on this day … 2/3 Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general,the first African-American to hold the post.

World1488 – The Portuguese navigator Bartholomeu Diaz landed at Mossal Bay in the Cape, the first European known to have landed on the southern extremity of Africa.

1690 – The first paper money in America was issued by the Massachusetts colony. The currency was used to pay soldiers that were fighting in the war against Quebec.

1783 – Spain recognized the independence of the United States.

1809 – The territory of Illinois was created.

1815 – The world’s first commercial cheese factory was established in Switzerland.

1862 – Thomas Edison printed the “Weekly Herald” and distributed it to train passengers traveling between Port Huron and Detroit, MI. It was the first time a newspaper had been printed on a train.

1869 – Edwin Booth opened his new theatre in New York City. The first production was “Romeo and Juliet”.

1900 – In Frankfort, KY, gubernatorial candidate William Goebels died from an assasin’s bullet wounds. On August 18, 1900, Ex-Sec. of State Caleb Powers was found guilt of conspiracy to murder Gov. Goebels.

1913 – The 16th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified. It authorized the power to impose and collect income tax.

1916 – In Ottawa, Canada’s original parliament buildings burned down.

1917 – The U.S. broke off diplomatic relations with Germany, which had announced a policy of unrestricted submarine warfare.

1918 – The Twin Peaks Tunnel began service. It is the longest streetcar tunnel in the world at 11,920 feet.

1927 – The Federal Radio Commission was created when U.S. President Calvin Coolidge signed a bill.

1941 – In Vichy, France, the Nazis used force to restore Pierre Laval to office.

1945 – Russia agreed to enter World War II against Japan.

1946 – The first issue of “Holiday” magazine appeared.

1947 – Percival Prattis became the first black news correspondent admitted to the House and Senate press gallery in Washington, DC. He worked for “Our World” in New York City.

1951 – Dick Button won the U.S. figure skating title for the sixth time.

1951 – The Tennessee Williams play, “The Rose Tattoo”, opened on Broadway in New York.

1966 – The first rocket-assisted controlled landing on the Moon was made by the Soviet space vehicle Luna IX.

1969 – At the Palestinian National Congress in Cairo, Yasser Arafat was appointed leader of the PLO.

1972 – The first Winter Olympics in Asia were held at Sapporo, Japan.

1984 – Challenger 4 was launched as the tenth space shuttle mission.

1989 – South African politician P.W. Botha unwillingly resigned both party leadership and the presidency after suffering a stroke.

1998 – Texas executed Karla Faye Tucker. She was the first woman executed in the U.S. since 1984.

1998 – In Italy, a U.S. Military plane hit a cable causing the death of 20 skiers on a lift.

2009 – Eric Holder was sworn in as attorney general. He was the first African-American to hold the post.

2010 – The Alberto Giacometti sculpture L’Homme qui marche sold for $103.7 million.

2015 – The British House of Commons voted to approve letting scientist create babies from the DNA of three people.

Jobs report … thanks President Obama … will trump mess this up?


The U.S. economy posted solid job growth as it kicked off the new year, but wage growth was weaker than expected. Here are some key numbers from the January jobs report released Friday by the Labor Department.



    Nonfarm employers added a seasonally adjusted 227,000 jobs in January, exceeding economists’ expectations for a 174,000 gain last month. Over the past three months, job growth has averaged 183,000. The pace of hiring has decelerated since 2014 and 2015, but that isn’t necessarily a warning sign about the labor market’s health and could reflect an economy that is approaching full employment.



    The jobless rate in January was 4.8%, ticking up from December; economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal had expected 4.7% unemployment in the first month of 2017. The low unemployment rate is one reason the Federal Reserve has decided to start moving interest rates higher. Fed policy makers in December said the unemployment rate in the long run should sit in the 4.5% to 5% range, with a median longer-run projection of 4.8%.



    The share of Americans who had a job or were looking for one in January was 62.9%, up from 62.7% in December. The workforce-participation rate peaked in 2000 and fell sharply after the 2007-09 recession. It remains near levels not seen since the late 1970s, but the rate has leveled off since late 2015—a reflection of stronger conditions in the labor market. Many forecasters expect participation will resume its decline in the coming years due to long-term demographic and economic trends, including the retirement of the baby-boom generation.



    Average hourly earnings for private-sector workers were $26.00 in January, up a modest 3 cents from December and rising 2.5% over the past year. Wage growth has firmed over the past couple of years as lower unemployment has forced U.S. employers to compete over a shrinking pool of available workers. But progress has been uneven, and the pace of pay raises remains subdued compared with prerecession levels. One factor that may have helped boost January pay: turn-of-the-year minimum-wage increases in 19 states.



    A broad measure of unemployment and underemployment, known as the U-6, was 9.4% in January. That was its highest level since October and nearly twice the level of the official jobless rate, which is known as the U-3. The measure includes discouraged job-seekers who have stopped looking for work, other people marginally attached to the labor force, and part-time employees who say they want but can’t find full-time work.



    As of January, 24.4% of unemployed Americans had been out of work longer than six months. That was 1.9 million people, a figure that fell by 244,000 over the previous 12 months. Long-term unemployment remains elevated from prerecession levels, though it has come down since peaking in mid-2010 at a little less than half of the unemployed population.

2017 Brings New Changes to Full Retirement Age

Posted on January 6, 2017 by

3 elderly people siting on a stoop

Every worker’s dream is to enjoy a secure retirement. Social Security is here to secure today and tomorrow. Part of that commitment is ensuring you have the most up-to-date information when you make your retirement decisions.

As the bells ring in the New Year, they also bring changes for new Social Security retirement beneficiaries. Full retirement age is 66 and two months for people born 01/02/1955 through 01/01/1956.  They are eligible to receive permanently reduced retirement benefits when they turn 62 in 2017.

Full retirement age is the age at which a person first becomes entitled to full (unreduced) retirement benefits.  It had been 65 for many years.  However, beginning with people born in 1938 that age has been gradually increasing until it reaches 67 for people born in 1960 and later.

As the full retirement age continues to increase, there are greater reductions in benefits if you claim them before you reach full retirement age.  For example, if you apply for benefits in 2017 at age 62, your monthly benefit amount will be reduced nearly 26 percent.

You can find your full retirement age, along with other important information, on our website.

Some things you must remember when you’re thinking about retirement:

  1. You may start receiving Social Security benefits as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. The longer you wait, the higher your monthly benefit will be.
  2. Your monthly benefits are reduced permanently if you start them any time before full retirement age.
  3. If you die, your retirement date can affect the payment to your surviving widow or widower.  If you started receiving retirement benefits before full retirement age, we cannot pay your surviving spouse their full retirement age benefit amount.  We base their benefit on the amount of your reduced benefits.
  4. If you elect to receive benefits before you reach full retirement age, you should understand how continuing to work  affects your benefits.

You can learn more by reading our publication, When to Start Receiving Benefits or visiting our Retirement Planner.

Help Rescue Starving Orcas

Take action today!

 help us fight for orcas!


Beautiful, intelligent and social Orcas are literally starving to extinction.

The Southern Resident wild Orca population, which inhabits the Northwest portion of the Pacific Ocean, is down to fewer than 80 individuals. Their main food source, Chinook salmon, is also endangered. Scientists have concluded the single best thing we can do to save wild salmon in the Northwest is to take down four dams on the lower Snake River in Washington.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bonneville Power Administration have invited the public to comment on the revised plan for long-term management of the 29 federal dams in the Columbia River basin, which includes the lower Snake River.

Tell them it is time remove the four lower Snake River dams to ensure a future in the wild for salmon and Orcas.

When Orcas don’t get enough salmon to eat, they become weakened and vulnerable to a host of other threats, from toxins to noise to harassment to birth complications. With birth rates low and calf mortality high – even under the best of circumstances – we must act now to break this cycle. And salmon are the key.


The Columbia and Snake rivers of the Pacific Northwest once hosted the world’s greatest wild salmon runs, with up to 16 million fish each year. Today, it is the most heavily dammed river system on Earth. In fact, four dams on the lower Snake River are driving all remaining Snake River salmon toward extinction. Since the dams were completed, these salmon populations have plummeted by more than 90%.

We have the opportunity to bring about the greatest wild salmon restoration in history.

Please raise your voice today!


Shawn Cantrell Shawn Cantrell
Northwest Program Director
Defenders of Wildlife