On June 28, 2013 at the Irving K. Barber Learning Centre, a historic summit of two groups of WWII veterans that faced discrimination: the Tuskegee Airmen and Chinese-Canadian soldiers was held. Meeting for the first time ever, these aging veterans will share their stories with the public on how they overcame prejudice to serve their countries with courage and distinction. The Tuskegee Airmen are African-American pilots who fought in World War II. Formally, they formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Corps (United States Army Air Forces after 20 June 1941).

While most of their ranks have passed away, a few remaining veterans, now mostly in their late 80s and 90s, will meet to share their stories.  During WWII, the Tuskegee airmen were the first group of African-American aviators to fly in combat for the US armed forces. At the time, the American military was still racially segregated. Many felt African-Americans lacked the intelligence and skill to perform anything beyond basic, menial tasks in military duty. Despite this segregation and prejudice, the Tuskegee Airmen went on to become one of the most highly respected fighter groups in the war. They were dubbed “the Red Tails” after one fighter group painted their P47s and later P51s with a red tail.  Please join us for this historic occasion.  This UBC opening symposium took place on June 28, 2013, 2013 at the Victoria Learning Theatre (Room 182), Irving K. Barber Learning Centre as part of the Chapman Discussion Series.

Panelists include:  Col. Charles McGee, Lt. Robert Ashby, Bill Norwood, Col. Dick Tolliver (Tuskegee Airmen); Col. Howe Lee, George Chow, Neil Chen, Frank Wong (Chinese-Canadian Veterans); Moderated by Don Chapman


Select Books and Articles Available at UBC for more research

Horn, B. (2008). Show No Fear: Daring Actions in Canadian Military History. Dundurn. [Link]

Moye, J. T. (2010). Freedom Flyers: The Tuskegee Airmen of World War II. OUP USA. [Link]

Percy, W. A. (2003). Jim Crow and Uncle Sam: The Tuskegee Flying Units and the US Army Air Forces in Europe during World War II. The Journal of Military History67(3), 773-810. [Link]


Select UBC Library Research Guides on this topic

Political Science

Canadian Studies


If you’re looking for US Census data the Oklahoma Dept. of  Libraries  has just updated their site with resources such as “How to use Census data: guides and handouts about data from the U.S. Census Bureau”.

It also includes links to three how-to guides about Census data:  **Choosing Census Data**- How do you choose between Decennial Census data, American Community Survey (ACS) data, and Annual Population Estimates Program (APEP) data? This will help you and your customers make “Best Practices” choices.

**Mixing Census Data Types Together** – Mixing Decennial Census data, ACS data, and APEP data together is a no-no at the Census Bureau. But here at the Oklahoma State Data Center we know that our customers mix different types of Census data together regardless of the statistical inaccuracies of doing so, so we offer this guide to help you work with customers who insist on doing this.

* *Using American Community Survey Data** – How do you work with1-year, 3-year, and 5-year ACS data? This is another “Best Practices” guide. It is essentially the same guide published by ALA/GODORT at http://wikis.ala.org/godort/images/4/42/Beleu-occasionalpaper3.pdf

From Docuticker:

“The U.S. Census Bureau reports that 36.7 million of the nation’s population (12 percent) were foreign-born, and another 33 million (11 percent) were native-born with at least one foreign-born parent in 2009, making one in five people either first or second generation U.S. residents. The second generation were more likely than the foreign born to be better educated and have higher earnings and less likely to be in poverty. In 2009, 59 percent of the native-born 25 and older with at least one foreign-born parent had some college education and 33 percent had a bachelor’s degree. That compares with 45 percent of the foreign-born who had some college and 29 percent who had a bachelor’s degree. “– Docuticker

You can read the news release from the  US Census Bureau here. Detailed tables can be found here.

Since it’s launch a year ago,  Data.gov, which has a mandate to globally democratize data,  has  undergone a makeover.  There are new opportunities to interact with the data as well as new feature such as usage statistics and apps featuring  crime statistics by neighborhood to the best towns to find a job to seeing the environmental health of your community.

“Launched in May 2009 with 47 datasets, Data.gov has been continually expanded since the inception of the Open Government Directive (OGD).  Under the OGD, published Dec. 8, 2009, executive branch agencies had 45 days to release at least three “high-value” datasets on their websites and register them with Data.gov. These datasets were to be information “not previously available online or in a downloadable format” and were to be published “online in an open format.”  On the deadline, the website held about 300 datasets in total but now boasts of a library containing more than 270,000 sets.” — OMB Watch

Some of the most viewed datasets include:

  1. Worldwide M1+ Earthquakes, Past 7 Days
  2. U.S. Overseas Loans and Grants (Greenbook)
  3. MyPyramid Food Raw Data
  4. Latest Volumes of Foreign Relations of the US
  5. OSHA Data Initiative – Establishment…

Both OMB Watch and Free Government Information have interesting posts.

Read the article Rise and Fall of the  GDP in the New York Times Magazine.  The author Jon Gertner  attended a presentation on the Canadian Index of Well-Being presented by Alex Michalos,  a former chancellor at the University of Northern British Columbia.

The presentation on the Canadian Index of Well Being is available here.  Michalos’ interesting approach discusses how the success of a country depends on collaborations with international organizations such as Stats Canada, OECD etc.

The Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources resumed it’s Hearing May 12th, 2010 to review current issues related to offshore oil and gas development – you can view the archived webcast of  the Hearing.

Take a look at the US government response timeline.

Take a look  at the Deepwater Horizon Response site, which gives up to date news and video on how events are progressing.

Read the Globe’s article: Moderator’s skipped question on Gulf oil spill at Harper forum.

Thanks to Christina from David Lam library whose eagle-eye spotted these two new resources!

1) AidData is a database of data and information on foreign aid finance.  It just went live this week, and while still in Beta, contains over 1 million records.   “AidData attempts to capture the universe of development finance, increase the value of data by providing more descriptive information about development activities, provide data in an accessible format, and strengthen efforts to improve donor and recipient strategic planning and coordination.”

You can search by keyword within different databases covering: donor information, recipients (ie, countries or regions), purpose, activity and years.

2) Google has teamed up with the US Census Bureau to develop a new mapping tool which will allow you to track mail participation rates in the 2010 US Census.  You can view the “Take 10 Challenge Map” on the US Census Website here. Just type in a town/city and its state or type in a zipcode to see the current participation rate and the rate for the 2000 Census.  Note, as the Census has only just launched there is not much data below the state level.  Check back in a few weeks to see figures for smaller geographic units.

America’s Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009:  “To provide affordable, quality health care for all Americans and reduce
the growth in health care spending, and for other purposes.”

Read the New York Times story regarding the US groundbreaking legislation here

See the actual 1017 page Bill that was introduced in the House here – From the Library of Congress site – H.R. 3200 I.H. and the final report of the bill (H.R.  3200 R.I.H) here (Takes a while to download – 2454 pages)

Definitions:

Introduced in House:  “This phrase indicates that a bill has been introduced in either the House or the Senate. In the Senate, any number of senators may introduce a single bill; in the House, a limit of 25 representatives may cosponsor a bill. Many bills are actually committee bills and therefore are introduced under the name of the (sub)committee’s chairperson as a formality”. – GPO site

Reported in House:  “This phrase accompanies a committee’s report of its findings and recommendations to the parent house after it has examined a bill. The version of the bill as reported includes changes, if any, that have been recommended by the committee.” GPO site

An interesting article from the NY Times documents the difficulties in tracking people in large metropolitan cities  such as New York.

Also the 2010 Census website has detailed information about the upcoming US census.

Need to look at US government documents that don’t seem to be publicly available?  All may not be lost!  Thanks to the tireless efforts of journalists, researchers, and average citizens thousands of documents that would otherwise remain closed to public scrutiny are made available each year through Freedom of  Information Act (FOIA)  requests.  Even better:  many of these folks  have contributed their FOIA documents to freely searchable web archives.  Here are a few of the best:

  • National Security Archive at George Washington University: “collects and publishes declassified documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. The Archive also serves as a repository of government records on a wide range of topics pertaining to the national security, foreign, intelligence, and economic policies of the United States.”
  • GovernmentAttic: “provides electronic copies of hundreds of interesting Federal Government documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act….(including) fascinating historical documents, reports on items in the news, oddities…and government bloopers.”
  • Electronic Frontier Foundation:  This site focuses on collecting and disseminating documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act “on controversial government surveillance programs, lobbying practices, and intellectual property initiatives.”
  • American Civil Liberties Union:   This portion of the ACLU website provides access to documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act “relating to the abuse and torture of prisoners in U.S. detention centers overseas.”

Note,  some US Federal Departments and Agencies also have well-organized and fairly comprehensive collections of their own FOIA documents, such as

Huge kudos to Sheryl Adam for suggesting this topic and for finding these sites!!!  Watch the blog for a future entry on similar Canadian sources of FOI documents.

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