Supreme Court Gets a Pass(port)

GEOGRAPHY Zivotofsky v. Kerry is a U.S. Supreme Court case that has to do with two big, difficult issues in real-world geography: how the US government is allowed to make foreign policy and—in case that isn’t tough enough—the state of Jerusalem in the Israel-Palestine conflict. Good luck, justices. (Vox) Use our resources to navigate the physical and cultural geography of Jerusalem. Teachers, scroll all the way … Continue reading Supreme Court Gets a Pass(port)

Five For Friday: Reasons to get a passport

1. Tomorrow, Saturday, September 17th is the third annual “Passport Day in the USA” hosted by the U.S. State Department! This means that any U.S. citizen can apply at their regional passport agency without making an appointment, and on a Saturday (a day they are normally closed). This is great for working families, students, and others interested in the many opportunities that travel abroad can offer. See the State Department’s website for more information and to find printable applications that can be completed in advance.

2011-05-09_1109493.JPG2. As of January 2007 you must have a passport to go anywhere outside of the United States. Post September 11, 2001 documentation regulation has become an increasing concern for traffic inside and outside of the United States. Under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative the requirements for foreign travel are more rigid than ever, including traveling within the North American continent.

3. Because NOT everyone is doing it! According to the U.S. Census Bureau there are currently 312,226,000 U.S. citizens.  Of those 300 million, the U.S. Department of State finds that (as of 2011) roughly 102,184,000 people have valid passports in circulation. Based on the math I acquired in the 2nd grade (so please don’t quote me on this) less than one-third (32.7%) of the living U.S. population has a valid passport today.  As you can see in the graph below, the past three years show a decline in the number of annually issued passports. Why do you think this is? Due to what we learned in reason two,  two-thirds of the U.S. population cannot leave the country–not even to eat tacos in Tijuana. Do you predict the numbers will start to rise with our ever-globalizing world? Or will Americans continue to only dream about going bob-sledding in Nova Scotia, eh?


Continue reading “Five For Friday: Reasons to get a passport”