November is Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month!
Designated in 1990 by former President George H. W. Bush, this month-long celebration is a time to recognize and honor Native American history, culture, and stories. This year, the Department of Interior’s theme is “Celebrating Tribal Sovereignty and Identity,” chosen as a way to highlight the culture and individual rights of tribes both past and present.
Indian tribes are considered, by federal law, to be "domestic, dependent nations." Over 550 tribes are recognized by the U.S. federal government, while hundreds more are unrecognized. While tribal limitations mirror those of state sovereignty, they still have the right to form their own governments and courts, enforce civil and criminal laws, and much more. Today, contemporary activists are further advocating for issues such as the restoration of tribal lands, the protection of cultural traditions, and even taking more deliberate climate action. Consequently, Native American Heritage Month remains a holiday to honor those who came before and continue after.
We invite you now to browse some of our department’s resources and commemorative display as we celebrate Native American and Alaska Native Heritage Month 2023! The display can be found at Marx Library on 2nd Floor South with a 5-page bibliography and a companion pamphlet for additional information.
See also CRS Report R44258: Native American Heritage Month: Fact Sheet
75th Anniversary of the Integration of U.S. Armed Services
In early 1946, Isaac Woodard, a Black army sergeant on his way home to South Carolina, just hours after his honorable discharge after serving in WWII, was pulled from a Greyhound bus, still in uniform. The local chief of police savagely beat him, leaving him unconscious and permanently blind. The shocking incident made national headlines and, when the police chief was acquitted by an all-white jury, the blatant injustice would change the course of American history.
This crime led to the racial awakening of President Harry Truman, who desegregated the military two years later when he issued Executive Order 9981 “Establishing the President’s Committee on Equality of Treatment and Opportunity in the Armed Forces” (July 26, 1948). Full integration of the various branches of military services was not immediate, but required several years to implement. The Air Force was the first branch to adhere to the president’s policy, fully integrating by 1952. The other branches followed and by the end of the Korean War, the entire military was integrated.
The Government Documents Dept. has put together a display of some of the resources on the topic. It can be found on the 2nd Floor South of Marx Library, along with a 6-page bibliography for additional information.
Topics in the News -- Some recent reports from the Congressional Research Service:
What Is a “Church” for Federal Tax Purposes? (10/25/23)
China Primer: China’s Political System (10/24/23)
U.S. Senate Vacancies: How Are They Filled? (10/23/23)
Church Tax Benefits (10/16/23)
War Crimes in Ukraine (10/16/23)
U.S. Security Assistance to Ukraine (10/5/23)
Questions of Privilege in the House (10/2/23)