There’s an app for everything in this digital age, including hundreds developed by the federal government. Here are six apps that we found especially useful.
A First Lady Flag
After noticing the national flags flying on diplomats’ cars as they arrived at the White House as well as the American and Presidential flags displayed on the President’s car, Betty Ford had a question: “If the President gets flags, why shouldn’t the First Lady?”
In answer Dick Hartwig, then the head of Mrs. Ford’s Secret Service detail, and Rick Sardo, the White House Marine Corps aide, presented her with this specially designed flag on June 24, 1975. Sarah Brinkerhoff, a friend of Hartwig, handmade the pennant for the First Lady’s limousine.
Made of blue satin and trimmed in white lace with blue and red stars, the flag features a pair of red and white bloomers in the center as a play on Mrs. Ford’s maiden name, Bloomer. White text above the bloomers reads, “Don’t Tread on Me.” The letters “E.R.A.” below stand for the Equal Rights Amendment, an indication of Mrs. Ford’s strong support for the proposed amendment that would have given women equality under law through the United States Constitution.
Although it had been designed for her car Mrs. Ford kept the flag on display on her desk in the East Wing.
Images: Betty Ford’s “Bloomer” flag; Betty Ford proudly displays her flag with Dick Hartwig, Rick Sardo, White House photographer David Hume Kennerly, and East Wing staff members Kaye Pullen and Carolyn Porembka on June 24, 1975 (White House photograph A5197-15A).
In the rise of today’s digital world where you can buy almost anything and have it delivered by the next day, it’s hard to believe there was a time when mail functioned without a ZIP code.
Here’s how ZIP code was invented and how it revolutionized the U.S. Post Office:
H. Bentley Hahn, the man who gave us ZIP codes
With the loss of many employees from World War II and mail circulation on the rise, the U.S. Post Office was searching for ways to manage the exponentially increasing mail volume.
After serving in the Air Force from 1942 to 1946, Henry Bentley Hahn, Sr., became a postal inspector for the U.S. Post Office Department. Six years later, Hahn developed a solution to the growing mail problems with the idea of a “Zone Improvement Plan,” establishing the ZIP Code and the two-letter state abbreviations.
The final plan was announced to the public on November 28, 1962 and implemented on July 1, 1963.
Spread the Word About Summer Meals
Don’t let kids go hungry this summer. Just because school is out doesn’t mean they can’t get the same free or reduced-cost meals they rely on during the school year. In fact, any kid or teen 18 and under can eat for free at designated summer meals sites across the country. But too many families don’t know about or don’t take advantage of the program.
This giant flag was displayed at the Capitol during the first Flag Day celebration in 1919. It measured 90’ x 165’ making it the largest flag in the world. #FlagDay
Photo from the Architect of the Capitol.
On June 14, 1777, the Second Continental Congress approved the design of a national flag. Since then, the Stars and Stripes has become our most famous symbol. Few things have witnessed American history as up-close as the flag. From the birth of the nation, to the darkest and brightest moments over time, the flag has been there. Learn more about its 238 years of history and this observance.
Whether you are displaying a flag at home, work or in a public setting, learn how to do it correctly using these guidelines (PDF).
Help Consumer Protection Agency Improve Servicing for Borrowers
Have you run into obstacles trying to pay back your student loans? It’s hard enough dealing with the debt, without the company managing your loans creating more obstacles for you. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau wants to hear if you’ve experienced:
- Surprise fees
- Lost payments
- Difficulty getting information from your loan servicer
- Other roadblocks to repaying your loans
Submit your comments through July 13 to help the CFPB improve student loan servicing for borrowers. Your story will become part of a public record, so don’t send sensitive information such as your Social Security number or other information that identifies you. To participate in spreading the word on social media, visit this social media sharing site before June 10.
And to learn about options for paying back your student loans, check out the CFPB’s Repay Student Debt section.
Today in 1965, Major Edward White became the first American to perform a spacewalk: http://go.usa.gov/3XaXR
Summer is the perfect time to explore your National Parks. Find your closest park: http://findyourpark.com/
Photo from the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail, one of our many public lands.
As the summer travel season heats up, you might be planning a trip with your family—including Fluffy. Over two million pets and other live animals are transported by air every year in the United States. If you’re traveling abroad, you’ll need to meet the animal health requirements of the country you’re visiting. Before getting on the plane, these tips will help make traveling with your pet safe and enjoyable.
- Ask your airline about requirements for and restrictions on traveling with a pet. Check with your airline to find out if they allow pets in the passenger cabin. If you can’t bring your furry friend on your flight as checked or carry-on baggage, you might be able to ship your pet as cargo. Also, you’ll likely have to provide a certificate from a veterinarian stating that your pet is in good health. However, airlines may not require health certificates for service animals used by people with disabilities.
- Make sure you bring an approved kennel. The kennel for a carry-on pet must fit under the seat in front of you, and your airline will likely require your pet to stay in the kennel during the flight and in the airport. You’ll want to de-clutter your pet’s kennel before you get to the airport, in case TSA agents need to do a physical inspection of your pet’s carrier.
- Carry a leash. Whether you need to walk Fido through a metal detector, or carry him through, bringing a leash can help keep your animal under control in the busy airport environment.
- Consider your pet’s comfort. Traveling, particularly loading and unloading, can be stressful for an animal, so you should consider your pet’s comfort. Try feeding your pet a light meal two hours before getting to the airport. Walk your pet before leaving for the airport, and again before checking in. While you should leave the sedatives at home, if you’re thinking about giving your pet something to help it sleep easier on the trip, always check with your veterinarian first.