Monday, November 15, 2010

Geography Awareness Week or What was Reagan Thinking?

Happy Geography Awareness Week!

If you do any research on Geography Awareness Week you'll quickly discover that it was first observed in 1987 after being signed in to law by President Reagan. What is not so easy to find is additional information on the original Geography Awareness Week legislation. And here is where WorldGeoBlog digs even deeper! The legislation was signed into law by President Reagan on July 24th. On a day that Reagan described as "A kind of hurried & mixed up short day" the President had a staff meeting to talk about the debt ceiling bill, in addition to signing into law Geography Awareness Week with PL 100-78. In his diaries Reagan also discussed difficult decisions on how to handle issues with German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. Later that day the President formally asked Judge Sessions to be Director of the FBI. The life of a President!

Also of note is the fact that this was first introduced on St. Patrick's Day. A day in which we celebrate and study the Irish. ;) I doubt that entered the mind of Bill Bradley, who sponsored the Senate bill.

I've included a complete list of key dates in the approval of the Geography Awareness Week legislation below.

Read twice and referred to the Committee on Judiciary.
Committee on Judiciary. Ordered to be reported without amendment favorably.
Committee on Judiciary. Reported to Senate by Senator Biden without amendment and with a preamble. Without written report.
Placed on Senate Legislative Calendar under General Orders. Calendar No. 149.
Passed Senate without amendment and with a preamble by Voice Vote.
Referred to Subcommittee on Census and Population.
Subcommittee on Census and Population Discharged.
Message on Senate action sent to the House.
Referred to House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service.
House Committee on Post Office and Civil Service Discharged by Unanimous Consent.
Called up by House by Unanimous Consent.
Passed House by Voice Vote.
Cleared for White House.
Measure Signed in Senate.
Presented to President.
Signed by President.
Became Public Law No: 100-78.

Geographic Travels put together a nice post on the focus for Geography Awareness Week 2010, fresh water.

I should also take this opportunity to announce that WorldGeoBlog will be featured as the blog of the day, on November 19th on National Geographic's blog. Be sure to check back in on Friday for my featured post.

Also check out the Geography Awareness Week Facebook Page

For more information, Matt Rosenberg put together a great post on the history of GAW earlier this year.

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