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This Week's Facts:

-Today Marks Beginning of 160th Indiana State Fair

-Anniversary of Coolidge Inauguration Featured on "Today in History"

-Interactive Website Offers Students Fun Lessons in Civics Offers Tips on Maximizing Gas Mileage


Portal Offers Instant Access to Immunization Records

Hoosier families can get proof of the child’s immunization records with just a click of the mouse.  MyVaxIndiana offers Hoosiers direct access to immunization records from any computer with the use of a PIN. Local health departments and healthcare providers are the primary access point to obtain PINs. The PIN offers access to a secure website, the Indiana Children and Hoosiers Immunization Registry Program (CHIRP). Through MyVaxIndiana, Indiana citizens can download, fax, or print official proof of immunization, which is required for school registrations and overseas travel.  Each record also includes the CDC’s ACIP Immunization schedule for ease of planning for future immunizations. The goal of VaxIndiana is to reduce the burden and costs of office visits and give Hoosiers another tool to manage their health care and increase childhood immunizations. 

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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Today Marks Beginning of 160th Indiana State Fair

The Indiana State FairIn celebration of August, this month’s agency spotlight highlights the Indiana State Fair. Though technically not a state agency, the Indiana State Fair and State Fair Commission have a history of creating an atmosphere of fun for the state with agriculture, music, and deep-fried foods every August. In 1851, the Indiana General Assembly passed an act “to encourage agriculture,” which included the formation of the State Board of Agriculture. The primary goal of the Board was to create the first Indiana State Fair.  In 1852, Indiana became the sixth state to start having a state agricultural fair.  Indiana’s first fair was held in what is now known as Military Park in downtown Indianapolis.  For the majority of years, the fair has been held in Indianapolis, however, other Indiana cities hosted the State Fair in the mid-1800s: Lafayette in 1853, Madison in 1854, New Albany in 1859, Fort Wayne in 1865, and Terre Haute in 1867.

This year’s Indiana State Fair celebrates the Year of the Dairy Cow and features several dairy-themed events throughout the entirety of the 17-day celebration. Also, plan to join the State Library for Heritage Day at the State Fair on Thursday, August 9th. Come by to ask us reference questions about Indiana, sign up for a State Library card, and play our Indiana trivia game!

Anniversary of Coolidge Inauguration Featured on "Today in History"

Library of Congress: Today in HistoryToday, August 3rd, marks the anniversary of the inauguration of President Calvin Coolidge. Coolidge was elected Vice-President under Warren G. Harding in 1920. Following Harding’s unexpected death in 1923, Coolidge took over the office, which was unfortunately plagued with corruption scandals. Coolidge was known for his belief that that the government should interfere as little as possible in business and in industry. Public opinion on his policies and effectiveness is divided to this day. What is certain is that his presidency coincided with major technological breakthroughs around the world. Many Americans were able to purchase cars, radios, and other home appliances for the first time. Check out the Library of Congress Today in History feature to find out more information about Coolidge and about society during his time in office. Those interested in economics and history will want to look at Prosperity and Thrift: The Coolidge Era and the Consumer Economy. You can look at photographs and pamphlets, as well as short films and audio selections of Coolidge speeches! If that strikes your fancy, be sure to look at American Leaders Speak, a collection of sound recordings featuring American leaders from 1918-1920. Speakers include Coolidge, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Samuel Gompers.

Interactive Website Offers Students Fun Lessons in Civics

Congress for KidsFor most Hoosier kids, school is starting up again soon. If this is their year to learn about civics, a good source to show them is Congress for Kids, sponsored by the Dirksen Congressional Center. This interactive site has information on all three branches of the federal government – legislative, executive, and judicial – as well as information on the Constitution and the events and principles leading up to the Declaration of Independence. It also has a section on what it means to be a good citizen, including a piece involving the debate around flag burning. The page presents quotes representing all sides and encourages students to debate and form an opinion. There is also a section on the election process, with explanations about political parties and how they work, the primaries, and the national conventions. This is website not only explains how our government works, but also encourages students to be good citizens by providing concrete examples and suggestions on how they can vote and participate in the political process. Offers Tips on Maximizing Gas Mileage

Fueleconomy.govWith gas prices increasing, many people are looking for alternate forms of transportation. But if you have to use your car for transportation, there are lots of ways to improve your gas mileage and help lower travel costs.

While you drive:

  • Avoid idling. It gets you zero miles per gallon.

  • Avoid aggressive driving, such as speeding, rapid acceleration, and hard braking. These can lower your highway gas mileage by up to 33% and your city mileage by 5%.Avoid high speeds.

  • Above 60 mph, gas mileage drops rapidly. For every 5 mph above 60 mph, it’s like paying an additional $0.30 per gallon.

  • Air conditioning dramatically reduces fuel economy. Most air conditioners have an “economy” setting that allows the circulation of unchilled air. Many also have a “maximum” or “recirculation” setting that reduces the amount of hot outside air that must be chilled. Both settings can reduce the air conditioning load — and save gas.

Before you drive:

  • Avoid keeping heavy items in your car. An extra 100 pounds could increase your gas costs by up to $.08 cents per gallon.

  • Reduce drag by placing items inside the car or trunk rather than on roof racks, which can decrease your fuel economy by 5% or more.

  • Plan your route ahead of time so you combine errands and drive as little as possible. Several short trips each taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as one trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm.

  • Use gas price finders to find the cheapest gas near you.

  • Skip the after-market products that promise improved gas mileages. They don’t work, and sometimes they can damage your car.

  • Use the grade of motor oil your car’s manufacturer recommends. Using a different motor oil can lower your gas mileage by 1%-2%.

  • Inflate your tires to the pressure listed in your owner’s manual or on a sticker in the glove box or driver’s side door jamb. This number may differ from the maximum pressure listed on your tire’s sidewall.

  • Get regular maintenance checks to avoid fuel economy problems due to worn spark plugs, dragging brakes, sagging belts, low transmission fluid, or transmission problems.

  • Check into telecommuting, carpooling, and public transit to save driving and car maintenance costs. Many urban areas provide carpool lanes that are usually less congested.

All cost estimates assume an average price of $3.96 per gallon. Source:

This article is brought to you as a courtesy of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) via the blog.