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November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007 - American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Every year since 1990, the President of the United States has proclaimed November National American Indian Heritage Month.

National American Indian Heritage Month is an opportunity to honor the many contributions of American Indians and Alaska Natives and to recognize the strong and living traditions of the first people to call our land home.

American Indians and Alaska Natives continue to shape our Nation by preserving the heritage of their ancestors and by contributing to the rich diversity that is our country's strength. Their dedicated efforts to honor their proud heritage have helped others gain a deeper understanding of the vibrant and ancient customs of the Native American community. We also express our gratitude to the American Indians and Alaska Natives who serve in our Nation's military and work to extend the blessings of liberty around the world.

Full Presidential Proclamation for 2007
http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/10/20071031-2.html

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Many government agencies work with American Indians directly, or are celebrating American Indian heritage, such as:

Census Bureau - Demographics on American Indians and Alaska Natives
http://www.census.gov/Press-Release/www/releases/archives/facts_for_features_special_editions/010849.html

Bureau of Indian Affairs
http://www.doi.gov/bureau-indian-affairs.html

Indian Health Service
http://www.ihs.gov/PublicAffairs/Heritage/index.cfm

Library of Congress - Native Americans
http://www.loc.gov/topics/nativeamericans/

National Museum of the American Indian
http://www.nmai.si.edu/

National Park Service
http://www.nps.gov/history/nr/feature/indian/

October 19, 2007

October 19, 2007 - Getting ready for cold and flu season

Today's meeting of the Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee and their recommendation that cough medicine containing decongestants, expectorants, antihistamines or antitussives not be given to children under the age of six brings to mind the upcoming winter season and the infections normally associated with it: colds and flus.

Several governmental agencies provide information about treating and preventing these common cold weather maladies.

Federal Drug Adminitration - What to do for Colds and Flus
http://www.fda.gov/opacom/lowlit/clds&flu.html

Center for Disease Control and Prevention - Human Parainfluenza Viruses (Common cold and croup)
http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/dvrd/revb/respiratory/hpivfeat.htm

FDA - Flu Information
http://www.fda.gov/oc/opacom/hottopics/flu.html

Health and Human Services - Seasonal Flu Page
http://www.hhs.gov/flu/

CDC - Flu Activity and Surveillance
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/weekly/fluactivity.htm

2007-08 Influenza Prevention & Control Recommendations
http://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/acip/index.htm

Additional resources:

The Nonprescription Drug Advisory Committee meeting's briefing information is available here.

October 15, 2007

October 15, 2007 - Equine Resources

Today the University of Minnesota will celebrate the opening of the Louise and Doug Leatherdale Equine Center, a state of the art center for equine education, research and care. The Center is located on the St. Paul campus.

The federal government has an interest in horses as well through the:

US Dept of Agriculture - National Animal Health Monitoring System - Equine Studies
http://nahms.aphis.usda.gov/equine/

Bureau of Land Management - National Wild Horse and Burro Program
http://www.wildhorseandburro.blm.gov/index.php

US Dept of Agriculture - Animal Welfare Information Center - Information Resources on the Care and Welfare of Horses
http://www.nal.usda.gov/awic/pubs/horses/horses.htm

Horse Protection Act of 1970 with amendments
http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_welfare/hp/index.shtml

Other federal documents related to horses can be found in the Government Publications Library.

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Additional resources:

University of Minnesota Extension Service - Horses
http://shop.extension.umn.edu/ProgramList.aspx?CategoryID=36


October 10, 2007

October 10, 2007 - Federal Government Expenditures to States

"The Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) is a presentation of data on federal government expenditures or obligations in state, county, and subcounty areas of the United States, including the District of Columbia and U.S.
Outlying Areas. CFFR contains statistics on the geographic distribution of federal program expenditures, using data
submitted by federal departments and agencies."

Consolidated Federal Funds Report for Fiscal Year 2005 (State and County Areas)

Federal Aid to States for Fiscal Year 2005


September 29, 2007

September 29, 2007 - National Security Letter Reform Act

The use of National Security Letters (NSL) has been around since 1978, but the topic has received renewed interest since the passing of the PATRIOT Act shortly after the September 11th attacks. Issued by the FBI and other government agencies, the leter requires organizations to turn over records and data pertaining to individuals with no probable cause or judicial oversight. In addition those service with NSLs are under a gag order and risk criminal charges if they talk.

Over the past couple years, opponents of the NSLs believe the federal government is overusing the letters to collect information without oversight, while proponents believe in the need for larger latitude in their use due to the current war on terror. The National Security Letter (NSL) Reform Act of 2007 seeks to establish reasonable procedural protections for the use of national security letters.

Additional Resource:

Federal Bureau of Investigation - FAQ National Security Letters

September 27, 2007

September 27, 2007 - State Department & Web 2.0

Over the last year and half, the State Department has steadily added a range of Web 2.0 elements to its web presence. In addition to many RSS feeds that citizens can use to keep up to date on State activities (http://www.state.gov/misc/echannels/66791.htm), they offer a range of audio and video services including podcasts (http://www.state.gov/misc/echannels/66781.htm), YouTube videos (http://www.youtube.com/user/statevideo), online discussions (http://www.state.gov/r/pa/ei/ask/77483.htm) with agency personnel, and, now, a blog. The blog is called Dipnote and its first entry was this week.

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September 26, 2007

September 26, 2007 - Federal Trade Commission

That tag on your t-shirt does more than just scratch the back of your neck. It is there because of a federal agency, the Federal Trade Commission. On September 26, 1914, President Woodrow Wilson signed into law the Federal Trade Commission Act. This created the Federal Trade Commission whose "mission is to protect consumers from fraudulent or deceptive claims that mislead consumers, and from harmful business practices that undermine the competitive process." The FTC investigates and prosecutes hundreds of cases each year, from telemarketing to apparal companies.

September 24, 2007

September 24, 2007 - Devil's Tower National Monument

On September 24, 1906, President Theodore Roosevelt designated Devil's Tower as the first National Monument. Rising 1267 feet above the Belle Fourche River in eastern Wyoming, over 20 American Indian tribes consider Devil's Tower a sacred place.

The establishment of the National Monument stemmed from a law passed that same year called the Antiquities Act of 1906. Passed on June 8th, the law authorized the President of the United States "to declare by public proclamation historic landmarks, historic and prehistoric structures, and other objects of historic or scientific interest that are situated upon the lands owned or controlled by the Government of the United States to be national monuments...."

Three additional sites were proclaimed in 1906: the Petrified Forest (Arizona), El Morro (New Mexico) and Montezuma Castle (Arizona).

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Source: National Park Service


September 21, 2007

September 21, 2007 - Library of Congress Today in History

Being up here in the wintery North, many peole forget that the American Southwest was colonized over 400 years ago. On September 21, 1596, Spain appointed Juan de Onate governor of the colony of New Mexico. Onate's main reason for wanting the position was to find the famed Seven Cities of Gold rumored to exist in the desert by present day Santa Fe.

Check out the Library of Congress Today in History page to learn more about Onate and the history of New Mexico, including Billy the Kid, the Gadsden Purchase, and the Pueblo culture.

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Photo Source: Library of Congress - http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/sep21.html

September 19, 2007

September 19, 2007 - New Government Accountability Office Report on Department of Homeland Security

Department of Homeland Security: Progress Report on Implementation of Mission and Management Functions.
GAO-07-1240T, September 18, 2007.

"The Department of Homeland Security's (DHS) recent 4-year anniversary provides an opportunity to reflect on the progress DHS has made. The creation of DHS was one of the largest federal reorganizations in the last several decades, and GAO has reported that it was an enormous management challenge and that the size, complexity, and importance of the effort made the challenge especially daunting and critical to the nation's security. Our prior work on mergers and acquisitions has found that successful transformations of large organizations, even those faced with less strenuous reorganizations than DHS, can take at least 5 to 7 years to achieve. This testimony is based on our August 2007 report evaluating DHS's progress since March 2003. Specifically, it addresses DHS's progress across 14 mission and management areas and key themes that have affected DHS's implementation efforts."

September 15, 2007

2006 - Immigration Reform

The year 2006 saw three immigration reform bills make their way through the House or Senate.

* Border Protection, Antiterrorism, and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005

* Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2006

* Securing America's Borders Act

Key issues included additional Border Patrol agents, new border security technology & infrostructure, temporary worker programs, more accountability by employers, ID cards, mandatory English lessons, citizenship for illigal immigrants who have established themselves in this country, and honoring the tradition of America's melting pot. Across the United States, there were rallies and protests from groups on both sides of the issue.

In the end the session ended before any of the bills went to committee.

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Additional resources:

White House - Immigration in Focus
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/immigration/#

September 14, 2007

2005 - The answer: most active season in history

The question: what is the 2005 Atlantic hurricane season. Several records were broken that year including most storms in a season (28), most storms that became hurricanes (15), and most catagory 5 hurricanes (4). The most remembered is Hurricane Katrina that hit the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts and whose storm surge caused massive flooding in New Orleans.

Additional resources:

NOAA Hurricane Page http://hurricanes.noaa.gov/

National Hurricane Center http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

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September 13, 2007

2004 - Tsunami

The earthquake occurred at sea, of the western coast of Northern Sumatra, but the subsequent tsunami affected the countries all around the Indian Ocean, including Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, Thailand, and even as far as the coastal countries of Eastern Africa. For many there was no hint of the incoming disaster until the waves hit the coastline. Nearly 230,000 people were lost, either confirmed dead or still missing, and the 2004 tsunami has been labeled as the worst recorded natural disaster in terms of lives lost.

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Resources:

Tsunami page from the US Geological Survey
http://walrus.wr.usgs.gov/tsunami/indianocean.html

Kyoto (Japan) University's Disaster Prevention Research Institute
http://www.drs.dpri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/sumatra/index-e.html

September 12, 2007

2003 - Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)

While 2003 is best remembered for the Invasion of Iraq and the capture of Saddam Hussein, it was also a year that showed how globally connected the world had become. SARS is a viral respiratory illness cased by a coronavirus transmitted by coughing or sneezes of an infected person, or by touching a contaminated surface then touching the mouth, nose or eye region of the face. First diagnosed in February 2003, the illness spread to two dozen countries on four continents in a few months.

Why did the disease spread so fast? Early cases of SARS occurred in China; however, the country was slow to notify the World Health Organization. As individuals unknowingly infected with the virus traveled out of the country, the illness spread to other cities, including Toronto, Hong Kong, San Francisco, and Singapore. In all over 8,000 known cases were reported with 774 deaths.

Additional resource: CDC Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) page

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September 11, 2007

2002 - Yucca Mountain

For years scientists have worked to figure out the best way to dispose of the radioactive waste and spent nuclear reactor fuel cells, and most agree that an underground facility is the best choice. During the 1980's several sites were looked at but by 1987 and the Nuclear Waste Policy Act, energies were being focused on Yucca Mountain, located in the desert of Nevada. The act made the Department of Energy responsible for finding a site and building and operating an underground waste disposal facility.

On July 23, 2002, President Bush signed House Joint Resolution 87 which allowed the Energy to take the next steps in establishing a safe repository, including preparing an application to obtain a Nuclear Regulatory Commission license to begin construction. The anticipated opening date of the Yucca Mountain Repository is March 31, 2017. Currently there are 131 temporary nuclear waste sites in 39 states.

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September 10, 2007

2001 - The War on Terror

Many people still remember where they were when news of President Kennedy's assassination reached them. The same is true of the September 11th attacks. In a few short months after President Bush declared a war on terror, the Department of Homeland Security was created to coordinate federal response and protection, the USA PATRIOT Act was passed to deter terrorist attacks and strengthen law enforcement investigation tools, and President Bush signed an executive order allowing military tribunals against any foreigners suspected of connections to US terrorist attacks.

The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (the 9/11 Commission) was created in 2002 and charged with the duty to "prepare a full and complete account of the circumstances surrounding the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, including preparedness for and the immediate response to the attacks. The Commission is also mandated to provide recommendations designed to guard against future attacks." Their report was released two years later.


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September 8, 2007

1999 - Panama Canal

The Isthmus of Panama was the perfect place for a canal connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans. The French tried to build one in the late 19th century, but the effort was taken over by the United States in 1904. Opened in 1914, the United States controled the Canal Zone in return for helping Panama acheive their independence. However by the 1970's, Panama wanted control of its land returned so the Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977 set out a timeline for transfering ownership. On December 31, 1999, the management of the canal was turned over to the Panama Canal Authority.

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September 6, 2007

1997 - Presidential Apology for the Tuskagee Syphilis Study

On May 16, 1997 President Clinton formally apologized to the men and families involved in the Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male. From 1932 to 1972, in Macon county, Alabama, the United States Public Health Service treated a group of 600 black men for syphilis. However, the treatment never actually occurred, although the participants were told they were being treated. While information from the study was published throughout the forty years it was in effect, it was an Associated Press story in 1972 that raised national awareness to shut down the study and led to revised federal rules on human subjects research.

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Additional information: National Archives - Tuskegee Study

September 4, 2007

1995 - 50th Anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima

Monday morning, August 6, 1945 dawned clear and sunny in Hiroshima, Japan. By the end of the day, four square miles of the city were destroyed and an estimated 70,000 citizens were dead. The missing piece of this equation ... a 9,700 pound uranium bomb called "Little Boy".

Between 1942 and 1945 top secret tests took place first in the mountains of Northern New Mexico at Los Alamos, then in the flat desertscape by Socorro leading up to the first test of an atomic bomb on July 16, 1945 at Trinity Site. Here in the arid Southwest, the United States was developing a weapon to end the war, and Hiroshima was the first location to learn firsthand it's deadly power. Even fifty years after the dropping of the bomb, researchers continue to pull together the history of Trinity Site, Los Alamos National Laboratory, and the Manhattan Project, as well as the effects of the atomic bomb that still linger today.

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August 31, 2007

1991 - Operation Desert Storm

It started the previous year on August 2nd, 1990, when the Iraqi Republication Guard invaded Kuwait and seized control of the county. Six days later Operation Desert Shield began to stop the Iraqi army from entering Saudi Arabia. In November, The United Nations Security Council issued Resolution 678 stipulating that Saddam Hussein remove troops from Kuwait by January 15, 1991 or a U.S.-led coalition would drive them out.

When Iraq did not comply, Operation Desert Storm began on January 16, 1991 with air strikes agains Iraq. Six weeks later Kuwait City was liberated and on February 28th, a cease fire took affect. Simple facts, but the events of 16 years ago continue to affect the world today.

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National Security Archives - Operation Desert Storm: Ten Years Later

August 29, 2007

1989 - Neptune

While on planet Earth Communism in Eastern Europe was collapsing (the fall of the Berlin Wall and Czechoslovakia's Velvet Revolution), NASA was looking towards the heavens. Voyager II, an unmanned interplanatary spacecraft, was launched in 1977. By 1989 it had reached the planet of Neptune where it photgraphed the planet up close. These photos are most comlete set of images to date of the planet.

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NASA - Solar System Exploration - Neptune

August 27, 2007

1987 - Iran Contra Affair

Little is known about the events surrounding the Iran Contra Affair are unknown (the documents were destroyed by insiders), but general concensus is members of the Reagan administration shold weapons to Iran and used the profits to fund Contra rebels in Nicaragua. The program was coordinated by Oliver North of the National Security Council and circumvented both Administration policy and the Boland Amendment which limited US assistance to rebel contras to overthrow the Nicaraguan government.

The President formed the Tower Commission (see excerpts) to look into the issue and they released their report on February 26, 1987. It criticized several members of the Reagan administration but could not determine the level of President Reagan's knowledge of the affair. It did criticize Reagan's apparent lack of knowledge regarding his staff's actions. Several Congressional hearings have looked into the Iran Contra Affair and can be found in the Government Publications Library.

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Other Information:

National Security Archives - Iran-Contra Affair 20 Years On

August 26, 2007

1986 - Space Shuttle Challenger

On January 28, 1986 Americans across the U.S. watched the launch of Space Shuttle Challenger from Kennedy Space Center in Florida. A high percentage of those watching were school children for one member of the shuttle crew was a teacher, Christa McAuliffe, the first Teacher in Space Program participant. Just over a minute into the flight, Challenger exploded, killing all seven crew members. Several investigations concluded the cause was eventually found to be an O-ring in the solid rocket booster.

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NASA's Challenger STS 51-L Accident
http://history.nasa.gov/sts51l.html

Presidential Commission on the Space Shuttle Challenger Accident (Rogers Commission)
http://history.nasa.gov/rogersrep/51lcover.htm

Selected Congressional Hearings and Reports from the Challenger Space Shuttle Accident: Main Page
http://www.gpoaccess.gov/challenger/

August 22, 2007

1982 - Vietnam Veterans Memorial

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IN HONOR OF THE MEN AND WOMEN OF THE ARMED FORCES OF THE UNITED STATES WHO SERVED IN THE VIETNAM WAR. THE NAMES OF THOSE WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES AND OF THOSE WHO REMAIN MISSING ARE INSCRIBED IN THE ORDER THEY WERE TAKEN FROM US. Inscription from panel 1 of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall

In 1979, Jan Scruggs, a Vietnam veteran, began the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund (VVMF), an organization that wanted on the National Mall a monument dedicated to the men and women who lost their lives or were missing in action during the Vietnam War. The national design competition brought in 1,421 entries based on four criteria: the design must be reflective, harmonious with the site, inscribed with the names of the dead and missing in action, and make no political statement. Maya Ying Lin, an architecture student from Yale University, was chosen.

Three years after Scruggs began his mission, on November 13, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated. Listed on its black granite walls are 58,249 names.

August 21, 2007

1981 - First report on AIDS

The June 5, 1981 issue of Morbiity and Mortality Weekly Report published a report entitled 5 cases of Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia (PCP) - Los Angeles. The report prompted the Centers for Disease Control to instigate reporting from New York City, San Francisco and other cities, and in June 1981 to form an investigative team to look into risk factors and to define this disease for national surveillance. What started as five identified cases in Los Angeles has grown to an estimated 38.6 million cases worldwide in 2005, according to the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS.

Additional reports and articles detailing the early years of the AIDS epidemic can be found at In their own words...NIH Researchers recall the early Years of AIDS and 25 Notable HIV and AIDS Reports Published in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

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August 20, 2007

1980 - Mount St. Helens Eruption

May 18, 1980 started out peaceful for most of the country. But in eastern Washington, seismic activity reached the eruption point literally. Mount St. Helens, dormant since 1857, became active a couple months earlier in March. Geologists focused on the north face where a bulge could be seen growing. There had been small eruptions leading up to May 18th, but nothing measured the same level as the eruption on that Sunday. At 8:32 am (Pacific time), Mount St. Helens erupted blowing down or burying 230 square miles of forest and shooting ash thousands of feet into the air. Fifty-seven people were killed and the ecosystem on the mountain destroyed.

In the nearly 30 years since the eruption, the USGS has studied the eruption and many of its reports are available online. In 1982, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument was created as an education, research, and recreation center.

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August 17, 2007

1977 - Project MKULTRA

Jump back to 1974 when a New York Times article alerted Americans to secret CIS programs funded during the 1950's and 60's. One such program was Project MKULTRA where research involved "covert drug tests on unwitting citizens at all social levels, high and low, native Americans and foreigns. Several of these test involved the administration of LSD to unwitting subjects in social situtions." Details of the program were outlined in Senate hearings in 1977 when additional materials about MKULTRA came to light. Most documents had been destroyed in 1973 but new information pointed to the disturbing fact that "the extent of experimentation on human subjects was unknown" but nearly 90 universities and research institutions across the country had been involved.

Check out the Project MKULTRA, the CIA's Program of Research in Behavioral Modification Senate Hearing from August 3, 1977 (Wilson Gov Pub Y 4.In 8/19:M 69) for more information.

August 15, 2007

The times they were a changin'.....

Some laws capture the feelings and attitudes of an entire decade. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 is such a law. In the years before its passage, events such as Brown v. Board of Education, Montgomery Bus Boycott, the Little Rock Nine, the March on Washington (see photo), and the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, all pointed to the need for legislative reform at the national level.

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Initially suggested by President John F. Kennedy in 1963 when he urged Americans to take action toward guaranteed equal treatment of all citizens, the act was signed into law by Lyndon B. Johnson on July 2, 1964. It "prohibited discrimination in public places, provided for the integration of schools and other public facilities, and made employment discrimination illegal."

Extensive resources into the Civil Rights movement can be found at the Historical Publications of the United States Commission on Civil Rights site hosted by the University of Maryland Thurgood Marshall Law Library, and at the home page of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.

July 26, 2007

Armistice in Korea

Department of State. August 1953. S 1.38:61.

Often the "same" document will be published in multiple sources from multiple agencies within the government and it is up to the user to decide which version is the one that will work for them.

For example, this publication includes the text of the armistice agreement with Korea, plus related materials. Probably most useful for research, but not the official version. The official version of the armistice appears in Treaties and Other International Agreements Series S 9.10: 2782, also from the Department of State. So, if you had to have the "real" thing, then you would go the Treaties... series.

However, you can also find the text of the armistice on the Department of State website at Korean War Armistice Agreement. Same agency, same agreement, certainly an official government website - does this version count as the "real" thing? There's no firm answer; for a class paper, it might be fine; in court, probably not.

Plus, the National Archives and Records Administration hosts an educational site at Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953) that includes the agreement text plus some supporting material, although not the same material as is in Armistice in Korea. Is the Archives material adequate? Again, no firm answer.

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Armistice Hall, North Korean Side. Source: Library of Congress.

July 19, 2007

Problems of Communism

United States Information Agency. 1952. IA 1.8:
This bimonthly periodical with the peculiar title ceased publication in 1992, because, with communism collapsed in the USSR, Eastern Europe and numerous other countries around the world, the United States Information Agency (USIA) decided its work was done. Not long after the publication ceased, the agency itself was disbanded as an independent agency and folded into the US Information Service of the Department of State. The history of the USIA, and it's "public diplomacy" are described at http://dosfan.lib.uic.edu/usia/abtusia/commins.pdf.

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July 12, 2007

Germany Surrenders Unconditionally

National Archives and Records Administration. 1945. AE 1.2:G 31

The National Archives also has the "End of the War in the Pacific", 1945, AE 1.2: Su 7. These documents contain facsimiles of surrender documents in English, Russian, German and Japanese.

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July 5, 2007

How Your Words Get to Japan

Department of the Navy. 1945. N 1.2: J27.

Prepared by the War Advertising Council in cooperation with the Office of War Information, this
document presents facts from the official records of the Army, Navy, FBI, and the Office of Censorship.

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June 21, 2007

Military Highway to Alaska

Canada, signed March 17 and 18, 1942, Executive Agreement Number 246. 1942. 5 pages. S 9.8:246.
Executive agreements like treaties represent a formal understanding between nations. This agreement endorses the plan to build the Alcan International Highway to further the war effort of regaining the Aleutian Islands. The 1,523 mile highway opened on November 21, 1942.

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June 7, 2007

Federal Register

National Archives and Records Administration. AE 2.7:1. March 14, 1936.
Because of a case which resulted in the U.S. Attorney General having to explain to the Supreme Court why he was prosecuting two Texas oil companies over violations of regulations that didn't exist at the time of the alleged violation, Congress decided that it would be a good idea if there was a single source that recorded all regulations in force or development, as well as presidential executive orders and proclamations. Thus was born the Federal Register. (Source: http://www.archives.gov/federal-register/the-federal-register/history.pdf
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June 1, 2007

Social Security Act of 1935

Statutes at Large. GS 4.111: 49. (49 Stat. 620. P.L. 74-271.)
On August 14, 1935, the Social Security Act established a system of old-age benefits for workers, benefits for victims of industrial accidents, unemployment insurance, aid for dependent mothers and children, the blind, and the physically handicapped. An unofficial transcription is available from the National Archives and Records Administration at Transcript of Social Security Act (1935).

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May 24, 2007

Treaty for the Renunciation of War

Department of State. 1933. S 9.2: W 19/5.
The Kellogg-Briand Pact of 1928 condemned war as a solution to international conflicts. Germany, Japan, and Italy signed the agreement.

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May 17, 2007

Works Progress Administration, Sponsored federal project no.1, (Art. music, theatre and writing)

1935. Y3.W89/2: 3/29/supp. 1.
The Works Progress Administration (WPA) was established by Executive Order No. 7034, May 6, 1935 and charged with employing as many people as quickly as possible to help end the Great Depression.

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May 3, 2007

Commerce Yearbook 1928

Department of Commerce. C 18.26: 1928.

Given the Stock Market Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed, the summary of banking and finance activities in 1927 (p. 637) is still unnerving after all these years:

"In 1927, there was continued growth in the volume of practically every kind of financial transaction; but, except in the stock market, it was a growth so sound and gradual as to be without great general interest....Stock-market speculation was most pronounced; 1927 was a year of swiftly rising security prices, without any setback worth mentioning. Both stocks and bonds reached new high levels for all time and about one-half of the increased loans by all banks were in the form of brokers' collateral loans."

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April 12, 2007

Flight of Captain A. Charles Lindbergh from New York to Paris, May 20-21, 1927

Department of State. 1927. S 1.2: L64. Charles Lindbergh's solo flight across the Atlantic caused so much excitement around the world that the State Department compiled 43 pages of messages on the topic and published them.

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April 5, 2007

Manual for Army Horseshoers

Manual for Army Horseshoers. War Department. 1917. W 30.2: Ar 5/2. According to an article in the The Quartermaster Professional Bulletin, on the U.S. Army Quartermaster Corps website, World War I was the last armed conflict in which horses were used in quantity. In fact, the demand for horses actually increased because of the Artillery, the Cavalry and other units.

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March 29, 2007

Minnesota's Earthquake of September 3, 1917

Minnesota's only known earthquake was recorded in the September 1917 issue of Climatological Data. Minnesota Section., Department of Agriculture, Weather Bureau. The observer noted that "Practically no damage was done." This publication also contains precipitation, temperature and storm information and continues today. The National Climatic Data Center makes available *.pdf versions of all years of Climatological Data, which for Minnesota, goes back to 1884. If you are in a FDLP library or at an educational institution, you may view these reports online for free.

March 22, 2007

"The Passenger Pigeon"

"The Passenger Pigeon" in the 1911 Annual Report of the Smithsonian Institution noted in its introduction that there was one living bird left in 1911. This report marks the beginning of conservation efforts in the United States. You can request the 1911 Annual Report from storage using the information and links in our catalog record. The Smithsonian also has an article at The Passenger Pigeon that includes a picture of Martha, the last bird mentioned in 1911.

March 15, 2007

Statistical Abstract of the United States

As the National Data Book it contains a collection of statistics on social and economic conditions in the United States. Selected international data are also included. The Abstract is also your Guide to sources of other data from the Census Bureau, other Federal agencies, and private organizations (see example table). The online version has full text from 1995-, although the series as a whole starts in 1878.
- Check MNCAT Record for Location and Availability

March 8, 2007

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS)

Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) is the official record of the United States' foreign policy. The Department of State has published FRUS since 1861. FRUS can be found in the libraries for 1870-1931 and 1932-present. You can find online versions for 1861-1960 at University of Wisconsin Digital Collections and for 1952-present at the Department of State.