Celebrating our Constitution and Citizenship

September 17, 2019

The meaning of being an American citizen is grounded in the words of our Constitution and Bill of Rights. We can be proud as the only nation founded on the words of Thomas Jefferson in 1776, who proposed human rights inherent to all people found in the Declaration of Independence: “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights; that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

These papers created by America’s Founding Fathers define our government and guarantee our individual rights. On September 17, Americans are encouraged to celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. For newly arrived and established immigrants, it’s a time to reflect on becoming an American citizen, as a day like no other.

With Constitution Week being celebrated from September 17-23, the Government Publishing Office suggests seeking out publications produced by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that speak to the values and responsibilities of American citizenship. Also in this collection, you will find study resources for civics and English portions of the naturalization interview, plus testing procedures essential to prospective citizens.

For those who are taking steps to become U.S. citizens, USCIS provides many guides with questions on the civics test like, “What is the supreme law of the land?” and “What are two rights of everyone living in the United States?”

To help celebrate Citizenship Day and Constitution Week, test your knowledge, with some of these resources associated with these important events: https://bookstore.gpo.gov/catalog/citizenship-civics.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

HOW DO I OBTAIN THESE RESOURCES?

Sign up to receive promotional bulletin emails from the US Government Online Bookstore.

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

Visit our Retail Store: To buy or order 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, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except Federal holidays, Call (202) 512-0132 for information or to arrange in-store pick-up(s).

Order by Phone or Email: Call our Custoer 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.  Email orders to ContactCenter@gpo.gov

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

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


Constitution Day September 17th

September 14, 2018

September 17th is Constitution Day. America celebrates this day to commemorate when delegates came together in Philadelphia at the Constitutional Convention in 1787 and signed the U.S. Constitution into law. However, it wasn’t until 2004 that the holiday took on the full name it bears today.  In 2004, Senator Robert Byrd passed an amendment renaming the holiday “Constitution Day and Citizenship Day,” which requires public schools and institutions to provide information on the history of the country’s Constitution.

The Constitution is often called a living document since it can be amended through a governmental process. The process for amending the Constitution can be found in the Constitution itself. And it can often take time to add an amendment, a process the founders developed as an attempt to ensure the power remained with the people.

The U.S. Government Bookstore offers a number of Federal titles describing the contents of the Constitution and associated documents. Here are but a few:

Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence (Pocket Edition) A pocket-size booklet containing the complete text of these two core documents of American democracy, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence. House Document 112-129. 25th edition. Use this easy to read way to stay connected with the principles that have made America a bastion of democracy throughout its history.

Civics and Citizenship Toolkit The Toolkit contains immigration and civics publications, handbooks, and a quick start guide with ideas for use. It is designed for new and experienced organizations and may be used to:

  • Provide basic information to the immigrant community;
  • Develop content for classes;
  • Train staff and volunteers

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

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 https://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.

Find more than a million official Federal Government publications from all three branches at www.govinfo.gov.

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


Constitution and Citizenship Day

September 15, 2017

On September 17, Americans celebrate Constitution Day and Citizenship Day. On this special day, all Americans are urged to reflect on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship and what it means to be a U.S. citizen.

It’s also a time to recognize people who are taking steps to become legal U.S. citizens. To support the cause for celebrating Constitution Day and Citizenship Day here are some Federal government resources for learners and teachers associated with this important day.

Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence (Pocket Edition). A pocket-size booklet containing the complete text of these two core documents of American democracy, the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence.

The Citizen’s Almanac is a collection of America’s most cherished symbols of freedom and liberty, serving as a modern day lifeline to the rich civic history we all share as Americans. The booklet includes information on patriotic anthems and symbols, citizenship rights and responsibilities, the creation of our founding documents, biographical details on prominent foreign-born Americans, landmark decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, and important presidential and historic speeches on citizenship.

Civics and Citizenship Toolkit. This toolkit contains settlement information for new immigrants to the United States, information on the U.S. naturalization process, study materials for the naturalization test, reference materials on the rights and responsibilities of U.S. citizenship and U.S. history, multimedia tools including DVDs and an audio CD, teaching guides and planning resources, flash cards, and books.

Learn About The United States: Quick Civics Lessons for the Naturalization Test. There are 100 civics (history and government) questions on the naturalization test. This booklet contains short lessons based on each of the 100 civics questions. This additional information will help you learn more about important concepts in American history and government.

Civics Flash Cards for the Naturalization Test (2017). These Civics Flash Cards will help immigrants learn about U.S. history and government while preparing for the naturalization test. These flash cards can also be used in the classroom as an instructional tool for citizenship preparation.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

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 https://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.


Fourth of July

June 30, 2017

“Taxation without representation”; the battle cry in America’s Thirteen Colonies when forced to pay taxes to England’s King George III despite having no representation in the British Parliament. As dissatisfaction grew, British troops were sent to quell the growing movement toward rebellion. Repeated attempts by Colonists to resolve the crisis without military conflict proved fruitless.

On June 11, 1776, the Colonies’ Second Continental Congress met in Philadelphia to form a committee to draft a document formally severing ties with Great Britain. The committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, Roger Sherman and Robert R. Livingston. Jefferson, who was considered the strongest and most eloquent writer, crafted the original draft document. The Continental Congress officially adopted a final version July 4, 1776.

How do you celebrate our freedom? With just hot dogs and burgers and fireworks? You might want to consider the hundreds of thousands of Americans now serving overseas to protect our way of life while we relax in the yard or at the beach this holiday weekend.

Get involved as they are. Take a step forward in understanding how America came to be, or read how our ever-vigilant military leaders give advice and counsel to our nation’s leaders. Reading to open the eyes of all Americans to the challenges we must face as a nation bound together as one.

Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States

A pocket-size booklet containing the complete text of these two core documents of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence and Constitution of the United States.

The Citizen’s Almanac: Fundamental Documents, Symbols, and Anthems of the United States U.S.

This pro-Americana booklet has been primarily designed for naturalized citizens as they enter into citizenship life within the United States of America.  The Citizen’s Almanac contains information on the history, people, and events that have brought us where we are today as a beacon of hope and freedom to the world. The contents of this booklet will serve as a constant reminder of the important rights and responsibilities immigrants will now have as a U.S. citizen.

Charting a Course: Strategic Choices for a New Administration Defense Dept., National Defense University

The new administration takes office in a time of great complexity. Our new President faces a national security environment shaped by strong currents: globalization; the proliferation of new, poor, and weak states, as well as non-state actors; an enduring landscape of violent extremist organizations; slow economic growth; the rise of China and a revanchist Russia; a collapsing Middle East; and a domestic politics wracked by division and mistrust. While in absolute terms the Nation and the world are safer than in the last century, today the United States finds itself almost on a permanent war footing, engaged in military operations around the world.

The GPO Online Bookstore – Easy Access to Federal Publications

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 Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Celebrate America’s Independence

June 24, 2016

Start with the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence

In celebration of our nation’s independence there’s no better time for you, your family, or school children to own and read these historic documents. It’s easy to forget how wise our forefathers were in creating the foundation of our freedoms. The documents they authored have endured; for example, the Declaration of Independence is 240 years old. Words so beautifully crafted in the late eighteenth century that still speak with power, eloquence, and relevance today.

In time for Fourth of July, GPO offers the pocket size booklet of the U.S. Constitution and Declaration of Independence, including complete text.

027-002-00540-6Owning this historic set of Americana has never been easier or more affordable – only $1.50/set! And, while the kids are out of school, consider giving these documents to your own kids and their friends to read. Celebrate our written foundation of freedom by sitting down with your children or class and reading both documents line-by-line.

Get to know America’s foundational documents so that you’ll have another reason to chant “USA-USA-USA.”

HOW DO I OBTAIN THIS 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 Ed Kessler is a Promotions Specialist in GPO’s Publication and Information Sales program office.


Bill of Rights Day

December 15, 2015

It has been said that the Declaration of Independence was the promise; the Constitution was the fulfillment. Then you might say that the Bill of Rights was the affirmation. Today, December 15, those enduring first ten amendments to the Constitution are 224 years old. GPO makes available a pocket copy of The Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence that includes the celebrated Bill of Rights.

052-071-01545-1Since they were ratified in 1791, that compact collection of amendments have become some of the most talked about text in history. Before the guarantees of the Bill of Rights were plainly enumerated in the Constitution, there was a rumbling fear of the tyrannical actions of government. In response, James Madison authored a list of amendments requiring approval from the House, Senate, and all states. His list enshrined as inalienable rights the self-evident truths invoked in preceding documents.

Although the phrase itself does not appear explicitly in the Constitution, The Bill of Rights is a foundation stone of a document that has lived long and large. Because of it, fundamental freedoms such as religion, speech, and due process of law are formally protected within the supreme law of the land.

The Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights are three extraordinary documents. They are the slow-burning coals of a quiet revolution, a steady progression to improve the quality of American life. Together they secure individual liberties and safeguard the spirit of popular sovereignty extolled in the phrase “we the people.” Now is as good a time as any for “we the people” to re-read them.

How do I get the pocket edition of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence?

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: Our guest blogger is Chelsea Milko, Public Relations Specialist in GPO’s Public Relations Office.


Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government: Free, Educational Content from GPO for Children and Adults of all Ages

November 23, 2015

PrintIn 1999, the U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) launched its educational website, Ben’s Guide to U.S. Government for Kids. This year, GPO redesigned and revitalized the site with all new content and features, and it is now available to the public as “Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government.”

The new site presents educational content on the workings of the U.S. Government and U.S. history, with a focus on civics. It features all new site content, a device-friendly infrastructure, and a modernized look and feel that has been optimized for an intuitive learning experience.

Ben’s Guide has three levels of Learning Adventures: Apprentice (ages 4-8), Journeyperson (ages 9-13), and Master (ages 14 and up). These represent the age ranges for the content but are also a historical reference to the longstanding apprentice program that is still in place at GPO today. The inspiration for the Ben character comes from Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), who was an apprentice and printer in the early days of our country. Although best known for being one of our Founding Fathers, he drafted and distributed historical documents during the early years of our Nation. He’s an important figure at GPO, too, and his legacy of publishing information truly lives on in what we do today.

A new, interactive game, Branch-O-Mania, is available, which is not only fun, but educational, and tests knowledge of the three branches of the U.S. Government. Educators, parents, and students can also access free, printable activities that include Word Searches and Crossword Puzzles for various age ranges. Check out the game and printables here. Also included is a site glossary that includes over 80 terms and definitions related to the U.S. Government, as used on the website.

In 2013, GPO signed an official partnership with the American Association of School Librarians (AASL). Under the terms of the partnership, AASL volunteer school librarians agreed to review the educational content on Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government for age-appropriateness. In addition, they utilized their expertise in curriculum development and educational initiatives to develop lesson plans to complement Ben’s Guide content.

Through ongoing communication and coordination with GPO, volunteers provided feedback on the educational content, called Learning Adventures, for the Apprentice, Journeyperson, and Master levels. They applied their knowledge of the presentation of information and instructional design to the specific age levels to improve and enhance comprehension of the material.

Select volunteers went the extra ‘knowledge’ mile and created lesson plans related to the content of Ben’s Guide. Educators can not only use the new Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government in an educational setting, but can also consult ready-made lesson plans to integrate into their course curriculum. These lesson plans follow a structured rubric that sets forth the elements, standards, scenario, overview, assessment, and instructional plan. Lesson plans submitted by volunteers were reviewed and vetted by AASL before being officially accepted and published.

The lesson plans are archived and available on Ben’s Guide and at the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner Lesson Plan Database site. The AASL lesson plans are arranged into three groups: grades K-5, grades 6-8, and grades 9-12. All of the lesson plans are freely-available to the public and can be accessed and incorporated into the classroom setting.

Be sure to check out the new Ben’s Guide to the U.S. Government on your computer, tablet, or device of choice. Let us know what you think. We will continue to enhance the site by adding new content and design enhancements based on user feedback.

You can find other resources related to items featured in Ben’s Guide by clicking here 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 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 authorKelly Seifert is the Strategic Communications Coordinator for GPO’s Library Services & Content Management division.

 

 

 

 


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