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This Week's Facts:

  1. Help Raise Heart Health Awareness throughout February

  2. Institute Offers Tips for Reducing Sodium Intake

  3. Resources Highlight Steps to Reducing Risk of Heart Disease

  4. National Archives Details Origin of President's Day

US Postal Service

USPS Answers Questions About Saturday Deliver Changes

Starting in August, the U.S. Postal Service will no longer deliver first-class mail on Saturdays. First-class mail includes bills, catalogs, letters, cards and other general correspondence.

Packages and express mail will still be delivered Saturdays. Mail will still be delivered to post office boxes on Saturdays, and Post Office locations currently open on Saturdays will remain open.

The change in service is expected to save the Postal Service $2 billion dollars annually. The Postal Service is an independent government agency and does not receive tax money to support its operations. It relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

If you would like more information about the new mail delivery schedule, you can send questions and comments to the U.S. Postal Service.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Help Raise Heart Health Awareness throughout February

Million HeartsFebruary is a short month, but contains many holidays and celebrations. In addition to Black History Month and St. Valentine’s Day, February is also National Heart Month. Heart disease and stroke are two of the leading causes of death in the United States. Million Hearts is a national initiative launched by the Department of Health and Human Services in September 2011 to prevent one million heart attacks and strokes over five years. Million Hearts’ goal is to emphasize cardiovascular health across patients, providers, communities. Million Hearts also strives to bring together programs, policies, and campaigns designed to make a positive impact across the spectrum of prevention and care, promotion the ABCs of clinical prevention (aspirin regimens, blood pressure control, cholesterol management, and smoking cessation) as well as healthier lifestyles and communities. Visit the Million Hearts website to learn more about this program and to learn more about the opportunities for engagement.  Here’s to a healthy heart! 

Institute Offers Tips for Reducing Sodium Intake

Tips for Reducing Sodium IntakeA key to healthy eating is choosing foods lower in salt and sodium. Most Americans consume more salt than they need. The current recommendation is to consume less than 2.3 grams (2,300 milligrams[mg] ) of sodium a day. That equals 6 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of table salt a day. The 6 grams include ALL salt and sodium consumed, including that used in cooking and at the table. For someone with high blood pressure, the doctor may advise eating less salt and sodium, as recent research has shown that people consuming diets of 1,500 mg of sodium had even better blood pressure lowering benefits. These lower-sodium diets also can keep blood pressure from rising and help blood pressure medicines work better.

Check out these tips for reducing sodium intake from the Guide to Lowering High Blood Pressure from the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health.

Resources Highlight Steps to Reducing Risk of Heart Disease

Heart Risk CalculatorFebruary is American Heart Month. This annual observance reminds us that heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, but that there are steps we can take to reduce our risk.

Use these resources to help you and your loved ones live healthier lives:

This information is brought to you by the U.S. General Services Administration via the blog.

National Archives Details Origin of President's Day

Origin of President's DayDo you know how President’s Day came to be? George Washington’s Birthday is celebrated as a federal holiday on the third Monday in February - one of eleven permanent holidays established by Congress. Washington was born in Virginia on February 11, 1731, according to the Julian calendar that was used in those days. In 1752, Britain and all its colonies adopted the Gregorian calendar, which placed Washington’s Birthday on February 22, 1732.

Americans celebrated Washington’s Birthday long before Congress declared it a federal holiday. The centennial of his birth was a cause for national attention and Congress established a Joint Committee to arrange for the occasion.  At the recommendation of the Committee, Congress adjourned February 22, 1832 in respect for Washington’s memory. Washington’s Birthday finally became a legal holiday January 31, 1879 when Congress added February 22nd to the list of holidays to be observed by federal employees in the District of Columbia. The act didn’t require that employees were to be paid for the holiday. Some government employees in DC were paid while others weren’t!  Congress resolved this issue in 1885 with Legislation that required federal employees to be paid for all federal holidays and made federal holidays applicable to all federal government employees, including those who were employed outside Washington DC.  Washington's Birthday was celebrated on February 22nd until well into the 20th Century. However, in 1968 Congress passed the Monday Holiday Law to "provide uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays on Mondays." By creating more 3-day weekends, Congress hoped to "bring substantial benefits to both the spiritual and economic life of the Nation."

For more information and primary resources on President’s Day, visit the Center for Legislative Archives, of the National Archives. Parents and teachers can visit the United State’s Mint’s h.i.p. pocket change page to help teach children about President’s Day to get activities, games, and other resources.  

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