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Information on current events, controversial issues, recently issued government publications, and other subject matter that has been in the news recently.
Last Updated: Apr 9, 2013 URL: http://guides.library.unt.edu/gichottopics Print Guide RSS Updates

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Contents

These are some government reports and other publications that you may have heard mentioned recently on television or on the radio, or read about in the newspapers. Many of these documents are in PDF format and require the Adobe Reader.

 

1940 Census Records

The 72-year privacy restriction is about to expire on the records on individuals from the 1940 Census. Here is some information on these records, which are very useful to genealogists and historians.

1940 Census Records (National Archives and Records Administration)
The 1940 census records will be released online on April 2, 2012. The digital images will be accessible free of charge at NARA facilities nationwide through public access computers as well as on personal computers via the Internet. This Web site provides information on the content of the census records and suggestions for accessing the information in them.
1940 Federal Population Census (National Archives and Records Administration)
Tips on what you need to do to be able to search genealogical information in the 1940 population census.
Facts for Features: Special Edition, 1940 Census Records Release (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
The 1940 Census was conducted during a momentous time in our nation's history, as the Great Depression was winding down and not long before our entry into World War II (although the war was already raging in Europe). It marked the only census conducted during the lengthy presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was also notable for many other reasons, as in this press release, which compares notable 1940 Census facts with corresponding information from the 2010 Census. Included is an early look at plans for the 2020 Census.
Availability of Census Records About Individuals (U.S. Bureau of the Census)
The United States population census records contain a wealth of information about people. They are useful in learning about one’s family and local social and economic conditions at various times in history. For more recent years especially, they are official documents for persons who need to prove their age (in the absence of a birth certificate), relationship, citizenship, residence, and other facts in order to qualify for pensions; get jobs, naturalization papers, passports, or insurance policies; establish an inheritance; or trace ancestry. This Factfinder explains what census materials are available and how to obtain them and also lists the sources for some other useful records about individuals.
1940 Census: 1940census.archives.gov (YouTube)
This National Archives 3:13 minute video short provides a "behind-the-scenes" view of staff preparations for the April 2, 2012, 9 a.m. EST launch of the 1940 census, and gives viewers a tutorial on how to use the data once it is launched.
 

Bin Laden Killing

Letters from Abbottabad: Bin Ladin Sidelined?
This report is a study of 17 declassified documents captured during the Abbottabad raid and released to the Combating Terrorism Center (CTC). They consist of electronic letters or draft letters, totaling 175 pages in the original Arabic and 197 pages in the English translation. The earliest is dated September 2006 and the latest April 2011. These internal al-Qaeda communications were authored by several  leaders, most prominently Usama bin Ladin. In contrast to his public statements that focused on the injustice of those he believed to be the “enemies” of Muslims, namely corrupt “apostate” Muslim rulers and their Western “overseers,” the focus of Bin Ladin’s private letters is Muslims’ suffering at the hands of his jihadi “brothers.” He is at pains to advise them to abort domestic attacks that cause Muslim civilian casualties and focus on the United States, “our desired goal.”
 

Budget of the United States for 2013

The President's Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013 is now available from the U.S. Government Printing Office (GPO). The public can search or browse the budget, which is accessible from FDsys <http://www.fdsys.gov>. Budget documents are available in PDF format, with many of the tables also available for separate viewing and downloading as spreadsheets in xls and comma delimited formats.

The Budget is also available on mobile devices and provides access to the text and images of the main FY13 Budget book, including the Budget Message of the President, information on the President's priorities, and budget overviews organized by agency. Summary tables are available in PDF format. This is the first time the Budget is available as an app. To access the app on your mobile device, go to <http://m.gpo.gov/budget> or scan the QR code with your mobile device.

For more information about the federal budget, Texas state budget, and the University of North Texas budget, see our Budgets subject guide.

 The following President's Budget documents for FY 2013 are available online:

Additionally, copies of the FY 2013 Budget are available for purchase from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at <http://bookstore.gpo.gov/collections/budget.jsp>.

 

Gasoline Prices

Rising Gasoline Prices 2012 
This Congressional Research Service report analyzes the events and policies that have led to the recent rise in gasoline prices and discusses several short-term and longer-term measures that have been proposed by policymakers.
The American Energy Initiative: A Focus on Rising Gasoline Prices 
This session of a congressional hearing on The American Energy Initiative focuses on the following issues: current market, financial, and geopolitical factors that influence the current price of oil; the effect of high gasoline prices on U.S. consumers and businesses; forecasted scenarios and changing trends in global and U.S. oil supply, demand, and price; and possible federal policy solutions to mitigate the damaging effects of high gasoline prices.
Securing American Energy 
Proposals from the White House for policies that will develop and secure America's energy resources and enable consumers to save money and protect the environment. Includes a chart on The Obama Energy Agenda and Gas Prices.
"Analysts: White House, Congress have little control over rising gas prices" 
According to this news report from The Hill, several energy analysts believe that there is not very much federal policymakers can do about gasoline prices.
 

Hydraulic Fracturing

Hydraulic fracturing is a technique used to recover oil and natural gas from underground low permeability rock formations. This process involves pumping fluids under high pressure into the formations to crack them, releasing oil and gas into the well. The technique has been the subject of controversy in recent years because of its potential detrimental effects on the environment and on public health.

Hydraulic Fracturing and Safe Drinking Water Act Issues
This Congressional Research Service report reviews past and proposed treatment of hydraulic fracturing under the SDWA, the principal federal statute for regulating the underground injection of fluids to protect groundwater sources of drinking water. It reviews current SDWA provisions for regulating underground injection activities, and discusses some possible implications of, and issues associated with, enactment of legislation authorizing EPA to regulate hydraulic fracturing under this statute.
Hydraulic Fracturing and the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA): Selected Issues 
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) requires federal agencies to consider the potential environmental consequences of the actions they propose to take by preparing one of three levels of review, depending on the likelihood that an agency's actions will have an adverse effect on the environment. This report provides an overview of two specific situations in which agencies are arguing that they do not need to conduct a comprehensive environmental review of hydraulic fracturing under NEPA.
 

JFK Assassination

The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) is providing public access to the newly discovered audio tape recording of conversations between various individuals in Washington and Air Force One pilots and officials on board during the flight from Dallas to Andrews Air Force Base following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. View the press release from NARA at <http://www.archives.gov/press/press-releases/2012/nr12-60.html>.

Available on FDsys, this digitized version of the two hour and twenty-two minute recording was donated to the National Archives by the Raab Collection. The tapes were found among other papers and memorabilia of Army Gen. Chester "Ted" Clifton, Jr., who served as senior military aide to President Kennedy. The White House Communications Agency (WHCA) provided the tapes to Gen. Clifton. The conversations were captured by WHCA, which routed all phone calls and radio traffic. The recording includes references to new code names and incidents, among them are:

  • A private conversation by head of the Secret Service Jerry Behn about the disposition of the President's body.
  • An expanded conversation about how to remove the President's body from the plane and where to take it.
  • An urgent effort by an aide to Air Force Chief of Staff Curtis LeMay to reach General Clifton; and attempts to locate various Congressmen from Texas.

The digitized recording is being made available electronically to Federal depository libraries on FDsys, under:

  • Title: Post JFK assassination Air Force One flight deck recording
  • Class: AE 1.102:AS 7/2
  • Item Number: 0569-B-02
  • PURL: http://purl.fdlp.gov/GPO/gpo18335
  • CGP System Number: 000864232
 

Tobacco

CDC Launches Tobacco Education Campaign
Tips From Former Smokers is a national mass media campaign recently launched by The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to educate the public about the harmful effects of smoking and to encourage quitting. This ad campaign features real people who have experienced a variety of illnesses stemming from tobacco use, including cancer, heart attack, stroke, asthma, and Buerger's disease. The ads not only show the toll that these smoking-related illnesses have taken on these individuals' lives—e.g., losing one's natural voice, experiencing paralysis, having a lung removed or limbs amputated—but they also provide encouragement to quit and information on how to access free help.
Cigarette Health Warnings
Beginning September 2012, FDA will require larger, more prominent cigarette health warnings on all cigarette packaging and advertisements in the United States. The final set of cigarette health warnings contains nine different text warnings and accompanying color graphics to increase awareness of the specific health risks associated with smoking, such as death, addiction, lung disease, cancer, stroke and heart disease; encourage smokers to quit; and empower youth to say no to tobacco. This Web site includes full text of the final rule, with illustrations; press releases; and answers to frequently asked questions.
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