This Week's Facts:
New Project Aims to Engage New & Expecting Mothers
“The USA.gov blog recently featured a new tool for expectant mothers called Text4Baby. Various federal and state government agencies are partnering with Johnson & Johnson to provide this service in an effort to increase knowledge about pregnancy and newborn health. Expectant moms can register by texting the word “BABY” to 511411. This is a free service and Text4Baby will not reduce established texting limits if you have cell phone service through providers listed here. Free texts will include messages covering topics such as Prenatal Care, Immunization, Injury Prevention, Mental Health, Developmental Milestones, Labor & Delivery, Car Seat Safety, and more. The following are examples of Text4Baby messages:
“Your baby will be here soon, & it’s time to get a car seat. The hospital won’t let you leave by car or taxi without one.”
“You & anyone who cares for your baby need a whooping cough shot. The flu shot too during flu season. Call 800-232-4636 to find out where to get them.”
“Your baby’s mouth needs cleaning now—even before the first tooth! Wipe your baby’s gums each day with a wet washcloth or use a soft baby toothbrush.”
“Do you have any patrons who enjoy bird-watching? How about eagle-watching? During the weekend of January 27-29, Hoosiers can visit Turkey Run State Park and watch the eagles at work at the Eagles in Flight Weekend, 2012. Participants will get to watch eagles fly, visit an eagle roost, and enjoy programs from noted Indiana bird experts. In addition to the park entrance fee of $5 per in-state vehicle, there is a small program fee of $15. For more information on the events, check out this brochure from the DNR.
Friday Facts Editorial Team:
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was born on January 15, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia. A leader in the Civil Rights Movement, he advocated civil disobedience and nonviolence to achieve the goals of equal treatment of all citizens. He was assassinated in 1968 and remains an important figure in American history. The third Monday in January is now observed as a national holiday in honor of his birthday.
One way to honor his legacy is to participate in the MLK Day of Service. Whether this means volunteering at a soup kitchen, picking trash off the street, or participating in one of the sponsored projects, citizens are invited to use this day to help make their communities better.
You may also be interested in two historic sites dedicated to him from the National Park Service. The first is his birth home in Atlanta, where you can take a guided tour and learn about the era and culture that he grew up in. The second site is brand-new – the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in DC was opened to the public late last summer. This is the first monument on the Mall devoted to a civilian peace activist, rather than a US President or war hero. Those of you who can’t make it out to DC will still want to check out the site’s website. You can find out historical information about King, as well as on the Civil Rights Movement in general.
In November 2011, the federal government and its geospatial partners unveiled www.geoplatform.gov, a website providing an initial view of the future of user-friendly, integrated, federal data collections on common geographic maps.
"The Geospatial Platform will provide a user-friendly ‘one-stop shop’ for place-based data you can trust, and the tools to display that data on a map platform," said Anne Castle, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Water and Science. Through the website, users can create their own maps by combining their data with public domain data and can collaborate in public and private groups with others who share their interests. Maps assembled through the Geospatial Platform can be shared with others through web browsers and mobile technologies. All of this is possible without requiring users to install software on their own computers.
Examples of the information available on the initial version of the Geospatial Platform include environmental clean-up data from the EPA as well as coastal environmental sensitivity data and historic hurricane data from NOAA. These data sets could be combined on a topographic map from Interior to assess hurricane vulnerability in coastal areas.
In developing the Geospatial Platform, the FGDC has held outreach sessions to obtain user feedback with multiple partner agencies and external stakeholders. The FGDC has also received input and advice from the National Geospatial Advisory Committee, which includes experts from the private sector, academia, and all levels of government. FGDC will collaborate with partners to continuously expand the content and resources available through the site.
This is a work in progress that will continue to be refined, updated, and refreshed over the next several months with additional data, services and tools, based on user feedback and partner inputs.
On January 16, 1919, the 18th Amendment to the US Constitution was ratified. The 18th Amendment, of course, is Prohibition. It states that the “manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors…for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited.” Due to the gaining momentum of the Temperance Movement, it was proposed in December of 1917 and quickly gained the approval of enough states for ratification. While banning the use of alcohol is one thing, there remained one important detail to settle – how was this going to be carried out? Enter the Volstead Act. Named for Minnesota House Republican Andrew Volstead, this was originally proposed as HR 6810. It is interesting to note that after it was first passed by both the House and the Senate, it was vetoed by President Woodrow Wilson. However, that veto was overridden by both houses, and the act was eventually passed, thus “defining the process and procedures for banning alcoholic beverages, as well as their production and distribution.”
As history has taught us, this was not a successful law. The National Archives (NARA) estimates that there were anywhere from 30,000 to 100,000 speakeasy clubs in 1925 New York City alone. Bootlegging became rampant and people used any means necessary to find – and drink – alcohol. Prohibition finally ended in 1933, when it was repealed by the 21st Amendment, thus becoming the first and only Constitutional Amendment to be repealed. You can find the text of both amendments at the Charters of Freedom page on the Constitution. NARA also provides some neat teaching materials on Prohibition that include worksheets and tips for relating the documents to the lesson.
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