National Whistleblower Day

In a press conference scheduled for Friday, April 22, 2016 at the Clinton Presidential Library, Arkansas State Representatives Vivian Flowers and Ken Ferguson will announce their support for a state law recognizing National Whistleblower Day.  Arkansas would be the first state to recognize America’s first whistleblower law (passed in 1778 during the Revolution).  For the past three years the U.S. Senate has unanimously approved a similar resolution.
The National Whistleblower Center’s Executive Director, Stephen M. Kohn, will be speaking at the press conference scheduled for 9:00 a.m. Later in the day he will give the keynote address at the National Whistleblower Day luncheon ceremony.


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Did you miss the National Whistleblower Day Celebration on July 30? Or perhaps you would like to relive the historic day? The first Congressional celebration of National Whistleblower Day is now available to watch online.

The National Whistleblower Center has now uploaded videos of the event at www.nationalwhistleblowerday.org. Viewers can choose to watch the

On July 30, the U.S. Senate’s Kennedy Caucus Room was packed with whistleblowers, their families and whistleblower advocates as six senators and one representative each gave moving remarks in recognition of National Whistleblower day. This event, hosted by the National Whistleblower Center, marked the first Congressional celebration of National Whistleblower Day. The commemoration of July 30th as National Whistleblower Day recognizes the passage of the first ever whistleblower law that date in 1778, as well as the crucial role whistleblowers play today in defending our nation from waste, fraud and abuse.
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Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C. July 30, 2015. Today, by a unanimous resolution the U.S. Senate declared July 30th as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law, enacted by the Continental Congress 237 years ago, at the height of the American Revolution.
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Washington, D.C. July 28, 2015. On July 30th, seven senators will come together for the first time to publicly celebrate our nation’s whistleblowers. The celebration, hosted by the National Whistleblower Center, is being held on “National Whistleblower Day” in commemoration of the Founding Fathers’ passing the first ever whistleblower law in 1778, as well as the crucial role whistleblowers play in defending our nation from waste, fraud and abuse. The two Keynote Speakers for the event are Senators Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Ron Wyden of Oregon, who serve as the Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus. Joining them to speak are Senators Ron Johnson and Tammy Baldwin of Wisconsin, Thom Tillis of North Carolina, Mark Kirk of Illinois, and Tom Carper of Delaware (TO BE CONFIRMED), also members of the Whistleblower Protection Caucus.

The passage of the first whistleblower law was traced back to a resolution signed unanimously by the Continental Congress in 1778. In this resolution, our Founding Fathers declared:
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National Whistleblower Day July 30th
Washington, D.C.  July 27, 2015. Today, over fifty grassroots advocacy groups and individual whistleblowers joined together to support the creation of a National Whistleblower Day. In a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders, they stated the importance of the establishment of July 30th as a day to recognize the critical role whistleblowers play in maintaining the integrity of our nation.

The letter related the history of the first whistleblower law, which our Founding Fathers unanimously passed on July 30, 1778, recognizing the right of all citizens to report “misconduct, frauds and misdemeanors” to the “appropriate authority.”
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The National Whistleblower Center issued an alert today asking its Action Alert Network to push Congress to enact a National Whistleblower Day.

The action alert is below:

Demand Congress Pass National Whistleblower Appreciation Day!

Take Action!

Urge Congress To Make Whistleblower Protection A High Priority Through Enacting National Whistleblower Appreciation Day
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Washington, D.C. June 12, 2015. Today the National Whistleblower Center, the nation’s leading whistleblower advocacy group, launched a website promoting the establishment of a National Whistleblower Day.

The website, www.nationalwhistleblowerday.org, recites the history of the world’s first ever whistleblower law which was enacted by the Continental Congress on July 30, 1778.

“Recognizing the significant contributions to democracy made by whistleblowers is the key to changing the corporate culture that defines whistleblowers as snitches, ‘rats at the picnic’ or worse,” said Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center.  “Our Founding Fathers unanimously stood behind America’s first whistleblowers, in both word and deed.  We expect the same from our current government,” Kohn added.
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On July 30, 2014, by a unanimous resolution the U.S. Senate declared July 30 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day” for the second year in row.   The resolution comes on the anniversary of the first ever whistleblower protection law enacted on July 30, 1778.

Stephen M. Kohn, Executive Director of the National Whistleblower Center, first discovered the importance of this date to whistleblowers.  Fifteen years ago, while conducting research for an amicus brief filed by the NWC supporting the constitutionality of the False Claims Act, Kohn discovered a resolution passed by the Continental Congress. The resolution, enacted on July 30, 1778, can be considered the world’s first whistleblower law.  Kohn then carefully researched why our Founding Fathers enacted the resolution, and learned the details of America’s first whistleblower case.  He reviewed the letters the whistleblowers wrote in jail pleading their case to the revolutionary Congress.  He obtained from the National Archives a copy of the check the Continental Congress wrote to Sam Adams, honoring Congress’ agreement to pay the costs of the whistleblowers’ defense. 
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Today is National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.  On this day in 1778 the Continental Congress passed what very well could be the world’s first whistleblower law.  Our revolutionary forefathers, when they learned that two whistleblowers that had exposed misconduct by the highest-ranking U.S. naval official, were being prosecuted in the State of Rhode Island, agreed to act.  They voted to spend precious monies from the new government’s treasury to ensure that the whistleblowers had lawyers to defend them.  They voted to release all of the naval records documenting the whistleblower’s concerns.

Finally, the Founding Fathers, on July 30, 1778 passed our nation’s first whistleblower law.  It’s message was clear and the vote was unanimous:  “That it is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or any other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.

The history behind this historic day was lost.  However, fifteen years ago, when the National Whistleblower Center’s Executive Director Stephen Kohn was researching materials for an amicus brief filed by the NWC supporting the constitutionality of the False Claims Act, he discovered this law.    
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