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CRS — Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources (February 27, 2015)

April 23, 2015 Comments off

Military Service Records and Unit Histories: A Guide to Locating Sources (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

This guide provides information on locating military unit histories and individual service records of discharged, retired, and deceased military personnel. It includes contact information for military history centers, websites for additional sources of research, and a bibliography of other publications.

This report will be updated as needed.

CRS — U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Current Conflicts (February 27, 2015)

April 23, 2015 Comments off

U.S. Periods of War and Dates of Current Conflicts (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

Many wars or conflicts in U.S. history have federally designated “periods of war,” dates marking their beginning and ending. These dates are important for qualification for certain veterans’ pension or disability benefits. Confusion can occur because beginning and ending dates for “periods of war” in many nonofficial sources are often different from those given in treaties and other official sources of information, and armistice dates can be confused with termination dates. This report lists the beginning and ending dates for “periods of war” found in Title 38 of the Code of Federal Regulations, dealing with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). It also lists and differentiates other beginning dates given in declarations of war, as well as termination of hostilities dates and armistice and ending dates given in proclamations, laws, or treaties. The dates for the recent conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq are included along with the official end date for Operation New Dawn in Iraq on December 15, 2011, and Operation Enduring Freedom on Afghanistan on December 28, 2014. This report will be updated when events warrant. For additional information, see the following: CRS Report RL31133, Declarations of War and Authorizations for the Use of Military Force: Historical Background and Legal Implications, by Jennifer K. Elsea and Matthew C. Weed, and CRS Report R42738, Instances of Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798-2015, by Barbara Salazar Torreon.

U.S. Department of State — Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Newly Digitized Foreign Relations Volume on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln

April 15, 2015 Comments off

Office of the Historian, Bureau of Public Affairs Release of Newly Digitized Foreign Relations Volume on the Assassination of President Abraham Lincoln
Source: U.S. Department of State

The Appendix to Diplomatic Correspondence of 1865 is a unique volume in the Foreign Relations series. Unlike the rest of the series, this volume was not produced to tell the story of U.S. foreign policy. Instead, it embodied the grief and shattered hopes expressed by foreign governments, civic groups, opinion leaders, religious organizations, professional societies, and ordinary laborers, both at home and abroad, upon learning of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination on the evening of April 14, 1865. In doing so, the volume recorded a remarkable global wave of admiration for one of the United States’ greatest leaders. On multiple continents, governments declared periods of mourning for the slain U.S. President and non-governmental associations commemorated Lincoln as a champion of liberty and spokesperson for the aspirations of common people.

The volume also served more subtle contemporary purposes. In showing foreign officials the orderly transition of power from Lincoln to Vice President Andrew Johnson, the volume testified to the durability of the U.S. Government, even amidst unprecedented strain. In some ways, the Appendix to Diplomatic Correspondence of 1865 volume was an early and widely-circulated Lincoln memorial, one that still reflects the hopes and values that Lincoln’s contemporaries ascribed to him, as well as the enduring faith that Americans place in the constitutional system that he fought to preserve.

This release is part of the Office of the Historian’s ongoing project, in partnership with the University of Wisconsin Digital Collections Center, to digitize the entire Foreign Relations series. The University graciously provided high quality scanned images of each printed book, which the Office further digitized to create a full text searchable edition. This volume is available online and as a free ebook on the Office of the Historian’s website.

2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: First Release of Local Data for Five Sectors

April 7, 2015 Comments off

2012 Economic Census Geographic Area Series: First Release of Local Data for Five Sectors
Source: U.S. Census Bureau

This is a series of state-, county-, place- and metro area-level data files providing statistics on the number of establishments, receipts or revenue, payroll, number of employees and other items by industry. The first data were released today for the following sectors. Statistics for the other states and geographic entities within them for these sectors will be released on a flow basis over the coming months.

Arts, Entertainment, and Recreation — Includes statistics for performing arts, spectator sports, museums, and gambling and recreation industries. Covers Colorado and Hawaii and geographic areas therein only.

Construction — Includes data for heavy and civil engineering construction and specialty trade contractors. This release covers all states and the District of Columbia. For this sector, data files are available at the state-level only.

Information — Includes statistics for the publishing industries, including software publishing, and both traditional publishing and publishing exclusively on the Internet; the motion picture and sound recording industries; the broadcasting industries, including traditional broadcasting and those broadcasting exclusively over the Internet; the telecommunications industries; Web search portals, data processing industries, and the information services industries. Covers Colorado and Hawaii and geographic areas therein only.

Other Services (Except Public Administration) — Includes statistics for equipment and machinery repairing, promoting or administering religious activities, grantmaking, advocacy, and providing drycleaning and laundry services, personal care services, death care services, pet care services, photofinishing services, temporary parking services, and dating services. Covers Colorado and geographic areas therein only.

Professional, Scientific and Technical Services — With Tax Day approaching, this data includes statistics for accounting and tax preparation, legal services, computer systems design, and advertising and public relations services. Covers Colorado and Hawaii and geographic areas therein only.

NAEP Report Shows Small Gains for Fourth- and Eighth-Graders in Vocabulary Skills Needed for Reading Comprehension

April 1, 2015 Comments off

NAEP Report Shows Small Gains for Fourth- and Eighth-Graders in Vocabulary Skills Needed for Reading Comprehension
Source: National Center for Education Statistics (National Assessment of Educational Progress)

The nation’s fourth- and eighth-grade students made small gains from 2011 to 2013 in how well they use words to gain meaning from the passages they read, according to a newly released report from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card. The report, Vocabulary Results From the 2013 NAEP Reading Assessment, also shows that one of the biggest gains in vocabulary knowledge was made by eighth-grade Hispanic students, whose improvements have narrowed the achievement gap with white students at that grade level since 2009.

Rather than presenting words in isolation, NAEP’s focus on vocabulary acknowledges that key distinctions and nuances of word meaning arise in the context of particular reading passages. Each vocabulary question asks how a particular word contributes meaning to the reading passage in which it appears.

NAEP scores and reports the reading comprehension results on the NAEP reading assessment independently from the vocabulary results, but the 2013 results confirm a strong correlation between the two: Students who had the highest vocabulary scores were the same ones performing above the 75th percentile in reading comprehension; students who had the lowest vocabulary scores were at or below the 25th percentile in comprehension.

FALQs: Soviet Investigation of Nazi War Crimes

April 1, 2015 Comments off

FALQs: Soviet Investigation of Nazi War Crimes
Source: Law Library of Congress

Recently, people all over the world remembered how the Auschwitz concentration camp was liberated 70 years ago on January 27, 1945. Our readers might be interested to learn about the legal basis for the Soviet authorities’ involvement in the collection of evidence, investigation of crimes committed in the camp, and the prosecution and punishment of the perpetrators of these and other crimes. While the most notorious Nazi war criminals were tried in Nuremberg, and those accused of murdering people in Auschwitz were prosecuted later in separate trials in Poland and Germany, the collection of evidence and prosecution of war crimes had started well before the Soviets liberated Auschwitz.

CRS — Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2015 (March 10, 2015)

March 24, 2015 Comments off

Defense Authorization and Appropriations Bills: FY1970-FY2015 (PDF)
Source: Congressional Research Service (via Federation of American Scientists)

The passage of the Department of Defense (DOD) authorization and appropriations bills through Congress often does not follow the course laid out in textbooks on legislative procedure. Tracking DOD authorization or appropriation bills can be confusing and time-consuming. This has been particularly true in recent years, when continuing resolutions (CRs) containing the DOD and other appropriation bills have been passed in lieu of the 12 regular appropriations bills for the entire U.S. government.

This report is a research aid which lists the DOD authorization bills (Table 1) and appropriations bills (Table 2) for FY1970-FY2015. This report includes all the pertinent information on the passage of these bills through the legislative process: bill numbers, report numbers, dates reported and passed, recorded vote numbers and vote tallies, dates of passage of the conference reports with their numbers and votes, vetoes, substitutions, dates of final passage, and public law numbers. Key definitions are also included. This report will be updated as legislative activity warrants.

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