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Sun 16th Mar, 2014 was...

Dates

16th Mar each year

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On March 16th 1751, in a nation that was heading towards a rebellion that would change the world forever, James Madison Jr. was born in Port Conway, Virginia. He was raised on a tobacco plantation with his 11 younger brothers and sisters, and inherited the plantation upon his fathers death. Showing the sort of fearless ambition and political savvy that would serve him well in the years to come, he then grew that plantation to 5000 acres, becoming the largest landowner in Orange County, Virginia, and one of the most important citizens of the area. He would later come to be known as “Father of the Constitution” for drafting the United States Constitution and the United States Bill of Rights, and was the loudest voice of the time for ensuring that the government of the newly formed nation held no secrets from the people it served.

History of Freedom of Information Day

Freedom of Information Day is dedicated to that very concept, with the Freedom of Information Act being enacted on July 4th, 1966 and coming into effect a year from that date. It declared that every person has the right to get information to federal agency records that are not protected by one of nine exemptions, or special law enforcement record exclusions. This put into law the very concepts that James Madison had held so dear, and ensured that the citizens of the United States were able to obtain that information to which they were entitled.

How to Celebrate Freedom of Information Day

All across the country, Freedom of Information Day is celebrated by colleges of Law and other organizations, holding panels that provide information on the rights and freedoms afforded by the Freedom of Information Act. These celebrations are held to provide information to the populace on how they can take advantage of their freedoms, when they apply, and under what circumstances these laws are not applicable. Attending an event such as this can provide you with some of the best tools at your disposal for learning your rights to information, and how not to let a vital opportunity to use them slip by.

You can also celebrate Freedom of Information Day by being open with those around you. When you’re asked a question by friend or coworker, take the time to provide them with all the relevant details, making sure they have all the information they may require for the situation at hand. You can also print up fliers and hand them out to people who may find themselves in a situation where information of this kind may be applicable. Never forget that you are entitled to the information about you held in government records, and make sure when you put in a request for them you know which agency is likely to hold it.

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