Government Documents

National Hispanic Heritage Month, 2023

"Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures, and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America.

The observation started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988 to cover a 30-day period starting on September 15 and ending on October 15. It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988, on the approval of Public Law 100-402.

The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively."

--This Web portal is a collaborative project of the Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration.

In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, the Government Documents Dept. has a mini-display, at the 2nd Floor south entrance, of a sampling of resources available in our collection on the topic.  Also check-out a short 3-page bibliography on additional resources.

The Constitution and Voting Rights

On September 17, 1787, after months of debate, our Founding Fathers sat down at the Constitutional Convention and signed one of the most significant documents of our nation’s history:  the U.S. Constitution. Since its ratification in 1789, the Constitution has been the primary basis for our country’s government and fundamental laws.  But as our society has evolved, so have the perspectives on this founding document.  Constitutional debates are ongoing as people continue to disagree on how the Constitution should be interpreted in modern circumstances, with opinions varying greatly in both Congress and the Supreme Court.

Constitutional amendments in particular have been at the core of some very hot button issues.  For example, while the 15th and 19th amendments aim to protect a citizen’s right to vote, problems surrounding voter discrimination still exist today.  This year, National Voter Registration Day is September 19th:

“... Every year, millions of Americans find themselves unable to vote because they miss a registration deadline, don’t update their registration, or aren’t sure how to register. National Voter Registration Day efforts are designed to ensure every eligible voter has the opportunity to vote…National Voter Registration Day

We invite you now to browse some of our department’s relevant resources and commemorative display as we celebrate U.S. Constitution Day (Sept. 17th) and Voter Registration Day (Sept. 19th) 2023.  Our display can be found at Marx Library on 2nd Floor South with a 7-page bibliography for additional information.

Hurricane Season 2023:  Be Aware, Be Prepared, Take Action

Hurricane season is upon us again! And while anyone from down South knows the full capabilities of these super storms, those new to the area might find this annual surge in severe weather a little daunting. Tropical cyclones are capable of damaging winds, high levels of rainfall, and widespread community damage; hurricane preparedness is essential for these very reasons. From building emergency kits to fortifying storm shelters, there’s a lot that can be done to prepare and persist through these super storms. Hurricanes have always greatly impacted the southeast region of the United States, but with growing concerns of intensified weather patterns, it is imperative now more than ever to be aware, be prepared, and to take action. 

We invite you now to browse some of our department’s hurricane preparedness resources and informative display as we approach the most active months of the Atlantic Hurricane Season. The display can be found at Marx Library on 2nd Floor South with additional handouts and a 7-page bibliography. For even more information, check out our newest LibGuide, Gov Docs: Hurricane Preparedness

2023 Hurricane Outlooks and 2022 Hurricane Season Review (8/10/23)


Topics in the News -- Some recent reports from the Congressional Research Service:

Immigration Crimes: Improper Entry and Reentry   (8/30/23)

Labor Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet   (8/30/23)

Salaries of Members of Congress: Congressional Votes, 1990-2023  (8/29/23)

Federal Policies to Expand Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure  (8/28/23)

Medication Abortion: New Litigation May Affect Access  (8/28/23)

Defining and Regulating Online Platforms  (8/25/23)

U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine   (8/25/23)

Law Enforcement and Technology: Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems  (8/22/23)

China Primer: South China Sea Disputes  (8/21/23)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Federal Election Campaigns: Legal Background and Constitutional Considerations for Legislation  (8/17/23)

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Campaign Finance Policy: Recent Developments  (8/16/23)

The Georgia Indictment of Former President Trump: A Snapshot  (8/16/23)

August 2023 Wildfires in Hawaii  (8/14/23)

2023 Hurricane Outlooks and 2022 Hurricane Season Review  (8/10/23)

Procedures for Declassifying Intelligence of Public Interest  (8/10/23)

Cybersecurity: Selected Cyberattacks, 2012-2022  (8/9/23)

Russia’s Wagner Group in Africa: Issues for Congress  (8/3/23)

Foreign Leaders Addressing Congress  (8/1/23)

Presidential Medal of Freedom   (8/1/23)