- By Subject
- By Series/Title Group
- By Grade Level
- Health Reference Online
- Special Offers
Celebrated on the first Monday in September, Labor Day honors the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of the nation; it also celebrates the accomplishments of the labor movement in achieving increased wages and legal protections for workers. Labor Day has been a national holiday in the United States since 1894.
The path leading up to the creation of the holiday included great hardship for many workers. Information about labor conditions for workers and the development of the labor movement in the latter part of the 19th century is included in this chapter from Defining Moments: Workers Unite! The American Labor Movement.
Additional information about the history of the American labor movement, plus biographies of the key players and primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: Workers Unite! The American Labor Movement.
Posted: August 27, 2018
In July 1945, World War II was nearing an end but fighting continued between the United States and Japan. On August 6, 1945, following Japan’s refusal to accede to its surrender order, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. Three days later the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the city of Nagasaki, Japan. In Hiroshima approximately 80,000 people were killed immediately, along with 40,000 in Nagasaki. Many tens of thousands more people would die in the following months and years from radiation sickness and cancer. The two bombings remain the only time nuclear weapons have been used in warfare. Since 1947, the city of Hiroshima has held an annual Peace Ceremony on August 6th to commemorate the bombing and mourn the victims.
Holiday Symbols and Customs, 5th Edition covers a diverse selection of more than 350 holidays and festivals from the United States and around the world, with information on more than 1,200 symbols and customs associated with these special events.
Posted: August 6, 2018
Each year in the United States, thousands of infants, children, teens, and adults suffer from cleft and craniofacial conditions. Some are born with congenital anomalies like cleft lip and palate, others with more complex, life-threatening craniofacial conditions.
Dealing with a congenital condition can be very difficult, especially for new parents. Helpful information is provided in these two sections from Genetic Disorders Sourcebook: “When Your Baby Has a Birth Defect” and “Tips for Parenting a Child with a Disability.”
Comprehensive information about the causes, diagnosis, and treatment of a wide range of congenital conditions is available in Genetic Disorders Sourcebook, 6th Edition.
Posted: July 2, 2018
At the end of the Civil War and the beginning of Reconstruction, Congress crafted three amendments to the U.S. Constitution that gave essential civil rights to African Americans. The 13th Amendment, passed in 1865, abolished slavery throughout the United States. The 14th Amendment, which became law on July 9, 1868, guaranteed the rights of full citizenship to all Americans, regardless of race; it also guaranteed all U.S. citizens equal protection under the law and prohibited anyone from taking away a citizen’s rights without due process. The 15th Amendment, passed in 1870, guaranteed the right to vote regardless of race.
Additional information about the events before and after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, including biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: The Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Posted: July 2, 2018
The purpose of Men’s Health Month is to heighten the awareness of preventable health problems and encourage early detection and treatment of disease among men and boys. According to Dr. David Gremillion of the Men’s Health Network, “There is a silent health crisis in America. … It’s that fact that, on average, American men live sicker and die younger than American women.” This month gives health care providers, public policy makers, the media, and individuals an opportunity to encourage men and boys to make their health a priority: to exercise regularly; to eat healthy; and to seek regular medical advice and early treatment for disease and injury.
Comprehensive information about the issues in men’s health, including facts on gender-specific health differences, leading causes of death in men, reproductive and sexual concerns, genetic disorders, mental health concerns, and alcohol and drug abuse is available in Men’s Health Concerns Sourcebook, 5th Edition.
Posted: June 5, 2018
On June 30, 1943, the WPA ceased operations. The WPA, or Works Progress Administration (later the Work Projects Administration) was a federal agency that oversaw an extensive work relief program during the Great Depression. The agency operated from 1935 to 1943. After the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in December 1941, the U.S. joined World War II, the economy gradually improved, and the agency dramatically reduced operations. By 1942, when the national unemployment rate fell below 5 percent, the work relief program was deemed no longer necessary.
In 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt decided to discontinue the WPA. A letter from Roosevelt announcing his decision is provided in this primary source document from Defining Moments: The WPA—Putting America to Work.
Information about the history of the WPA, plus biographies of the key players and additional primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: The WPA—Putting America to Work.
Posted: June 1, 2018
Mental Health Month began in 1949 with a week-long observance and is now recognized each year in May. Mental health issues affect a large segment of society in the United States — adults, young adults, and children. In a given year, approximately one in five adults (43.8 million, or 18.5%) and the same proportion of young adults aged 13 to 18 (one in five, or 21.4%) experience mental illness. And younger children are not immune — for those aged 8 to 15, the estimate is 13%.
This section from Mental Health Information for Teens, 5th Edition, provides some basic facts on three topics: understanding mental health, defining mental illness, and the causes and warning signs of mental illness.
Comprehensive information about mental wellness and mental illness, along with facts about recognizing and treating mood, anxiety, personality, psychotic, behavioral, impulse control, and addiction disorders, is available in Mental Health Information for Teens, 5th Edition. Complete information about mental health disorders in adults and children is available in the Health Reference Series volume, Mental Health Disorders Sourcebook, 6th Edition.
Posted: May 4, 2018
Henry Cabot Lodge, born on May 12, 1850, was an American political leader who served in both the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate. Lodge was active on a wide range of issues: he supported military involvement in the Spanish-American War, increasing the size of the U.S. Navy, laws designed to improve worker and consumer safety and reduce business corruption, and stiff tariffs on foreign goods; he opposed women’s suffrage and Prohibition. He also fiercely opposed immigration. In the 1890s, he spoke out against immigrants from southeastern Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world, believing they were inferior to earlier immigrants from England and northern Europe. He was a big proponent of literacy tests for immigrants, which would have significantly limited the number of eligible immigrants.
Additional information about this era of immigration, plus more biographies of the key players and related primary source documents, can be found in Defining Moments: The Dream of America: Immigration 1870-1920.
Posted: May 3, 2018
Earth Day was first observed on April 22, 1970 with efforts to encourage both government officials and U.S. citizens to preserve the wilderness and the earth’s natural resources. This year’s campaign by The Earth Day Network, which now coordinates events around the world, is focused on ending plastic pollution.
More information about the customs and traditions associated with Earth Day is available in this entry from Holiday Symbols and Customs, 5th Edition.
Posted: April 20, 2018
Each April, the National Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (NCADD) sponsors Alcohol Awareness Month to increase public awareness, reduce stigma, and encourage communities to focus on alcohol-related issues. Alcoholism is a chronic disease that affects millions of Americans, both directly and indirectly. It can be progressive, and it can be fatal——but it can also be overcome with proper treatment. Some of the statistics related to alcoholism in the United States are staggering:
These sections from Alcoholism Sourcebook provide some basic facts: What Does Alcoholism Look Like; Questions and Answers about Alcoholism; and Researchers Identify Alcoholism Subtypes.
Comprehensive, updated information about the causes, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of alcoholism is available in Alcoholism Sourcebook, 4th Edition.
Posted: March 30, 2018