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This Week's Facts:
  1. INDOT Highlights Rest Areas, Welcome Centers Online

  2. Help Raise Heat Safety Awareness as Summer Approaches

  3. Celebrate Jewish American Heritage in May

  4. Online Resource is Clearinghouse for Presidential Papers

Document of the Month: The Indiana School Project

As the school year winds down for many students, this month’s document is dedicated to education and educators throughout the State. The Indiana School Journal is not published by a State Agency, but deserves to be included as a “Document of the Month.” This monthly publication includes a valuable history and narrative of education in the State of Indiana in the late-mid 1800’s. It contains proceedings from the Indiana State Teachers’ Association, articles relating to education and political concerns, poems and more. One interesting article published in vol.1, 1856 talks about parental involvement in the education process – an issue that’s still debated and addressed in 2011! Researchers and education historians will find this to be an interesting perspective on the State’s education system. This document can be found in the Indiana Collection at I370.5 I385j. The State Library has vols. 1-45, 1856-1899 (except February 1862 and August 1871). Later versions of this periodical can be found under the titles The Inland Educator and The Educator-Journal.   


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth O’Donnell
Documents Librarian
Kim Brown-Harden
Documents Coordinator

Indiana State LibraryFederal Depository Library

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INDOT Highlights Rest Areas, Welcome Centers Online

INDOT: State Rest Areas & Welcome CentersMemorial Day is the official start of the summer season! That means it’s time for vacations and travel. If you are traveling by car or RV, the Indiana Department of Transportation has many resources and tips to make your travel safe and more efficient. One resource is a map that contains welcome centers and rest areas throughout the state. You can click on the link for each rest area to get valuable information such as restroom facilities, GPS coordinates, parking, phone numbers and distance to the next rest stop. Enjoy your summer and remember to travel safe and smart!

Help Raise Heat Safety Awareness as Summer Approaches

National Heat Safety Awareness DayAfter what seems like endless months of Winter, most of us welcome the warm weather that May ushers in. However, it’s important to remember that with this warm weather comes a new set of precautions. While it is generally a little early yet to be worried about excessive heat, that is something that we need to keep in mind as we move into Summer. With that in mind, today, May 27, has been declared National Heat Safety Awareness Day. According to the National Weather Service, heat is the number one weather-related killer in the United States. While recent natural disasters throughout the US seem to defy this, a 10-year study by the NWS has shown that 162 people die annually from heat-related issues, compared to 117 from hurricanes, 65 from floods, 62 from tornadoes and 48 from lightning.

Excessive heat becomes an issue when the body loses its ability to shed heat. Both excessive exercise and staying out in the sun too long can cause the body to lose essential fluids and salts, thus preventing it from cooling itself down properly. Symptoms of heat disorders include sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. It is also important to remember that being enclosed in a parked vehicle on a hot day is dangerous! A car left in the sun heats up very quickly, particularly when the windows are rolled up. The NWS has several tips from preventing injury and sickness during heat waves: Do not let children play in cars or leave them alone in them, dress in lightweight clothing, stay hydrated & out of the sun and more.

Celebrate Jewish American Heritage in May

Jewish American Heritage MonthMay is Jewish American Heritage Month. President George H. W. Bush issued the first Presidential Proclamation in April of 2006 for a month-long celebration of Jewish American heritage. On May 17th, President Obama hosted a reception for the celebration at the White House. Prior to this, proclamations were issued from 1980 to 2005 for Jewish Heritage Week in the United States. There are many resources that tell us about the contributions made to the United States through Jewish American culture and the individuals who have embodied it. The National Endowment for the Humanities Edsitement! website has a Jewish American Heritage Month page with George Washington’s Letter to the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, RI in 1790. You can also find plenty of links to lesson plans, television specials and the NEH-funded website, Jews in America: Our Story, which provides access to original documents in Jewish American history from 1654 to 2004. is a cooperative portal of many federal cultural institutions. It provides information about Jewish American history from these agencies, links to online exhibits and announces events in the Washington, D.C. area.

The Law Library of Congress Research Help webpage highlights the legislative and executive branch documents on the history of Jewish American Heritage Month. On May 16th, the Law Library’s blog mentioned its growing Jewish Law collection at the library. Finally, holds a wealth of information on Jewish American heritage and history. It contains a timeline from 1585 to the present. It also contains lesson plans, program ideas and a brochure on the traveling exhibit, “From Haven to Home: 350 Years of Jewish Life in America.” The most unique feature is the “Tell Me a Story” section, which profiles famous Jewish Americans. Check it out!

Online Resource is Clearinghouse for Presidential Papers

American Presidency ProjectStrictly speaking, this is not a project of the Federal Government. However, it is a great resource for information and documents that deal with the person in charge of the Federal Government – the President of the United States. The American Presidency Project was started in 1999 by two men at the University of California-Santa Barbara and contains over 90,411 documents related to the presidents. Go to their Document Archive and you will find links to radio addresses, executive orders, State of the Union Addresses and even FDR’s Fireside Chats. While the Public Papers of the President are available for every president since Hoover, it can be harder to find information for earlier presidents. One great example is Executive Orders. Generally, you can only locate those prior to Hoover by finding the appropriate page in the Federal Register. However, you can also find many of them here! Not all of them are listed, but they are able to be browsed by year, which makes locating those that are here easy. You can also use the website to find out data about the Presidents. For example, Grover Cleveland was President for two terms and issued a total of 584 vetoes throughout his tenure. Bill Clinton served the same amount of time and issued 37. Other statistics include number of speeches, staff budget and voter turnout. This is a great site to visit if you’re looking for information on a specific President or presidential topic, or even if you just want to look around!

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