View the Friday Facts Online
Friday Facts: Government Information You Can Use

This Week's Facts:

-Friday Fix for Declaration of Independence History Lovers

-National Campaign Promotes Health Benefits of...Ice Cream?

-Disaster Relief Fund Available in 16 Indiana Counties

-Over 250 New State Laws as of July 1

Statue of Liberty Reopens

Statue of Liberty

New York’s Statue of Liberty re-opened this year on the 4th of July. The National Park Service has a website devoted to the statue and to the national park surrounding the monument, which was a gift from France as a universal symbol of freedom and democracy. Take an e-tour of Liberty Island, featuring photographs, panoramic views, video, and more information. Find more about the history of the island using the Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation website. The statue is also a United Nations World Heritage site. The UNESCO website has a wealth of information and beautiful photographs of the statue and of Liberty Island.

Over 250 New State
Laws as of July 1

More than 250 state laws went into effect July 1, at the beginning of the State Government’s fiscal year. Here are the 10 laws reported by Indiana Public Media, plus a link to BILL WATCH via The article is by Gretchen Frazee with WFIU and WTIU news.

Friday Facts Editorial Team:

Katharine Springer
State Data Center Coordinator

Andrea Glenn
State Documents Librarian

Kim Brown-Harden
Federal Documents Coordinator

Indiana Federal Depository Library Program

Join the FDLP-IN listserv for the latest government information

Friday Fix for Declaration of Independence History Lovers

Declaration of IndependenceThere were 56 Signers to the Declaration of Independence. Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston comprised the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration. Jefferson, regarded as the strongest and most eloquent writer, wrote most of the document.

  • John Hancock, President of the Second Continental Congress, was the first signer. This merchant by trade did so in an entirely blank space making it the largest and most famous signature - hence the term John Hancock, which is still used today as a synonym for signature. There are 7,354,043 businesses with paid employees in the U.S., according to the 2011 County Business Patterns.

  • Benjamin Franklin (age 70), who represented Pennsylvania, was the oldest of the signers. Franklin County, Pa., had an estimated population of 151,275 as of July 1, 2012. Edward Rutledge (age 26), of South Carolina, was the youngest.

  • Two future presidents signed, John Adams (second President) and Thomas Jefferson (third President). Both died on the 50th anniversary of signing the Declaration (July 4, 1826). There are 12 counties nationwide named Adams and 26 named Jefferson.

  • Robert Livingston, who represented New York, was on the Committee of Five that drafted the Declaration of Independence but was recalled by his state before he could sign it. Livingston County, N.Y., was home to an estimated 64,810 people as of July 1, 2012.

  • Representing Georgia in 1776 were Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall and George Walton. Gwinnett County, Ga. (842,046), Hall County, Ga. (185,416) and Walton County, Ga. (84,575) were named for these signers.

  • Charles Carroll, who represented Maryland, was the last surviving member of the signers of the Declaration. He died in 1832 at the age of 95. Carroll County, Md., named for him, had an estimated population of 167,217 as of July 1, 2012.

  • Roger Sherman, who worked as a land surveyor and lawyer, represented Connecticut. Today, there are an estimated 30,445 surveyors, cartographers and photogrammetrists employed full time, year-round, and 840,813 lawyers employed full time, year-round nationwide, according to the 2011 American Community Survey.

  • Nelson County, Va. (14,827) and Wythe County, Va. (29,251) were named for two of the six signers who represented the state of Virginia - Thomas Nelson Jr. and George Wythe.

National Campaign Promotes Health Benefits of...Ice Cream?

Best Bones ForeverJuly is national Ice Cream Month, first designated by President Ronald Reagan in 1984. It’s the perfect month to celebrate and enjoy ice cream. Frozen desserts are cool, delicious ways to beat the summer heat. They can also be good for you - really! Best Bones Forever is a national campaign through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for girls and their friends (BFFs) to help them grow strong together and stay strong forever. The website has recipes, tips for being active, and other fun things like finding out what type of ice cream you match up with. Here’s to having best bones forever and celebrating a month of frozen treats!

Disaster Relief Fund Available in 16 Indiana Counties

IDHS: Disaster Relief FundAccording to an Indiana Department of Homeland Security press release from July 1, Governor Pence has opened the State Disaster Relief Fund to local government in 16 counties affected by severe weather and flooding that began April 17 - Benton, Boone, Carroll, Clinton, Fountain, Hendricks, Howard, Knox, Madison, Montgomery, Putnam, Tippecanoe, Tipton, Vermillion, Wabash, and Warren.

Qualifying expenses include the replacement, repair and restoration of roads, sewer systems, and other public property. Certain expenses with debris removal also are qualified expenses. The storms and flooding resulted in extensive damage and strained the resources of local units of government.

State Disaster Relief Fund
The Indiana State Disaster Relief Fund was established in 2003 to provide assistance to individuals and local governments who may not be eligible for federal disaster assistance, but met the state’s criteria for disaster relief.

Individual assistance from the State Disaster Relief Fund began immediately following the implementation of low interest federal disaster relief loans and is ongoing.

Fees from retail fireworks sales provide the funding for the State Disaster Relief Fund, and Indiana is one of a few states to have a state fund. To date for the April flooding, there has been a total of $398,590 issued to Hoosiers for individual assistance.

Join the Indiana SDC/BIDC Network on FacebookThe Indiana SDC/BIDC
Network is on Facebook

Friday Facts is a free publication produced by the Indiana State Library, distributed weekly in an electronic format.
Past issues are archived at

2012 Indiana State Library. All rights reserved. The trademarks used herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.
Indiana State Library, 315 W. Ohio Street, Indianapolis, IN 46202.