Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC

Please accept our best wishes as you and the people of Samoa celebrate Independence Day.

Since 1971, the United States and the Independent State of Samoa have been close and enduring partners in the Pacific. Our two countries are joined by our shared belief in democracy and freedom. Together, we have partnered to further these foundational principles across the region. This work continues as we work together in the Indo-Pacific to promote democracy, expand economic opportunity and safeguard natural resources.

May today remind you of the freedoms we have secured, the freedom we enjoy today, and the freedom we are striving to secure for the generations to come. Happy Independence Day


On behalf of the American people, I am extending warm wishes to the people of Togo as you celebrate the 58th anniversary of your independence on April 27.

The United States remains committed to a strong partnership with Togo and to supporting Togo’s efforts to strengthen its democracy, prosperity, and security.

As you celebrate this historic day, the United States stands with Togo in honoring your independence as a nation rich in tradition and full of possibilities, and sends warm wishes to the government and people of Togo for a joyous independence celebration.

Mike Pompeo
Secretary of State
Washington, DC


On behalf of the Government of the United States of America, I am honored to send my best wishes to the people of Australia and New Zealand this Anzac Day on April 25, 2018.

On the 103rd anniversary of the Gallipoli Campaign, we remember the selfless sacrifices made by Australian and New Zealand armed forces on the shores of the Dardanelles. The heroic actions of brave men and women from our three nations throughout the Great War protected democracy and freedom around the world. Our shared dedication to these values continues to inspire people of all countries.

Our close friendship with Australia and New Zealand remains steadfast, as we partner around the globe to maintain peace and security and improve livelihoods. We stand together once again with you all on this Anzac Day to reflect on the momentous events of 1915 and remember the brave servicemen and women who paid the ultimate price to secure our freedom. Lest we forget

John J. Sullivan
Acting Secretary of State
Washington, DC


On behalf of the President of the United States and the American people, We offer best wishes and congratulations to all Israelis as you mark the 70th anniversary of Israel’s independence on April 19.

The State of Israel has prevailed over every challenge it has faced over the past 70 years. In just a short time, the people of Israel have created a successful nation that has flourished and continues to thrive. The United States established our diplomatic presence in Jerusalem well before the State of Israel was born, over 170 years ago. This year, we look forward to opening the new Embassy of the United States in Jerusalem on May 14 which coincides with the 70th anniversary of President Truman recognizing the nascent State of Israel.

Israel and the United States have an unshakeable bond that has endured and grown even stronger over the past seven decades. As the President said in Jerusalem last May, “…let us never forget that the bond between our two nations is woven together in the hearts of our people – and their love of freedom, hope, and dignity for all.” The United States will continue to be a steadfast ally of Israel and will stand together with you today, and always.

Yom Ha’atzmaut Sameach.



Members of the 1937 American League All-Star team, Lou Gehrig, Joe Cronin, Bill Dickey, Joe DiMaggio, Charlie Gehringer, Jimmie Foxx and Hank Greenberg gather on the field for the fifth annual All-Star Game in Washington, D.C. Gehrig hit a two-run homer off National League ace Dizzy Dean as the American League went on to win, 8-3 .

A major exhibition opening in June at the Library of Congress will celebrate baseball as community, including the people, from amateur players to professionals, baseball diamonds from city lots to rural fields, and places across the globe from Mexico to Japan that have embraced the game. “Baseball Americana” will explore baseball’s gritty roots, its changing traditions and the game today. It is a story the nation’s library can uniquely tell, showcasing items that cannot be found anywhere else.

Featured artifacts will include the first handwritten and printed references to baseball in America; early rules of the game; historical baseball images, including a lithograph of prisoners of war playing baseball in captivity during the Civil War and photographs from baseball throughout the decades; familiar players from some of the great collections of early baseball cards; Branch Rickey’s scouting reports; beloved baseball movies and early flickering footage from the late 1800s; broadcasts of iconic baseball moments and rare interviews and clips of Hall of Fame players, including Babe Ruth, Jackie Robinson and others.

The exhibition is made possible by the Library of Congress Third Century Fund, the James Madison Council and Democracy Fund.

Original content developed in collaboration with ESPN will support the Library’s world-class collections. Statistical comparisons, game trends, video presentations and intriguing stories will explore the art and science of baseball, bridging the game’s storied past and exciting present.

Additional artifacts and video footage, borrowed from Major League Baseball, the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York, and private collectors, have been selected to expand upon storylines developed from the Library’s baseball materials.

“Baseball has been part of our community from children playing in local ballparks to professional athletes playing in the country’s biggest stadiums – and the Library’s unique collection shows how the game and American society evolved together,” said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden. “My childhood dream was to play shortstop before I found my calling at the Library. We’re excited to offer visitors an immersive experience, exploring baseball in the past and now. I know I am.”

The yearlong exhibition “Baseball Americana” will open in late June, just before Washington’s Nationals Park hosts Major League Baseball’s 89th All-Star Game. The exhibition will tell the story of the game’s origins, its contemporary character, how the game has stayed true to its traditions and areas where it has diverged. It will also feature ongoing conversations and connections between baseball’s rugged past and its refined present, along with showing how baseball has long forged a sense of community.

The exhibition will be organized into five sections:

  • “Origins and Early Days” will feature the development of baseball from its early forms, when Massachusetts Town Ball and the New York Game battled for supremacy, to the game we know today.
  • “Who’s Playing?” will encompass the variety of participants and the diverse array of ball clubs that ruled the sandlot, barnstormed the country or occupied magnificent stadiums. An integral piece of this story will be that of the players who have fought for the right to play as equals regardless of their race, ethnicity or gender.
  • “At the Ballpark” will examine traditions and changes in the architecture and accoutrements of baseball, fan interaction, music and media coverage.
  • “The Promise of Baseball” will explore the many ways that the sport gave poor players a path out of poverty and new immigrants access and the ability to help shape American culture, as well as the economics and business of baseball and how the game has been used for diplomacy beyond U.S. borders.
  • “The Art and Science of Baseball” considers the constant and changing views of mastering the game, building a team, getting an edge, tracking statistics and the art of winning.

“Baseball Americana” will be on view in the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building, 10 First St. S.E., Washington, D.C. The exhibition will be free and open to the public Monday through Saturday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Library of Congress will develop a series of special programs including family activities, gallery talks, film screenings, panel discussions, educational materials and teacher workshops, docent-led tours and more.

Two books published in association with the Library of Congress will be released to coincide with the exhibition. In May, Harper Perennial will release an updated edition of “Baseball Americana: Treasures from the Library of Congress,” which includes hundreds of historical images and numerous milestones of the national pastime. In October, Smithsonian Books will release “Game Faces: Early Baseball Cards from the Library of Congress,” which showcases rare and colorful baseball cards from the Library’s Benjamin K. Edwards Collection.



On behalf of the people of the United States, we congratulate the people of Australia as you celebrate Australia Day on January 26, 2018.

The United States and Australia share deep bonds of friendship that are truly unique. Our alliance is a stabilizing force in the region and beyond that has provided for our mutual security and prosperity. Our ties continue to strengthen as business, scientific, and cultural connections flourish. The United States remains committed to our unbreakable alliance and our powerful bonds of friendship and mateship, based on shared values and shared aspirations for the future.

As you celebrate Australia Day, know that the people of the United States celebrate with you as your friend, partner, and ally.

Badland’s Annual Christmas Bird Count

December 16, 2017

Badlands National Park will conduct its annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count on Thursday, December 28, 2017.  Participants will meet in front of the Ben Reifel Visitor Center at 7:30am.  Enjoy a day of birding and help document winter birdlife in the park.

Participants need not be experts.  Experienced birders from the Bird Conservancy of the Rockies will be assisting with bird identification.  Plan to bring binoculars, a lunch and snacks, plenty of water, and clothes for varied winter weather conditions. A camera and field guidebooks are also suggested.  For more information, contact Nancy Drilling at nancy.drilling@birdconservancy.org.

Custer State Park to Host Festival of Trees To Celebrate Christmas Season

November 14, 2017

CUSTER, SD – Custer State Park is hosting a Festival of Trees event again this year to celebrate the Christmas season.  The Festival of Trees is an opportunity for local businesses, civic organizations, and individuals to display a tree at the new Custer State Park Visitor Center throughout the holiday season.  Participants will need to provide their own tree and decorations and are encouraged to decorate their tree in a creative way that promotes their business and services offered.

Trees can be set up beginning Friday, November 24 to December 15 between 9:30am and 3:00pm.  Each tree will have the chance to be voted “Favorite Tree” of the event with all trees on display for community and visitor viewing and voting from December 15 – January 1.  All participants are responsible for the removal of their tree the week of January 2-8.

Space is limited to approximately 20 trees and is being offered on a first-come, first served basis.  Interested parties must reserve a time to set up a tree by contacting Julie Brazell at 605-255-4515.  There is no fee to participate in the Custer State Park Festival of Trees or for the visitors to view the trees; however a park entrance license is required to enter the park.  Park entrance licenses can be purchased at the visitor center.

Custer State Park Visitor Center hours are 9:00am – 4:00pm every day.  The visitor center will be closed on November 23, December 25-26 and open limited hours on December 24.

Custer South Dakota Photographer Paul Horsted Announces New National Parks Book


Travel back in time and place to experience the grandeur and history of 24 of our most spectacular National Parks “then and now”. From the depths of the Grand Canyon to the Yosemite valley, from the shorelines of Acadia and Olympic to Yellowstone’s geysers, join photographer Paul Horsted in tracking down the sites where pioneering photographers set up their cameras long ago. In precisely-matched photo pairs you’ll see the beauty and history of our parks as they appear now and as they looked 75, 100, or even 150 years ago. GPS data is provided to guide you on your own National Park adventure! This beautiful, oversize 240-page book is an invaluable record of our parks for today, as well as a future reference for anyone who cares about these treasured landscapes. Available at PaulHorsted.com

CUSTER, SD – “Treasures of the National Parks Yesterday and Today” is the title of a new coffee-table book from Custer-area photographer Paul Horsted. Horsted is known regionally for his books about the 1874 Custer Expedition, as well as his earlier “re-photography” of historic photo sites around the Black Hills and Yellowstone.

The photographer has now taken his skills on a cross-country trip, visiting 24 National Parks over a period of five years. He researched and located historic photo sites in each park, then created a new photo that matches exactly the angle and view of the old ones. Some of the sites were along roads or at popular overlooks, while others were in the backcountry, requiring overnight stays at remote locations in the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, and elsewhere.

“I really enjoy tracking down these old photo sites, each one is like a treasure hunt”, said Horsted, adding “I think these ‘then and now’ images will interest anyone who loves our National Parks. It’s fun to look for changes and similarities between past and present.” GPS data is provided with each photo pair so anyone can now locate these historic places at each National Park in the book.

Delicate Arch, Arches National Park, Moab, Utah. Photo:PaulHorsted.com

Horsted will give a free presentation about the project at the Custer County Library (in the Pine Room) on Saturday, Nov. 18 at 2 p.m. A book signing will follow, and there will also be door prizes. He’s also signing books at Art Expressions Gallery in downtown Custer on Saturday, Dec. 2 from 4-5:30 p.m.

The new book was designed by Horsted’s partner and wife, Camille Riner. It’s the fifth book of this type that the couple has produced in the past 15 years; with 240 pages in full color it retails at $45.00. It’s available at local art galleries and bookstores as well as at www.paulhorsted.com.

Shipping book orders at the Custer, S.D. post office loading dock. (L-R) Camille Riner, Postmaster Larry Stalder and Paul Horsted. Photo: Paul Horsted/www.paulhorsted.com

Mongolia’s National Day


On behalf of the United States, our best wishes to the people of Mongolia as you celebrate your National Day on July 11th.

As the United States and Mongolia mark 30 years of diplomatic relations this year, we can look back with pride at our many shared accomplishments. These include the people-to-people links that have been forged between our countries, the academic and cultural exchanges we have developed, our joint efforts advocating for human rights at the United Nations, and our mutual efforts in support of peace and stability in Afghanistan and around the world.

The United States is proud to have been part of Mongolia’s journey over the last 30 years, and we look forward to deepening our relationship in the years to come.

Rex W. Tillerson
Secretary of State
Washington, DC
July 10, 2017