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This Week's Facts:

-Celebrate America's Irish Heritage this March

-Agency Spotlight: Indiana Commission for Women

-Help Raise Brain Health Awareness Next Week

-This Week Designated for Protecting Consumer Rights

-Census Releases Historical Survey Findings

LG Office Celebrates Hoosier Women Artists

March is women’s history month! Hoosier women have had a long, rich history within the artistic movement in Indiana and beyond. To celebrate the artistic achievement of Indiana women, the Lt. Governor’s Office is sponsoring the Celebration of Hoosier Women Artists. Female artists from Indiana submitted their original artwork for display in the Lt. Governor’s office from late March to December 2012. Click here for more information, including future competition guidelines. Artists or aspiring artists can check out the winning art from the 2011 Celebration to get ideas and inspiration.

Census Releases Historical Survey Findings

Last week, the Census Bureau released information about the anniversary of the Census Act of 1790. Do you and your patrons know that the census-taking in the United States goes as far back as the 1600s? The Virginia Census – also called the Virginia Muster - was taken in 1624. This counted the population of the entire colony, including Slaves, along with buildings, food, boats, and ammunition (or Munitions). This was followed much later in 1698 by a New York census which included what is now Vermont and counted 18,067 citizens. According to the Census Bureau’s tip sheet, “March 1 is the anniversary of the Congress passing the Census Act of 1790. President George Washington signed the law, which authorized the collection of population data by U.S. Marshals.”

For more information about the 1790 Census, visit the Census Bureau’s History website and view the 1790 Fast Facts.


Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Elisabeth Hedges
Federal Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
State Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

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Celebrate America's Irish Heritage this March

Irish Heritage MonthNot only is March 17th dedicated to the Patron Saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, but the entire month of March is dedicated to the Irish. Starting in 1991, March has been declared Irish American Heritage Month. It’s a good thing, too, because there are a lot of us here. According to the Census Bureau, 34.7 million people claimed Irish ancestry in 2010 – that’s more than seven times the population of Ireland! The President issues a proclamation declaring the month every year. Read President Obama’s 2012 address in the Federal Register. You also may be interested in reading a message from the Executive Director of the Office of Diversity and Civil Rights, part of the US Customs and Border Protection. In it, he discusses the impacts made by Irish immigrants and their descendents, including Sandra Day O’Conner, Spencer Tracy, and President John F. Kennedy. On a related note, the Library of Congress has a great website on immigration and the contributions that immigrants have made to the United States. It talks about the cultural impacts they’ve had, how they’ve adapted, and the religious issues they faced. Of course, there is a section on the Irish. However, you can also read about the immigrant experience of those from Africa, Germany, parts of Scandinavia, Mexico, China, and more. This month may be Irish American Heritage Month, but it’s also a great opportunity to appreciate all of the cultures and experiences that make up the United States today.

Agency Spotlight: Indiana Commission for Women

Indiana Commission for WomenIn July 14, 1992, the Indiana Commission for Women was established under Governor Evan Bayh by Executive Order 92-15. The Commission was formed to examine and address the difficulties and impediments that prevent the full participation of Indiana women in politics, business, education, the judicial system and all other aspects of state life. The Commission was established under the umbrella of the Indiana Civil Rights Commission.

Today, the Indiana Commission for Women is committed to the full participation of women in all aspects of society in order to make Indiana a better place to live, work and raise a family. Its mission is to understand the needs of Indiana women and their families, and to work strategically both within government and in our communities to help bring about positive solutions.

The Commission has been working on several research projects. Women in the Indiana General Assembly, which was published in 2008 and 2010, reviewed the number and political distribution of women legislators in the General Assembly. Two reports, Women Business Owners in Indiana and Women Business Owners in the Great Lakes Region were published in December 2010 as a collaborative effort with women’s commissions in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Ranking Indiana among the Great lakes states and the nation, this fact sheet uses data compiled and released from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2007 Survey of Business Owners released in July 2010.

To read more, please see our State Agency Spotlight page.

Help Raise Brain Health Awareness Next Week

Brain Health Awareness WeekNext week is Brain Awareness Week! Organized by the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives, Brain Awareness Week seeks to “advance public awareness about the progress and benefits of brain research.” This grassroots effort allows interested people and organizations to host their own events supporting brain research. Not only do the organizers hope to inspire the next generation of scientists through this, but they also seek to improve public health by expanding awareness and encouraging further research. The Dana Alliance has a lot of neat stuff on their website – you can download materials for puzzles and coloring sheets, get ideas and tips about planning your own events, and find out which organizations around the world are participating. Partner organizations host events that range from lectures and workshops to displays and demonstrations. To find one close to you, check out the International Events Calendar. There are several federal agencies involved in the effort, including the National Science Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts.

This Week Designated for Protecting Consumer Rights Tips for Obtaining Free Credit ReportsYou protect your family, pets, cars, homes… you name it. But it’s important that you remember to protect yourself, and one place where you need security is in the consumer marketplace. That’s why supports National Consumer Protection Week, which runs from March 4-10. This special week is dedicated to encouraging consumers to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better-informed purchasing decisions.


  • If you suspect you’re a victim of online fraud or a scam you can submit a report to the FBI through the Internet Crime Complaint Center? Here you can report an incident that happened to you, or someone else.

  • There is a statute of limitations on old debts and a collector’s ability to sue you for them? This does not mean that you no longer owe the money, or that the collector can’t still get you to pay them. It means that you can’t be sued to cough up the dough after a certain amount of time has passed. The Federal Trade Comm. can help you when it comes to understanding old debts.

  • If you have a safety issue with a consumer product you can report it to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission? Besides alerting others to potentially dangerous products, you can search recalls and reports on other items you might already own or receive alerts about newly discovered hazardous items. You can also download the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s “” application on your mobile phone—giving you the most up-to-date recall information wherever you are.

  • Teens today are at risk in ways that no generation before them has had to consider? Teach your teenagers the dangers of inappropriate texting and explain to them how what they choose to post online can affect them now, and for the rest of their lives.

  • The Consumer Action Handbook is your free guide to help you navigate an increasingly complex marketplace? Updated annually, it includes a sample complaint letter and the contact information for many large companies to help you get in touch with them and rectify your issue.

Have specific questions about consumer topics like credit, ID theft or scams? Get answers from’s experts during the live Consumer Protection Q&A event for the public on Tuesday, March 6, 2012 from 2-3pm EST. You can post questions ahead of time or ask them during the live social media hour, which will take place on both’s Twitter feed (@USAgov) and Facebook page (

Learn more about the new topics in the 2012 Consumer Action Handbook, like how and why to create a social media will, creating secure passwords and more. These tips are brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.

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