represents justice; green, faith; and gold, power.
Of special note: Mardi Gras colors influenced the choice of school colors for arch rivals Louisiana State University and Tulane University. When LSU was deciding on its colors, the shops in New Orleans had stocked up on purple, green, and gold material for the Mardi Gras season. LSU decided upon purple and gold, and bought much of it. Tulane bought much of the only remaining color -- green!
AND NOW SOME NALS INTERESTING FACTS:
1929 - NALS established by Eula Mae Jett
1949 - Incorporated as the National Association of Legal Secretaries in 1949 and renamed NALS … the association for legal professionals in 1999.
1975 - With the approval of the NALS Executive Committee, the legal assistants division of NALS was dissolved to create an additional association. We then transferred assets, activities, and programs to this separate association, the National Association of Legal Assistants. The first date for the Certified Legal Assistant examination was announced in 1976. NALS and NALA shared headquarters and services until the early 1980s.
1999 - the NALS Board approved a name change for the association to better reflect the various positions of all NALS’ members. It was felt that because of NALS strong heritage and position in the profession, that we would keep the name “NALS” and it would no longer be an acronym but instead be used with a tag line that better described who NALS was and who our members were thus the tag line: the association for legal professionals was added. NALS had been serving, and continues to serve, all the various legal support professional fields, and this never changed. Since the birth of the paralegal profession, NALS has had legal assistant/paralegal members.
2002 - the NALS Board of Directors adopted the following definition of a legal assistant/paralegal, as also adopted by the ABA: “A legal assistant/paralegal is a person, qualified by education, training or work experience who is employed or retained by a lawyer, law office, corporation, governmental agency or other entity and who performs specifically delegated substantive legal work for which a lawyer is responsible.”
CERTIFICATION - NALS has been certifying individuals since 1960, longer than any other legal support professional association. We offer three levels of certifications: ALS, the basic certification for legal professionals, an entry-level exam for support staff; PLS, the advanced certification for legal professionals, a paralegal-level exam; and the Professional Paralegal (PP), a paralegal exam.
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So join us on February 17th and come share in the fun! Our guest speaker is our own Joani Yingling who I’m sure will be a very energetic and entertaining speaker. Looking forward to seeing you there!
Christine F. Clayton, PP, PLS, CERT
NALS of Tucson & So. AZ