The ‘Indispensable’ CIA World Factbook

August 26, 2016

There are 267 world entities. Each one has a history, people, government, and economy. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) aims to summarize that information in just a few pages. The World Factbook, prepared by the CIA using information from a half-dozen cabinet-level agencies, profiles basic intelligence on all areas of the world. GPO makes available the latest edition of the U.S. government’s complete geographical handbook.

The World Factbook 2016-17

The World Factbook 2016-17 (002)This U.S. has been involved in basic intelligence gathering since the days of George Washington. As for the World Factbook, its beginnings predate the establishment of the CIA itself. During WWII, military decision-makers lacked detailed and coordinated information. So, they initiated a joint effort to collect and publish strategic intelligence. That information remained classified for nearly two decades.  According to the book’s own brief history, “the first classified Factbook was published in 1962, and the first unclassified version was published in June 1971.” Since 1975, GPO has made the almanac-style resource available to the public writ large.

The World Factbook is an encyclopedic listing of each country’s society, geography, energy, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues. It includes full-color maps of the major world regions including physical geography, political capitals, and world oceans with major shipping lanes, ports and checkpoints.

Here are a few geography facts that just may help you win at trivia night:

The CIA World Factbook covers Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and every country in between.

The CIA World Factbook covers Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and every country in between.

  • Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world.
  • Reykjavik, Iceland is the northernmost national capital in the world.
  • Indonesia is the world’s largest country composed entirely of islands.
  • Uzbekistan, along with Liechtenstein, is one of only two “doubly landlocked” countries in the world i.e., a country that is surrounded by landlocked countries.
  • Tonga remains the only monarchy in the Pacific.
  • The temperature in Aruba is almost constantly 81 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius).

The Factbook’s current and actionable intelligence isn’t just for national-level policymakers. It’s a reference resource for everyone. The CIA World Factbook is “the indispensable source for basic intelligence,” the sort of world knowledge that can have a significant impact on people’s lives.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THE WORLD FACTBOOK 2016-17?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Keeping America Informed – The U.S. Government Publishing Office – A Legacy of Service – 1861-2016

August 25, 2016

GPO_history_book_cover_4cThe new edition of the Government Publishing’s Office’s official history, Keeping America Informed, tells the story of GPO by casting a fresh, up-to-date light on the continual transformative history of the Federal Government’s publisher.

A rich pictorial record and well documented narrative of times gone by offers a compelling story about one of the Federal Government’s essential organizations.

Known as the Government Printing Office until 2014 and based in the heart of the Nation’s capital, GPO has carried out its constitutional informing function by producing a staggering number of official Government documents in printed – and, in more recent years, digital – formats for the use of Congress, Federal agencies and the courts, and the American people.

Over the past fifty years the dominant trend at GPO has been to incorporate and expand electronic information technologies to improve production efficiencies and make Government information more widely available than ever before.

Today, GPO has become a multi-faceted hub of digital publishing activity: smaller, leaner, and equipped with digital production capabilities functioning alongside still productive traditional printing equipment.

Keeping America Informed portrays a history of dedication by generations of men and women who made up its workforce. Not many Federal agencies can boast employees who make products every day for both official and public use as GPO can.

GPO’s story is of a Government agency working quietly in venerable, historic red brick buildings in the shadow of Union Station and the Capitol, through every historic event and period since the Civil War; thousands of dedicated men and women in highly skilled jobs; and a mission to assure that the work of the Government is broadly open to the widest possible audience.

It’s a story that is at the heart of how our Government works.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Celebrating the National Park Service’s Centennial

August 24, 2016

grand-1434695_1280Since the creation of the National Park Service (NPS) on August 25, 1916, more than 275 million people visit the natural and cultural resources every year!

The seed for the national park idea was planted in 1864 with the passage of the Yosemite Grant. In 1872, President Ulysses S. Grant signed the bill creating Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the history of the world. This trend continued with the signing of the Antiquities Act of 1906, by the great lover of nature, President Theodore Roosevelt, who sought to protect scientific items of cultural heritage. The Act further prohibited the removal of cultural items from Federal lands without a permit. At that time, permits were granted by the agency managing that particular monument, especially the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture. Hence, monuments were managed by various agencies.

In 1916, President Woodrow Wilson created the National Park Service, but it was President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who in 1933 consolidated the stewardship of all national monuments and parks under the NPS. In 1935, through the Historic Sites Act, the US publically declared its goal to protect and preserve cultural heritage sites. Since then, Presidential administrations have classified more and more sites as cultural heritage. Thus far, we have close to 400 cultural heritage sites. The Obama administration alone is responsible for adding 18 of them.

9780160932090We invite you to browse the U.S. Government Bookstore’s National Parks collection. It includes everything from posters, maps, and park guides to coloring books for children. Of particular interest is the National Parks Index 2012 – 2016: 2016 National Park Service Centennial: Official Index of the National Park Service. This index is a complete administrative listing of the National Park System’s areas and related areas, including historical documentation to distinguish between the types of National Park Service sites. It has been revised to reflect congressional actions. The entries, grouped by state, include administrative addresses and phone numbers, dates of authorization and establishment, boundary change dates, acreages, website addresses, and brief statements explaining the areas’ national significance.

024-005-01271-1You can also experience a little of what the NPS has to offer in the Washington, D.C. area through the pamphlet, “National Park Service: Where History Happens,” on sale via the U.S. Government Bookstore. Learn more about the D.C. area’s most historic attractions: where Abraham Lincoln died or where Martin Luther King, Jr. made his famous “I Have a Dream…” speech. Visit Mount Vernon, the home of George Washington, seemingly completely frozen in time, as workers cultivate the farm using the same techniques and tools as in Washington’s  era.

America’s heritage includes monuments, parks, recreational sites, parkways, and many other things. Layer upon layer, time upon time, when we look at these structures we are not just looking at our past, we are learning from it so we can build a better tomorrow. History is always being made; the unheard of yesterday is being made possible today.

Below is a list of handpicked resources for those interested in learning more. Find these resources via govinfo, the Catalog of U.S. Government Publications, and the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

govinfo – https://www.govinfo.gov/features/national-park-service-centennial

  1. History of H.R. 3556 – A bill to prepare the National Park Service for its Centennial in 2016 and for a second century of protecting our national parks’ natural, historic, and cultural resources for present and future generations, and for other purposes
  1. 160 Cong. Rec. H3254 – NATIONAL PARK SERVICE 100TH ANNIVERSARY COMMEMORATIVE COIN ACT
  1. REPT. 106-250 – ANTIQUITIES ACT OF 1906

Catalog of U.S. Government Publications – http://catalog.gpo.gov/

  1. National Park Service: Where History Happens
  1. National Registry of Natural Landmarks
  1. The Secretary of the Interior’s standards for the treatment of historic properties : with guidelines for preserving, rehabilitating, restoring & reconstructing historic buildings
  1. National historic landmarks listed by state or territory
  1. Presenting nature : the historic landscape design of the National Park Service, 1916 to 1942
  1. National Park Service administrative history : a guide

U.S. Government Online Bookstore – http://bookstore.gpo.gov

  1. National Park Service: Where History Happens
  1. Washington: The Nation’s Capital (2013 Map)
  1. Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Rehabilitation and Illustrated Guidelines for Rehabilitating Historic Buildings (ePub eBook)
  1. National Trails System: Map and Guide, 2010 Edition
  1. National Park System (Wall Map Poster)
  1. Great American Landmarks Adventure
  1. The National Parks: Shaping the System
  1. Yellowstone: A Natural and Human History, Yellowstone National Park, Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming
  2. Underground Railroad: Official Map and Guide (Folder)

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

You can click on the links above in the blog or through any of these methods:

 Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Mohammed Butt is a Technical Services Librarian in GPO’s Library Services & Content Management unit.


National Aviation Day

August 18, 2016

August 19th is National Aviation Day, a yearly observance to celebrate the history and development of aviation. Another fun fact: the day is also Orville Wright’s birthday!

GPO makes available a wide range of Federal Government publications about flight.

First Flight: The Wright Brothers and the Invention of the Airplane

024-005-01212-5Twelve seconds in the air turned into over 100 years of aviation progress. In December 1903, Wilbur and Orville Wright stuck their first—and the world’s first—successful flight in a heavier-than-air, mechanically controlled machine. The sibling inventors behind the defining technology of the last century are the subject of this National Park Service handbook. In his forward, astronaut and former U.S. Senator John Glenn defers to the duo as the “first astronauts. Their initial short flight opened our quest to reach beyond the world we know. They were the first test pilots.” A foolhardy flying machine became a phenomena of human achievement. The Wright Brothers made their home above the world and consequently changed the world.

Logbook of the Signal Corps No. 1: The United States Army’s First Airplane (eBook)

Indeed the Wright Bros. invention changed the world. And changed the U.S. Army. This book tells the story of a self-taught aviator and his Wright flyer responsible for the launch of military airpower. In 1909, the U.S. Army Signal Corps paid $30,000 to Orville and Wilbur for a custom-made aircraft designated “Signal Corps No. 1.” A plucky young lieutenant with no prior flying experience was elected its sole operator. “Take plenty of spare parts,” a commanding officer told 1st Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois, “and teach yourself to fly.” Through industrious trial and error and long-distance guidance from the Wright Brothers, Foulois learned to fly the Army’s very first airplane. Read this book and then go visit the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in DC. There you will find the original Signal Corps No. 1, a beautifully restored piece of Army aviation history.

The Combat Edge

708-051-00313-5This quarterly publication of the Air Force’s Air Combat Command features articles and stories about flight safety. As aviation technology evolves to enhance combat capability, so must risk mitigation. Thus, ACC’s safety magazine looks to “foster a culture where Airmen strive for zero mishaps.” Developing this sort of discipline keeps safety standards high so that top guns can continue to “Aim High … Fly-Fight-Win.”

The Air Almanac for the Year 2016 (eBook)

008-054-00245-5For millennia, navigators have been using the stars to chart their course. Aircraft rely on similar celestial navigation. The Air Almanac contains astronomical data produced by The U.S. Naval Observatory in collaboration Her Majesty’s Nautical Almanac Office in the U.K. Published annually since 1941, this cosmic directory tabulates statistics at 10-minute intervals to a precision of 1 arcminute. Predictions include Greenwich hour angles; lunar rise and set times; sky diagrams for each month; charts for moon visibility and star positions; and sunrise, sunset, and twilight tables.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.

 


Teaching our Children about Making Healthy Food Choices

August 15, 2016

Maintaining good health and nutrition has become a major issue for many families in the United States. Today, many Americans are lacking in physical activity and proper nutrition, either because of their sedentary lifestyles, or because they are “too busy.” As a result of this, the frequency of making healthy food choices has diminished.

Discover MyPlate: Emergent Readers - A MyPlate MealTherefore, it is important that children learn early on about the importance of nutrition, fitness and the well-being of their bodies. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food and Nutrition Service has created Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal, an eBook that serves as a meal and fitness guide for children. It includes fun interactive games about nutrition, to help introduce the development of healthy food choices and physical activity lifestyles to young readers.  The child-friendly material and age appropriate games and activities will help children learn healthy habits effortlessly.

The USDA has also created a Teacher’s Kit curriculum to assist educators in the teaching of nutrition and fitness to their students. There are a number of books featured in the kit, including in the Discover MyPlate series, to teach children the importance of every food group and its relevance to one’s health. The USDA Food and Nutrition Service has done an exceptional job in their efforts of creating a child-friendly approach to nutrition and fitness.

Owning this eBook is easy, you can download it for free on the U.S. Government Bookstore website. Summer is here and the Discover MyPlate: A MyPlate Meal series are perfect reads for you and your children to become educated on the importance of nutrition and fitness.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS FREE RESOURCE?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Alyssa Doughty is an intern in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Explore Soldier Experiences through Army History: The Professional Bulletin Celebration of 100th issue release!

August 9, 2016

army_history_2016Army History: The Professional Bulletin releases its 100th issue in Summer 2016!

Army History chronicles the history and heritage of the United States Army, and explores the lives and times of those who served.

This issue opens with a synopsis; followed by a briefing about the U.S. Army’s Historical Program Enterprise, which addresses the need for a forward, collaborative approach to meet the soldier’s needs, while deepening the connection to the American public and the US Army.

NewsNotes section features new title releases from the Army, Center of Military History Combat Studies Institute. It also covers a new interactive exhibit with videos located at the U.S. Army Women’s Museum in Fort Lee, VA, which is the only museum dedicated to Army women in the world. The exhibit tells the story of the significant contributions of female soldiers’ engagement, cultural support, and provincial reconstruction teams in Iraq and Afghanistan.

army_history_2

The first article in this issue uncovers the rich history of the underground caves and cities where American soldiers from the 101st National Guard Infantry, 26th Division spent many days and nights with the French training for war.   Many of the soldiers from this platoon carved etchings in the limestone walls of the caves in order to share the soldier’s story. Many also included their signatures in these caves, marking their footprint on both the war and the cave.  In the article, modern-day military historians piece together the story and historical value of these artifacts that position World War I history from the American soldiers’ perspective.  This editorial piece brings a unique perspective to World War I history.

This second featured piece promotes Australian strategic military operations within World War II.  The intent and purpose of this article is to investigate the history of the Defense Central Camouflage Command (DCC) and its leaders, and to analyze their success or failures from the perspective of civil-military relations.  This commentary explores the teaching to soldiers of techniques to camouflage their installations, including water, gas, and oil facilities.

army_history_3In this issue, you will also find a Book Reviews section related to military history books published by other entities.  A majority of the books covered in this issue have been published by academic/scholarly publishers, external to the U.S. military.

The issue ends with a Footnote from Bryan J. Hockensmith, honoring this 100th issue and   thirty-three years of this published journal.  He reflects on Army History- Past, Present and Future and how this periodical continues primary source military history education to meet worldwide scholarly standards.

army_history_4Congratulations to the staff at CMH for the 100th published issue of Army History: The Professional Bulletin!  This print issue and subscription will meet the military history education needs of US Army soldiers, defense education programs, DODEA and public school history and global studies assignments, ROTC student programs, military academies, military science majors, historians and political scientists.  The team at CMH brings an interesting perspective to communicate understanding of America’s military history to their readers.

Grab a cup of coffee and begin reading today!

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS PUBLICATION?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

Order by Phone: You may also order print editions by calling our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: This week’s blog contributor is Maureen Whelan, Senior Marketing Team Leader for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office in Washington, DC. Maureen oversees print and digital content dissemination strategy and manages third party free and paid content distribution through platforms and vendors, such as Apple iBookstore, Barnes and Noble.com, Google Play eBookstore, Ebscohost databases, Overdrive, and more.


Travel to National Parks with These Charley Harper Posters

August 4, 2016

Thinking of traveling to a national park this summer? In addition to being prime time for outdoor exploration, August is American Artists Appreciation Month and the National Park Service’s (NPS) centennial month. Even if you can’t swing a national park trip, Charley Harper’s nature-oriented prints can take you there.

West Virginia-born, Cincinnati-based artist Charley Harper (1922-2007) is beloved for his highly stylized interpretive artwork. In the 1980s and early 1990s, NPS commissioned him to illustrate the wildlife of our parks. Based upon his cross-country travels and the stimuli of nature, Harper produced a 10-poster series in his trademark minimalist, geometric style. Four of those eye-catching renderings—Alpine Northwest, Atlantic Barrier Islands, Canyon Country, and The Rocky Mountains—are available through GPO.

024-005-01047-5Alpine Northwest—a bald eagle lords over his dominion, representing Olympic, Mount Rainier, and North Cascades National Parks.

Atlantic Barrier Islands024-005-00982-5—marine birds skirt along shifting bodies of sand and white-tipped tides that one could find on Fire Island, Assateague, Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, Cumberland Island, and Biscayne National Park.

024-005-01064-5Canyon Country (Large Version)—the American Southwest’s dizzyingly high pinnacles, buttes, and mesas are a signature of the Grand Canyon, Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches, Canyonlands, and the like.

The Rocky Mountains (Large Version)—a beaver drinks at a pond that reflects the landscape of the great Continental Divide. 024-005-00967-1

It’s quite remarkable how Harper’s compositions use shapes to imaginatively depict an entire ecosystem. Bold colors and whimsical lines will brighten a schoolroom, playroom, breakroom, workroom, any room. Each one takes you to a corner of our country’s public lands. Celebrate American artistry and the past 100 years of national parks with Charley Harper’s tribute to wild, enchanted America.

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE CHARLEY HARPER POSTERS?

Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks or print publications —with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide— from the U.S. Government Online Bookstore at http://bookstore.gpo.gov.

 Shop our Retail Store: Buy a copy of any print editions from this collection at GPO’s retail bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW, Washington, DC 20401, open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up.

Order by Phone: Call our Customer Contact Center Monday through Friday, 8 am to 5:30 pm Eastern (except US Federal holidays). From US and Canada, call toll-free 1.866.512.1800. DC or International customers call +1.202.512.1800.

Visit a Federal depository library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library. You can find the records for most titles in GPO’s Catalog of U.S. Government Publications.

About the author: Blogger contributor Chelsea Milko is a Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


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