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Government Documents - Federal: Federal Friday

Federal Friday

Federal Friday is a regularly updated page with information about different federal and state resources. Check it out every Friday to learn more about where to find data, media, reports and other content.

National Pet Day

National Pet Day was April 11th, but we are keeping the theme for this Federal Friday. Below are some fun articles about presidential pets, animals in the military, and other animals.

Owney the Dog (National Postal Museum) Warning: this story has an sad ending. 

“Owney was a scruffy mutt who became a regular fixture at the Albany, New York, post office in 1888. His owner was likely a postal clerk who let the dog walk him to work. Owney was attracted to the texture or scent of the mailbags and when his master moved away, Owney stayed with his new mail clerk friends.”

”Post Office Cat Takes Time Out” Evening Star. (Washington, D.C.), August 8, 1926.Cats in the Postal Service
“The Postal Service budgeted for cats acting as mousers in 1909. This article here covers Postmaster-General Hitchock’s allocation of $135 for “cat meat”. They were recognized employees across the country, and I imagine, received “purrfect” performance reviews.”

Post Office Cats

"Cats were first officially appointed by the Post Office to catch rodents in September 1868 (although there had undoubtedly been cats in post offices before). Three cats worked on probation at the Money Order Office in London, with an allowance of one shilling a week. They were given 6 months by the Secretary of the Post Office to reduce the mouse problem or they would be cut."

(Image ”Post Office Cat Takes Time Out” Evening Star. (Washington, D.C.), August 8, 1926.)

Fala: The Most Famous Dog in America  (Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library)

“But while FDR owned a number of dogs during his lifetime, without question the best-known was Fala, the Scottish terrier he was given in August 1940.”

Socks Clinton lounges at podium in the White House Press Briefing Room, 1993. (National Archives Identifier 236748090)

Socks Clinton lounges at podium in the White House Press Briefing Room, 1993. (National Archives Identifier 236748090)The Office of the First Cat

“While cats were likely used to control the mice population in the early years of the White House, Abraham Lincoln was the first President believed to have a feline as a pet at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. When taking up residence in Washington, the Lincolns left their dog Fido in Springfield, Illinois, prompting Secretary of State William Seward to give them two cats, Tabby and Dixie, in August 1861.”

(Image:Socks Clinton lounges at podium in the White House Press Briefing Room, 1993. (National Archives Identifier 236748090))

Theodore Roosevelt

“The Roosevelt children's family of pets included a small bear named Jonathan Edwards; a lizard named Bill; guinea pigs named Admiral Dewey, Dr. Johnson, Bishop Doane, Fighting Bob Evans, and Father O'Grady; Maude the pig; Josiah the badger; Eli Yale the blue macaw; Baron Spreckle the hen; a one-legged rooster; a hyena; a barn owl; Peter the rabbit; and Algonquin the pony.”

When Rebecca the Raccoon Ruled the White House

“Calvin Coolidge does not exactly enjoy a historical reputation for being a freewheeling sort of guy. He was a staid, serious president; gray flannel might have been a daring sartorial choice. But it has to be said that not even the boisterous Teddy Roosevelt — who let his kids bring snakes into government meetings — had a pet raccoon that ran around the White House knocking over plants, unscrewing jar lids, cavorting in the bathtub and generally living la vida loca.”

Togo with other sled dogs and man in fur coat.Togo (Togo National Park Service)

“Though Balto often gets the credit for saving the town of Nome, it was Togo, a Siberian Husky, who led his team across the most dangerous leg of the journey.”

Canine Mascots of the Civil War (National Park Service)

“Dogs are man’s best friend. For Civil War soldiers, dogs were also their mascots, messmates, and companions. Dogs provided at least one friendly face after battle and a comfortable reminder of home for soldiers living in squalid camp conditions.”

A Cat in the Cannon? (NOAA)

“A black cat was sitting on the breech of one of the guns, howling one of those hoarse and solemn tunes which no one can appreciate who is not filled with the superstitions which I had been taught by the sailors, who are always afraid to kill a cat. I would almost as soon have touched a ghost, but I caught her, and placing her in another gun, replaced the wad and tampion; but I could still hear that distressing yowl.”

The Curious Case of the Galivanting Guinea Pig (CIA)

“On more than one occasion, we’ve discovered tiny kittens romping around (which are always adopted by adoring CIA employees), but perhaps the most unusual case involves the guinea pig in the parking garage.”

F.D.C. Willard: How a feline physicist took on atomic science (LANL)

“In 1975, F.D.C. Willard co-authored a paper about atomic behavior, “Two-, Three-, and Four-Atom Exchange Effects in bcc3 He.” The Physical Review of Letters published the paper. Willard, a Siamese cat, shared the writing credit with human Jack H. Hetherington, a physicist and mathematician at Michigan State University. The paper was prodigious accomplishment, as F.D.C. Willard was only seven years old at the time of publication.”

National Library Week

This week let’s explore some National Libraries and see what they offer. Below are some descriptions of collections, free online resources, and traveling exhibits.

Did you know there are five National Libraries? The Library of Congress is one, the others are listed below.

National Agricultural Library  houses one of the world's largest collections devoted to agriculture and its related sciences.Strawberries

  • Smokey Bear Digital Collection
    “Selected posters, photographs, cartoons, and films from the Smokey Bear special collection”
  • Animal Welfare History Act
    “The Animal Welfare Act History Digital Collection focuses on the history of the Animal Welfare Act, first signed into law in 1966. The Animal Welfare Act is the only Federal law in the United States that regulates the treatment of animals in research, teaching, testing, and exhibition.”
  • USDA Pomological Watercolors
    “In 1887 the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Division of Pomology began hiring artists to render illustrations of fruit varieties for lithographic reproduction in USDA articles, reports, and bulletins. Use of color lithography was critically important to enable the farmer to visualize and comprehend the subjects and principles covered in a particular publication.”

National Library of Medicine
“The world’s largest biomedical library, NLM maintains and makes available a vast print collection and produces electronic information resources on a wide range of topics that are searched billions of times each year by millions of people around the globe.”

  • MedlinePlusADAM illustration for parts of the hip
    “MedlinePlus is an online health information resource for patients and their families and friends.” One of the popular resources is the Drugs, Herbs and Supplements section where you can find import information on possible interactions, side effects, and effectiveness of different substances. This site includes the A.D.A.M. Medical Encyclopedia, a great resource for students.
  • NLM Digital Collections
    Digital Collections provides access to the National Library of Medicine's distinctive digital content in the areas of biomedicine, health care and the history of medicine. Our unique digital collections are freely available for download worldwide and in the public domain unless otherwise indicated.”
  • Banner Exhibits
    “Libraries and cultural institutions present inspiring stories about history, society, and medicine to their communities through NLM Traveling Exhibitions. Curated from NLM collections and available free of charge, these exhibitions explore current themes in public health and connect visitors to trusted NLM health information resources such as MedlinePlus and PubMed.”

National Library of Education
“The Library's current collection, in print and electronic formats, focuses on education and includes subject matter such as economics, law, psychology, and sociology, as they relate to education.” The catalog includes journals and ebooks you may not be able to access.

  • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
    “ERIC is an internet-based digital library of education research and information sponsored by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) of the U.S. Department of Education. ERIC provides access to bibliographic records of journal and non-journal literature from 1966 to the present.”
  • The What Works Clearinghouse (WWC)
    “Search the WWC and access our Resources Page to find the information you need to make evidence-based decisions in your classrooms and schools….Visit our resources for educators page to access videos, webinars, and other helpful materials with guidance on evidence-based practices.”

National Transportation Librarycover pocket guide to transportation 2024
“To meet the requirements outlined in its legislative mandate, NTL collects resources across all modes of transportation and related disciplines, with specific focus on information produced by USDOT, state DOTs, and other transportation organizations.”

“Content types found in ROSA P include textual works, datasets, still image works, moving image works, other multimedia, and maps. These resources have value to federal, state, and local transportation decision makers, transportation analysts, and researchers.”

April is National Poetry Month

U.S. Poet Laureate Ada Limón to Launch “You Are Here” with Anthology of Nature Poems, Poetry Installations in National Parks

“You Are Here,” Ada Limón’s signature project as the nation’s 24th Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry, will launch during National Poetry Month in April with a celebration at the Library of Congress and will continue throughout the year with installations of poetry as public art in national parks across the country.

“You Are Here” is comprised of two major initiatives, a new anthology of nature poems and a series of visits to national parks, as well as a call for the public to participate. The new anthology, “You Are Here: Poetry in the Natural World,” will be published by Milkweed Editions in association with the Library of Congress on April 2. It features a foreword by Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, an introduction by Limón, and 50 original poems by living American poets, including former U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo; Pulitzer Prize winners Jericho Brown, Carl Phillips and Diane Suess; and PEN/Voelcker Award winners Victoria Chang and Rigoberto González.

Click here for more information.

Recordings

Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature
The Archive of Recorded Poetry and Literature at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943, and contains nearly 2,000 recordings of poets and writers participating in literary events at the Library’s Capitol Hill campus as well as sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory. Explore the full collection.

The PALABRA Archive
The PALABRA Archive at the Library of Congress dates back to 1943, and contains nearly 800 recordings of poets and prose writers participating in sessions at the Library’s Recording Laboratory and at other locations around Spain and Latin America. To date, writers from 32 countries are represented in this collection. Explore the full collection.

Poetry of America
Poetry of America contains field recordings by a wide range of award-winning contemporary poets. Each poet reads a singular American poem of his or her choosing, and also speaks to how the poem connects to, deepens, or re-imagines our sense of American identity.

 

Poetry for Health and memory

This National Endowment for the Arts funded project Spotlight on the Alzheimer's Poetry Project, uses poetry to help people with memory loss.

The National Library of Medicine has some treasures such as Dentologia: a poem on the diseases of the teeth, and their proper remedies (1833).

Poetry for the Classroom

Poetry in Nature Activity (Arcadia National Park)
"Students will be able to explore and observe their outdoor space using all their senses in order to create an
original work of poetry."

Poetry 180 (LOC)
"Poetry 180 is designed to make it easy for students to hear or read a poem on each of the 180 days of the school year. I have selected the poems you will find here with high school students in mind. They are intended to be listened to, and I suggest that all members of the school community be included as readers. A great time for the readings would be following the end of daily announcements over the public address system."

“The selections within this listing represent frequently taught poets and poems in AP English Literature and Composition.”

Twenty-One More Poems for AP English

"Fog" by Carl Sandburg (Grades 3-5)

Mary Pipher’s “I Am From” in Art Application & Poetic Expression for Identity Exploration

Activity: Writing Short Poems (U.S. Department of State, American English)

Introduction to Modernist Poetry, Grades 9-12 (National Endowment for the Humanities)
"
Understanding the context of literary modernism (specifically, modernist poetry) is important for students before they analyze modernist texts themselves. To that end, this lesson enables students to explore and consider the forces that prompted such a “fundamental change” in human nature."

The Poet's Voice: Langston Hughes and You 
"What qualities make a writer's voice forceful, distinctive, and memorable?"

 


Did you know the NM State Library has the Poetry Center?

Check out this NMSL guide: New Mexico Poets

Egg Art

 

The Ancient Art of Decorating Eggs (LOC)

“From ancient history to the present eggs have been an important symbol in many cultures. They are part of the creation myths of many peoples, the “cosmic egg” from which all or parts of the universe arises. They often symbolize life, renewal, and rebirth. They figure in much of human folklore, used for healing and protection.

Because human interest in eggs is so old, and many cultures share similar traditions, it is possible that some egg-decorating traditions were carried with our earliest human ancestors as they migrated out of Africa. Whether this is true or not, egg decorating is certainly found in many cultures.”

Starting in 1994 the American Egg board coordinated a collection of eggs decorated to represent each state. These were sent to the White House as part of the Easter celebrations there. This tradition appears to have ended after the George W. Bush administration.

Decorated egg by artist Bob CooleyDecorated egg by Ruban GallegosDecorated egg by Sharon Locke

Decorated egg by artist Bob Cooley, Ranchos de Taos, NM. 2003;  Ruban Gallegos, 2006; Sharon Locke, 2007

On the Bunny Trail: In Search of the Easter Bunny (LOC)Cover of the magazine Puck showiing a girl in a pink dress taking colored eggs from a basket held by a rabbit wearing human clothing.
“The Easter Bunny, like Santa Claus, is the bringer of gifts on a popular American holiday. Throughout the country, the swift little creature is said to deliver decorated eggs to children on Easter. In some variants of this story, the bunny is even said to lay eggs, presenting a challenge to biology teachers everywhere!”

When did the White House host its first Easter Egg Roll?
“The first annual White House Easter Egg Roll was held on April 22, 1878 after President Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open the White House Grounds on Easter Monday. Congress had previously passed legislation to restrict public use of the Capitol Grounds, so children in the nation’s capital looked elsewhere to roll their Easter eggs.”

Easter Egg Roll: Fanfare and Keepsakes
“In 1981, President Ronald Reagan and First Lady Nancy Reagan hosted a hunt for wooden eggs that bore the signatures of famous people. Wooden eggs soon became the official White House Egg Roll keepsakes.”

Egg Safety

Shell Eggs from Farm to Table
"Eggs are among the most nutritious foods on earth and can be part of a healthy diet. However, they are perishable, just like raw meat, poultry, and fish. Unbroken, clean, fresh shell eggs may contain Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) bacteria that can cause foodborne illness."

Science Activities

Planetary (Egg) Wobble and Newton’s First Law (NASA)

“Students observe the motions of spinning eggs to determine which are raw and hard-boiled. They will apply what they have learned to understanding how scientists determine whether the center of a planet is liquid or solid.”

Egg Drop Lander (NASA)

“Velocity and acceleration of falling objects affect the force of their landing. In this activity, students design a package to protect a raw egg from breaking as it falls to the ground.”
Egg Drop Lander [146KB PDF file]
This activity is part of Adventures in Rocket Science Educator Guide.

Vinegar is to an Eggshell What Ocean Acidification is to Marine Ecosystems? (NOAA) egg without shell

The Incredible Egg. 4-H Classroom Curriculum Guide for Grade Levels 4-5. (ERIC)

March Madness

This Federal Friday is looking at some of the lesser known themes of March.

What is March Madness? (ShareAmerica.gov)

World Wildlife day

World Wildlife Day (United Nations)
"United Nations World Wildlife Day (WWD) is celebrated every year on 3 March to celebrate wild animals and plants. Every year, we recognize the unique roles and contributions of wildlife to people and the planet." 

 

Spring officially started on March 19th, the Spring Equinox.
"There are only two times of the year when the Earth's axis is tilted neither toward nor away from the sun, resulting in a "nearly" equal amount of daylight and darkness at all latitudes. These events are referred to as Equinoxes. The word equinox is derived from two Latin words - aequus (equal) and nox (night)." Learn more at The Seasons, the Equinox, and the Solstices from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 

March 21st was National Rosie The Riveter Day

United We Can Win!

"Explore and honor the efforts and sacrifices of American civilians on the WWII home front.  Find out how diverse neighbors lived, worked, and interacted. Many faces, many stories, many truths, weave a complex tapestry of experiences from this time of opportunity and loss."

Rosie the Riveter: Working Women and World War II 
"The character of "Rosie the Riveter" first began as a song inspired by war worker Rosalind P. Walter. After high school, 19 year old Rosalind began working as a riveter on Corsair fighter planes at the Vought Aircraft Company in Stratford, Connecticut. After a newspaper article featuring Rosalind’s work was published, songwriters Redd Evans and John Jacob Loeb were inspired to write the song “Rosie the Riveter.” With the release of this song, the concept of Rosie the Riveter became a part of public consciousness."

Operating a hand drill at Vultee-Nashville, woman is working on a "Vengeance" dive bomber, Tennessee (LOC https://www.loc.gov/item/2017878540/.)

National Celery Month (who claims this is unknown). The USDA MyPlate site has information on nutrition and some great recipes.

Celery with Apricot Blue Cheese Spread
Crunchy, sweet celery is a versatile snack food, just right for this flavorful spread. Filled with dried fruit and nuts, this enticing and quick low-fat spread can be made ahead or on the spot. You could also serve it on whole grain crackers as an appetizer.

celery with cauliflower rabbit tails

Hiding Rabbits
A cute and easy way to get kids excited about eating their veggies!

 

New Mexico Epic Poem Project!

Join the New Mexico Epic Poem Project!

New Mexico Poet Laureate, Lauren Camp, and Michelle Laflamme-Childs, Executive Director of New Mexico Arts, are traveling to cities, towns, and villages across New Mexico to host poetry reading and writing workshops.

 

Do you want to host such an event in your community? Libraries and other community spaces make a perfect venue.

If so, contact:

Michelle Laflamme-Childs

New Mexico Arts Executive Director

michelle.laflamme@dca.nm.gov

(505) 699-8243

Or fill out the Invite the Poet Laureate form here

You can learn more about our Poet Laureate and discover resources about New Mexico poets and poetry from the New Mexico State Library Poetry Center. 

2024 Calendars

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District has released their 2024 Pet Calendars! These are free to download

2024 Cal Calendar

2024 Cat Calendar

2024 Dog Calendar

2024 Dog Calendar

US Supreme Court Kids' Activity Guide

This is Lex (Latin for law) who gives a guided tour of the Supreme Court building in DC. Learn about architecture with Lex in the Supreme Court of the United States Kids’ Activity Booklet