When the U.S. Supreme Court met for the first time on Feb. 1, 1790, one of its first orders of business was to hire a crier, someone who could herald the opening of its session the next day.

Unlike many court traditions, the crier no longer exists, which is why you may not have known there ever was one. George Hutchinson, the last crier of the court, served in that role from 1952 to 1962. From then on, the court’s marshal has taken on the singular task of shouting “Oyez Oyez Oyez” among other welcoming words, and gaveling the court to order.

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