Founder of National Honesty Day (April 30) Calls for Nationwide Emphasis on Honesty to Protect Public from Increased Lying and Fraud

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Corporate scandals, consumer fraud, identity theft, and Internet scams are "harming society and damaging our nation's quality of life." Annual Honest Abe Award presented to nursing profession for being ranked as nation's most ethical occupation.

encourage honesty in the workplace and the marketplace and to honor the honorable

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The founder of National Honesty Day, celebrated each year on April 30 as a way to "encourage honesty in the workplace and the marketplace and to honor the honorable," has called for "a nationwide emphasis this coming year on honesty to prevent the increasing examples of lying and fraud that are harming society and damaging our nation's quality of life."

M. Hirsh Goldberg, former press secretary to a governor of Maryland and author of five books, established National Honesty Day in the early 1990s after spending four years researching and writing The Book of Lies (Morrow), which has been translated into Japanese, Korean and Chinese. National Honesty Day is now listed in Chase's Calendar of Events, a repository of special occasions found in most public libraries. April 30 was selected, said Goldberg, because April begins with a day dedicated to lying and should end "on a higher moral note."

Goldberg said that the past year has seen a wide array of corporate executives indicted or convicted, the housing market affected by the shady practices of numerous sub-prime lenders, athletes besmirched, Internet scams proliferating and victims of identity theft increasing at an alarming rate.

"The past 12 months have been one of the worst periods for widespread and profound cheating, lying and overall dishonesty in our society that I have seen since I first created National Honesty Day," Goldberg said.

"Some of our most cherished athletic, religious, business and communication institutions are being seriously affected by the unscrupulous - from our national pastime which had some of its players cited for illegal steroid use to religious figures found guilty of child molestation, from corporate CEOs convicted of lying about company accounting practices to scammers and spammers robbing people of their money and their peaceful use of the Internet," Goldberg said.

"You can't walk into a bank now without seeing a warning about identity theft. You can't use email or the Internet without worrying about letting a destructive virus into your computer. In the past, you would have to guard against a low-life stealing your wallet. Now you have to guard against a hi-tech thief who would ruin your credit and thereby steal your way of life."

As part of National Honesty Day, Goldberg called on schools to hold assemblies or classroom discussions during May around the theme of honesty and to create curriculum that teach ethics. He also urged religious leaders to offer sermons on the need for individuals to lead ethical lives. In addition, he asked that the media -- from national TV to local newspapers - present programs or articles about those who have acted honorably and to warn people about dishonest activities they could find in their midst.

Goldberg noted that he uses the occasion of National Honesty Day to issue an Honest Abe Award to an individual, group or company that has performed in an especially honorable way during the previous 12 months.

This year he cited the nursing profession for being ranked by Americans in a nationwide poll as the nation's most ethical occupation for the sixth year in a row.

The annual USA TODAY/Gallup Poll, which measures the public's perception of honesty and ethics among 23 occupations, found that more than five out of six Americans -- 84% -- believed those in nursing performed their duties according to "high" or "very high" standards.

This is the second highest rating ever achieved by those in any occupation since Gallup started polling for such behavior in 1976. The only group to score higher in the nation's esteem were firefighters, with a 90% rating shortly after 9/11.

Goldberg said he is inviting the public to nominate recipients for next year's Honest Abe Awards. "I hope this will help focus nationwide attention on the topic of honesty and provide encouragement for people to act in an honorable way."

He also thanked Philip M. Kenney, president/CEO of Hopkins Medical Products, for having his company become corporate sponsor of National Honesty Day and helping promote the program to schools, civic groups and business organizations.

Nominations for Honest Abe Awards can be sent to 3103 Szold Drive, Baltimore, MD 21208 or emailed to M. Hirsh Goldberg.

M. Hirsh Goldberg
443-286-5106 / 410-649-2098

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