Skyview-of-Washington-dcThe U.S. Senate has unanimously passed a resolution declaring July 30, 2018 as National Whistleblower Appreciation Day. National Whistleblower Appreciation Day commemorates the passage of America’s first whistleblower law and celebrates the contributions of whistleblowers to democracy.

The resolution was introduced by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and cosponsored by all members of the bipartisan Senate Whistleblower Protection Caucus, including Sen. Ron Wyden (D-OR), Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sen. Thomas Carper (D-DE), Sen. Edward Markey (D-MA), Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WY), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC), Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Sen. Gary Peters (D-MI), Sen. John Boozman (R-AR), Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), and Sen. Deb Fischer (R-NE).

Whistleblowing has a long and storied history in the United States. The first recorded whistleblowers in the U.S. date back to 1778, when ten members of the Continental Navy who blew the whistle on their superior officer. On July 30, 1778, following an investigation of their disclosures, the Continental Congress enacted America’s first whistleblower law. The law states:

“…It is the duty of all persons in the service of the United States, as well as all other the inhabitants thereof, to give the earliest information to Congress or other proper authority of any misconduct, frauds or misdemeanors committed by any officers or persons in the service of these states, which may come to their knowledge.”

The spirit and legacy of this law has continued through other legislation such as the False Claims Act, the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, the Lacey Act, and the Dodd-Frank Act.

The 2018 resolution also continues in this tradition. It not only calls for the celebration of whistleblowers, but also the recognition of their contributions to federal agencies in rooting out waste, fraud, and abuse. The resolution urges federal agency heads to recognize that whistleblowers are integral to ensuring good governance and accountability.

This year, the National Whistleblower Center will be hosting a National Whistleblower Day celebration on Capitol Hill. The event will feature prominent speakers, including Sen. Chuck Grassley, and whistleblowers, such as Linda Tripp, who will be making her first public address since 2000.