National Whistleblower Day on July 30 is an important commemorative event for the protection and sanctity of America. Corruption and illegal activities can weaken and cripple any society or industry. Oftentimes, when such things go unreported or unnoticed, they will only continue to grow. Whistleblowing, which is the act of reporting or exposing illegal deeds to the authorities, is, therefore, essential in protecting the public’s rights and the nation’s sovereignty. After a revolutionary whistleblowing event in the 1700s, the American Congress passed a resolution to protect the involved whistleblowers. Since then, the day has been recognized and celebrated to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.
History of National Whistleblower Day
On July 30 in 1778, when the American Revolution was taking place, the Continental Congress passed the first protection law for whistleblowers. The landmark legislation came after 10 whistleblowers exposed a superior officer in the Continental Navy. Commodore Esek Hopkins was committing grievous crimes against British prisoners. Upon learning of such acts, Lieutenant Richard Marven along with midshipman, Samuel Shaw, reported Hopkins to the authorities. Marven and Shaw’s brave act is noted to be the first whistleblowing act in the United States. The National Whistleblower Center, established in 1988 by lawyer Stephen M. Kohn, holds annual celebrations each year. Another example of a notable whistleblowing event in the history of America happens to have been during President Richard Nixon’s re-election. Mark Felt, who was a law enforcement officer at the Federal Bureau of Investigation from 1942 to 1973, aided “Washington Post” journalists, Bob Woodard and Carl Bernstein, in investigating and exposing the Watergate scandal.
Apart from governmental organizations, corruption also takes place in industries like trading, health services, and banking, and, in such agencies, it is usually the employees and the customers who become the whistleblowers. For instance, the Public Health Service, in collaboration with the Tuskegee Institute, conducted a study on the corruption of health-service professionals. It was revealed that people were not given penicillin treatment even when it became readily available. In another case, a police detective working in the NYPD raised the alarm when he realized corrupt activities were taking place in his department. It was the dream of the Founding Fathers of America to see a country where whistleblowers are protected and encouraged to expose any corruption and illegal activities.
National Whistleblower Day timeline
10 whistleblowers investigate and expose a senior officer's abuse of British prisoners.
The Continental Congress approves and passes the Whistleblower Protection Act in order to encourage whistleblowers to come forward.
The National Whistleblower Center is established by American lawyer Stephen Kohn.
The first National Whistleblower is celebrated at the U.S. Senate Kennedy Caucus Room.
National Whistleblower Day FAQs
When does National Whistleblower Day take place?
The National Whistleblower Day takes place on July 30.
Who is called a whistleblower?
A whistleblower is any person who reports and exposes hidden information related to the illegal or fraudulent activities of another person or organization.
Does a whistleblower get paid?
A whistleblower will usually get paid a percentage of the money that is involved in a case. This percentage may go up to 30% of the total amount.
How to Observe National Whistleblower Day
Read about whistleblowers
People who become whistleblowers expose themselves and their families to extreme danger. Their brave acts should be celebrated and recognized as it is through them that the fabric of society and justice is repaired. American history is filled with such whistleblowers, so take this day to read up on them.
Learn about the protective laws
Research about the protective laws for whistleblowers in your local areas. In case there aren’t any, you can submit petitions or host events to shed light on the topic.
Whistleblowing has a long and complex history, and there are many documentaries on this topic. Pick a whistleblowing documentary that interests you — grab a bowl of popcorn and enjoy.
5 Facts About Whistleblowers That Will Blow Your Mind
Whistleblowers are respected
As opposed to the media stereotypes, whistleblowers are actually widely respected and lauded for their acts.
3,000 whistleblowing requests in 2012
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission reported more than 3,000 whistleblowing requests in 2012.
Increase in whistleblowing in the U.K.
The U.K. has reported a 38% increase in whistleblowing activities.
Most whistleblowing related to general regulatory actions
The majority of whistleblowing, about 60%, relates to people’s concerns about general regulatory actions.
The most common whistleblowing cases
The most common complaint categories for whistleblowing cases are related to fraud and manipulation happening in the corporate and political sectors.
Why National Whistleblower Day is Important
It’s a celebration of whistleblowing
Whistleblowing tackles fraud, illegal activities, and other negative aspects of society. It punishes people for their wrongdoings and, at the same time, it is a great example of bravery and patriotic service to the country. Thus, whistleblowing should be celebrated.
It’s a celebration of law enforcement
Law enforcement keeps us safe and protected from all the harmful things happening around us. These officials work around the clock to track down criminals and make the world a better place to live in. We may have laws in place, but they are only of benefit when there are authorities to enforce them
It’s a celebration of justice
When the bad is punished and the good is rewarded, there’s something to be celebrated. Whistleblowing has seen many great things come out of it in terms of law and order.
National Whistleblower Day dates