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The Online Resources section below has numerous links that are of current interest. For more links to material on just about any topic you're looking for, use the E-Links button above. Linked off of that page are pages containing hundreds of links to sites covering a number of topics.
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Quote of the Month
Labor Day celebrates the power of collective action in defense of the dignity of work.
Numbers of the Month
Labor Day, an annual celebration of workers and their achievements, originated during one of American labor history’s most dismal chapters. In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the US, the average American worked 12-hour days and 7-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Despite restrictions in some states, children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of their adult counterparts’ wages. People of all ages, particularly the very poor and recent immigrants, often faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with insufficient access to fresh air, sanitary facilities and breaks.
As manufacturing increasingly supplanted agriculture as the source of American employment, labor unions, which had first appeared in the late 18th century, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest poor conditions and compel employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Many events turned violent during this period. Others gave rise to longstanding traditions: On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in US history. The idea of a workingmen’s holiday, celebrated on the first Monday in September, caught on in other industrial centers across the country, and many states passed legislation recognizing it. Congress did not legalize the holiday until 12 years later.
Today, more and more Americans are actively participating in the labor market. Our current unemployment rate of 3.9% has dropped dramatically in recent years. More and more of us are producing goods and services more efficiently. The US GDP expanded by a near-record 4.2% in the second quarter of this year. The average hourly employee’s productivity has increased 80% over the past four decades. Unfortunately, economic disparities, long-term unemployment, wage stagnation, inflation and other challenges remain problems in a US economy still struggling to recover completely from the Great Recession. Many of us work longer and harder than ever before - the average American now spends 47 hours per week on the job - yet half of all workers make less than $520 a week, a figure that, adjusted for inflation, matches the level of earnings 18 years ago. But there is one thing of note this year, and it’s big: Some parts of the labor movement, particularly at the rank-and-file level, seem to have reached their breaking point. Because this year, they’ve started fighting back.
Then and Now
09/01/1864 - Atlanta fell to Union forces.
09/01/1939 - WWII began as Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
09/01/1942 - A federal judge in Sacramento upheld the wartime detention of Japanese-Americans as well as Japanese nationals.
09/01/1951 - The US, Australia and New Zealand signed a mutual defense pact, ANZUS.
09/01/1961 - The Soviet Union ended a moratorium on atomic testing with an aboveground nuclear explosion in central Asia.
09/01/1998 - Federal legislation made airbags mandatory.
09/02/1666 - The Great Fire of London broke out claiming thousands of homes but only a few lives.
09/02/1789 - The US Treasury Department was established.
09/02/1864 - Sherman occupied Atlanta.
09/02/1901 - VP Theodore Roosevelt offered the advice: Speak softly and carry a big stick.
09/02/1945 - Ho Chi Minh declared Vietnam an independent republic.
09/02/1945 - Japan formally surrendered in ceremonies aboard the USS Missouri, ending WWII.
09/02/1963 - Alabama Governor George Wallace prevented the integration of Tuskegee High School by encircling the building with state troopers.
09/02/1969 - The first ATM opened for business.
09/02/1973 - JRR Tolkien, the author of the best-selling fantasy novels The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings, died at the age of 81 in Bournemouth, England.
09/02/1998 - A UN court handed down the first international conviction for genocide, finding Jean-Paul Akayesu, the former mayor of a small town in Rwanda, guilty of nine counts,
09/02/2018 - Janmashtami / Krishna Jayanti (Birthday of Krishna) – Hinduism
09/03/1777 - The American flag was flown in battle for the first time on this day in 1777, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch's Bridge, Delaware.
09/03/1783 - The Treaty of Paris between the US and Great Britain officially ended the Revolutionary War.
09/03/1939 - Britain and France declared war on Germany, two days after the Nazi invasion of Poland.
09/03/1978 - The Roman Catholic Church installed Pope John Paul I as its 264th pontiff.
09/03/2018 - Labor Day
09/04/476CE - The Western Roman Empire fell when Romulus Augustus, the last emperor of the Western Roman Empire, was deposed by Odoacer, a German barbarian who proclaimed himself king of Italy.
09/04/1781 - Spanish settlers founded Los Angeles.
09/04/1886 - The last American Indian warrior surrendered when Geronimo, the wiliest and most dangerous Apache warrior of his time, finally surrendered in Skeleton Canyon, Arizona.
09/04/1951 - President Harry S. Truman's opening speech before a conference in San Francisco was broadcast across the nation, marking the first time a television program was broadcast from coast to coast. The speech focused on Truman's acceptance of a treaty that officially ended America's post-World War II occupation of Japan.
09/04/1957 - Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Central High School in Little Rock.
09/05/1774 - In response to the British Parliament's enactment of the Coercive Acts in the American colonies, the first session of the Continental Congress convened at Carpenter's Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates from all of the colonies except Georgia drafted a declaration of rights and grievances and elected Virginian Peyton Randolph as the first president of Congress. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams and John Jay were among the delegates.
09/05/1793 - The Reign of Terror began during the French Revolution as the National Convention instituted harsh measures to repress counterrevolutionary activities.
09/05/1836 - The Republic of Texas elected Sam Houston as president.
09/05/1877 - After his victory at Little Bighorn, US Army forces led by Colonel Nelson Miles pursued Crazy Horse and his followers. His tribe suffering from cold and starvation, on May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse surrendered to General George Crook at the Red Cloud Indian Agency in Nebraska. He was sent to Fort Robinson NE, where he was fatally bayoneted on this date by a US soldier after resisting confinement in a guardhouse.
09/05/1972 - Arab guerrillas attacked the Israeli delegation at the Munich Olympic Games. They killed eleven Israelis, five guerrillas and a police officer.
09/06/1941 - Germany ordered Jews over the age of six in German-occupied areas to wear yellow Stars of David.
09/06/1975 - Czechoslovak tennis star Martina Navratilova, in NY for the US Open, requested political asylum.
09/07/1901 - The Peace of Beijing ended the Boxer Rebellion in China.
09/07/1940 - Nazi Germany began its initial blitz on London during WWII.
09/07/1977 - The Panama Canal treaties, calling for the US to eventually turn over control of the waterway to Panama, were signed in Washington.
09/08/1664 - The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York.
09/08/1900 - A hurricane that killed about 6,000 people stuck Galveston TX.
09/08/1935 - Senator Huey P. Long (The Kingfish) of Louisiana politics was shot and morally wounded. He died two days later.
09/08/1952 - Ernest Hemingway's The Old Man and the Sea was first published.
09/08/1971 - The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts opened in Washington DC with a performance of Leonard Bernstein's Mass.
09/08/1974 - President Ford granted an unconditional pardon to former President Nixon.
09/07/2018 - National 401(k) Day
09/09/1776 - The Second Continental Congress made the term United States official, replacing United Colonies.
09/09/1948 - The People's Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) was created.
09/09/1957 - President Eisenhower signed into law the first civil rights bill to pass Congress since Reconstruction.
09/09/1976 - Communist Chinese leader Mao Tse-tung died in Beijing at the age of 82.
09/09/2002 - Iraq challenged the US to produce "one piece of evidence" that it was producing weapons of mass destruction.
09/09/2018 - Grandparents Day
09/09/2018 - Rosh Hashanah begins at sunset and ends on the 11th at nightfall – Judaism
09/10/1608 - John Smith became president of the Jamestown colony council in Virginia.
09/10/1846 - Elias Howe received a patent for his sewing machine.
09/10/1939 - Canada declared war on Nazi Germany.
09/10/1955 - Gunsmoke premiered on CBS.
09/10/1963 - Twenty black students entered Alabama public schools following a standoff between federal authorities and Governor George Wallace.
09/10/1991 - The Senate Judiciary Committee opened hearings on the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the US Supreme Court.
09/10/2018 - Al-Hijra (New Year) / Muharram begins at sunset and ends on 10/09 – Muslim
09/11/1962 - The Beatles made their first record for EMI, Love Me Do and P.S. I Love You.
09/11/1973 - Chilean President Salvador Allende died in a violent military coup.
09/11/1997 - Scots voted to create their own Parliament after 290 years of union with England.
09/11/2001 - Terrorists flew hijacked airliners into the World Trade towers in NYC and the Pentagon in Washington. A fourth plane crashed in Pennsylvania.
09/11/2018 - Patriot Day
09/11/2018 - Rastafarian New Year's Day
09/12/1609 - English explorer Henry Hudson sailed into the river that now bears his name.
09/12/1944 - During WWII, US Army troops entered Germany for the first time near Trier.
09/12/2000 - Hillary Rodham Clinton became the only First Lady to win an election as she claimed victory in the NY Democratic Senate primary.
09/13/1943 - Chiang Kai-shek became president of China.
09/13/1948 - Elected to the US Senate, Republican Margaret Chase Smith of Maine became the first woman to serve in both houses of Congress.
09/13/2018 - Ganesh Chaturthi – Hinduism
09/14/1814 - On this evening, Francis Scott Key stood onboard the ship Minden in Chesapeake Bay and composed the lines known as The Star-Spangled Banner.
09/14/1940 - Congress passed the Selective Service Act, providing for the first peacetime draft in US history.
09/15/1821 - Costa Rica, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and El Salvador proclaimed their independence from Spain.
09/15/1935 - The Nuremberg laws deprived German Jews of their citizenship and made the swastika the official symbol of Nazi Germany.
09/15/1963 - A bomb went off during Sunday services at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham killing four black girls.
09/15/2018 - September 15 through October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month.
09/16/1810 - Mexico began its revolt against Spanish rule.
09/16/1919 - The American Legion was incorporated by an act of Congress.
09/16/1940 - Sam Rayburn of Texas became Speaker of the US House.
09/16/1940 - President Franklin Roosevelt signed into law the Selective Training and Service Act which set up the first peacetime military draft in US history.
09/16/2018 - Mexican Independence Day
09/16/2018 - Mayflower Day
09/17/1787 - A majority of delegates attending the constitutional convention in Philadelphia completed and signed the Constitution of the US.
09/17/1920 - The American Professional Football Association, a precursor of the National Football League, was formed in Canton OH.
09/17/1939 - The Soviet Union invaded Poland, more than two weeks after Nazi Germany launched its assault.
09/17/1978 - After meeting at Camp David, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed a framework for a peace treaty.
09/17/2018 - Citizenship Day and Constitution Day (Federal law now requires all schools receiving federal funding to teach the Constitution on this day. Doesn’t that seem a little contrary to the spirit of the Constitution?)
09/18/1850 - Congress passed the Fugitive Slave Act which allowed slave owners to reclaim slaves who had escaped to other states.
09/18/1970 - Jimmy Hendrix died in London at age 27.
09/18/2018 - Yom Kippur (Atonement) begins at sundown and ends tomorrow at nightfall – Judaism
09/19/1796 - President Washington's farewell address was published.
09/19/1912 - When feminist Rebecca West, 19, reviewed Marriage by HG Wells, 45, and called him "the old maid among novelists," Wells asked to meet her. By the next spring, they had embarked on what became a 10-year love affair.
09/19/1957 - The US conducted its first underground nuclear test in the Nevada desert.
09/19/1986 - Federal health officials announced that the experimental drug AZT would be made available to thousands of AIDS patients.
09/19/2018 - Ashura begins at sunset – Muslim
09/20/1519 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan set out from Spain on a voyage to find a western passage to the Spice Islands in Indonesia.
09/20/2001 - President George W. Bush gave an address to a joint session of Congress cautioning the nation that there were "struggles ahead and dangers to face."
09/21/1792 - The French National Convention voted to abolish the monarchy.
09/21/1897 - The New York Sun ran its famous editorial that declared, "Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus."
09/21/1949 - The People's Republic of China was established.
09/21/1970 - NFL Monday Night Football made its debut on ABC.
09/21/1981 - The Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice on the Supreme Court.
09/22/1776 - Nathan Hale was hanged as a spy by the British during the Revolutionary War.
09/22/1862 - President Lincoln issued the preliminary Emancipation Proclamation which declared all slaves in rebel states should be free as of January 1, 1863.
09/22/1949 - The Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb.
09/22/1980 - The Persian Gulf conflict between Iran and Iraq erupted into full-scale war.
09/23/1806 - The Lewis and Clark expedition returned to St. Louis from the Pacific Northwest.
09/23/1846 - German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle discovered the planet Neptune.
09/23/1957 - A white mob forced nine black students who had entered Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas to withdraw.
09/23/2018 - First Day of Autumn
09/23/2018 - Autumn Equinox – Wicca, Celtic
09/23/2018 - Shubun no Hi / Autumnal Equinox Day – Shinto
09/23/2018 - Anant Chaturdashi – Hinduism
09/23/2018 - Sukkot begins at sunset and ends on the 30th at nightfall – Judaism
09/24/1789 - Congress passed the First Judiciary Act which provided for an Attorney General and a Supreme Court.
09/24/2018 - Gold Star Mother’s Day
09/25/1789 - The first US Congress adopted 12 amendments to the Constitution and sent them to the states for ratification. Ten of those amendments became the Bill of Rights.
09/25/1897 - Author William Faulkner was born in New Albany MS.
09/25/1957 - With 300 US Army troops standing guard, nine black children forced to withdraw from Central High School in Little Rock, because of unruly white crowds, were escorted to class.
09/25/1979 - Evita opened on Broadway.
09/25/2018 - Roi Wangol, Mousindi – Voudon
09/26/1789 - Thomas Jefferson became America's first secretary of state.
09/26/1914 - The Federal Trade Commission was established.
09/26/1950 - UN troops recaptured the South Korean capital of Seoul from the North Koreans.
09/26/1960 - The first televised debate between presidential candidates Richard Nixon and John Kennedy took place in Chicago.
09/26/1962 - The Beverly Hillbillies premiered on CBS.
09/26/1986 - William Rehnquist became the 16th chief justice of the US.
09/27/1779 - John Adams was named to negotiate the Revolutionary War's peace terms with Britain.
09/27/1954 - Tonight, hosted by Steve Allen, debuted on NBC.
09/27/1964 - The Warren Commission issued a report concluding that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone in assassinating President Kennedy.
09/27/1996 - Afghanistan's Taliban drove the government out of Kabul and captured the capital.
09/27/2018 - Asalha Puja (Dharma Day) – Buddhism
09/28/1066 - William the Conqueror invaded England to claim the English throne.
09/28/1850 - The US Navy abolished flogging as a form of punishment.
09/29/1542 - Portuguese navigator Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo arrived at present-day San Diego.
09/29/1789 - The US War Department established a regular army with several hundred men.
09/29/2018 - Manman Aloumandia – Voudon
09/30/1791 - Mozart's opera The Magic Flute premiered in Vienna.
09/30/1868 - The first volume of Louisa May Alcott's Little Women was published.
09/30/1954 - The US Navy commissioned the first atomic-powered vessel, the submarine Nautilus.
09/30/1962 - Black student James Meredith succeeded on his fourth try in registering for classes at the University of Mississippi.
09/30/2018 - Maitresse Délai – Voudon
Online Resource Links
What ISIS Really Wants: The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy and for how to stop it | ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks First of the Storm | Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group | Isis: The Inside Story | Frontline: The Rise of ISIS | Council on Foreign Relations: A Primer on ISIS Iraq | Cracks in ISIS Are Becoming More Clear | How ISIS’ Attacks Harm the Middle East
Check out Today's Front Pages. Each day, you can see the front pages of more than 800 newspapers from around the world in their original, unedited form.
Whether or not you noticed, the earth's population passed 7 billion a while back. You might enjoy NPR's wonderful video, Visualizing How a Population Grows to 7 Billion.
Check out the St. Louis Fed's presentation The Financial Crisis: What Happened?. The original video is no longer available but you can view the power point presentation.
Want to take a survey but not sure how many responses to collect? This Survey Calculator gives you the number for any given population size and desired confidence level. A reverse calculator lets you enter characteristics of an existing survey and gives the confidence interval (±X%) to apply to the results. The Survey System site, sponsored by a survey software company, also gives clear explanations of statistical significance, survey design and related concepts. Also check out 20 Questions a Journalist (and You, too!) Should Ask About Poll Results.
PBS's 30 Second Candidate allows you to view more political ads than you ever knew existed. Choose the Historical Timeline link to see how political ads have changed over the years. Start with the infamous Daisy Ad that Lyndon Johnson used against Barry Goldwater. Click on Watch Johnson ads. Then click on either the QuickTime link or the Real Video link next to Daisy.
Check out Political Compass. The site does a good job of explaining political ideologies (although with definitions different from those I use) and gives you a chance to discover your own political philosophy.
Law Library of Congress: North Korea: Collection of links to websites on North Korean government, politics and law. Includes legal guides, country studies and links to constitutions and branches of government (where available). Council on Foreign Relations: North Korea: Background, articles and opinion pieces about North Korea government and politics. Many of the articles focus on North Korea's nuclear program. From the Council on Foreign Relations, "an independent membership organization and a nonpartisan think tank and publisher."
State of the Union (SOTU): The site uses an interactive timeline to provide a visual representation of prominent words in presidential State of the Union addresses by displaying significant words as "determined by comparing how frequently the word occurs in the document to how frequently it appears throughout the entire body of SOTU addresses." The Appendices section describes the statistical methods used. Also includes the full text of addresses.
Small Town Papers: This site provides access to scanned images of recent issues of dozens of small town newspapers from throughout the United States. Newspapers are updated periodically, 2-3 weeks after publication. The site also includes a searchable archive (of articles, photos and advertisements), which covers different periods for each paper, some as far back as the 1890s. Access to the archives requires free registration.
This website serves as a centralized location to learn about the Congressional Research Service and search for CRS reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress. (CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report.) Features a searchable database with more than 8,000 reports, a list of recently released reports, other collections of CRS reports and a FAQ about CRS.
Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004: This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
Keeping the Shi'ites Straight Based on the opinion that no story has been more confusing for the Western news media to cover in postwar Iraq than the politics of the country's Shi'ite majority, this article provides a basic outline of Shi'ite religious history. Discusses the Sadr family (Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, and Muqtada as-Sadr), Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and other figures.
This commercial site presents brief information about dozens of Black Inventors from the United States. Some entries include portraits and images. Also includes a searchable timeline covering 1721-1988. Does not include bibliographic information.
Annenberg Political Fact Check: This site describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in US politics. The site provides original articles, with summaries and sources, analyzing factual accuracy in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Searchable. From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
White House Tapes: The President Calling: Three of America's most compelling presidents -- Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon -- bugged their White House offices and tapped their telephones. In this documentary project, American Radio Works eavesdrops on presidential telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics to shape history. Includes audio, a transcript of the documentary and background information on each president and the tapes.
The State of State and Local Finances: New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being. The Year of Living Dangerously: While leaders in a growing number of states appear to believe they're serving the public good by squeezing government dry, there's little question that minimizing management carries a host of dangers that directly affect the lives of citizens.
Government Debt by Country Map: Shows countries' general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP in 2012.
First Amendment Library: Provides info on Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence, including rulings, arguments, briefs, historical material, commentary and press coverage.
If you need a presentation or workshop for your group,
or the link at the top of the page.