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This anniversary of the first inauguration of President George Washington (April 30, 1789) was declared “Honesty Day” by novelist and Maryland gubernatorial press secretary M. Hirsh Goldberg in 1991. Goldberg was researching his book, The Book of Lies: Fibs, Tales, Schemes, Scams, Fakes, and Frauds That Have Changed The Course of History and Affect Our Daily Lives, and saw proclamation of the day as a tool for prevention of political lies (not to mention promotion of his book). Every April 30th, Goldberg gives out Honest Abe awards to individuals as well as organizations and corporations that have practiced truthful dealings. “Researching his book, he estimated that the average person lies some 200 times a day, including white lies and lies of omission,” writes Eoin O’Carroll at the Christian Science Monitor, continuing: “We got this information from a story in the Richmond Times Dispatch, because doing so was easier and less time consuming than trying to track down Goldberg for an interview.” A 2011 Gallup poll found that the public considers nurses to be the most honest folks we deal with, while members of Congress were seen as least honest, ranking just below lobbyists, car salesmen, and telemarketers.
“Since the beginning of the month began with telling lies on April Fool’s Day, Goldberg felt the month should end on a higher moral note, according to Holidayinsights.com.” —CBS
Lawrence Bush edited Jewish Currents from 2003 until 2018. He is the author of Bessie: A Novel of Love and Revolution and Waiting for God: The Spiritual Explorations of a Reluctant Atheist, among other books. His new volume of illustrated Torah commentaries, American Torah Toons 2, is scheduled for publication this year.