Washington, D.C. July 24, 2019 – Today, the U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution designating July 30th, 2019 as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.”
In 1777, ten sailors and marines met to blow the whistle on the commander of the Continental Navy, Commodore Esek Hopkins, for his mistreatment of British prisoners. Their reports led the Continental Congress to pass America’s first whistleblower law on July 30, 1778.
Whistleblower Attorney Stephen M. Kohn, partner at Kohn, Kohn & Colapinto, rediscovered the story of some of the earliest whistleblowers in our nation. He found the history while doing the original historical research for his book, The Whistleblower’s Handbook.
After Kohn’s discovery, the U.S. Senate, led by Chairman of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus Senator Charles Grassley, enacted a resolution to mark July 30 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. The resolution calls on all U.S. agencies to recognize whistleblowers and celebrate National Whistleblower Day.
Grassley will be speaking at a celebration of National Whistleblower Day on Capitol Hill on the 30th, along with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Ron Johnson (R-WI), Inspector General of the Department of Justice Michael Horowitz, and several courageous whistleblowers.
“At the height of the American Revolution, the founding fathers unanimously and unequivocally endorsed whistleblowing and called upon every inhabitant of the U.S. to report crimes and misdemeanors to the right authorities,” Kohn said. “Recognizing the historical contributions of whistleblowing is essential to changing the corporate culture that employees face when they report wrongdoing.
This year marks the first time the House has joined the Senate in introducing a resolution to designate July 30th as “National Whistleblower Appreciation Day.” Senate has passed similar resolutions each year since 2013.
“It is now beyond question that whistleblowers are the number one source for detecting fraud and corruption,” Kohn added. “Celebrating the contributions of whistleblowers is the first step towards effectively fighting corruption.”