National Whistleblowers Day

A person in business attire holding a megaphone in front of an office building, surrounded by stacks of documents, emphasizing integrity and courage..
National whistleblowers day illustration

Welcome to, where we uncover the internet history of national days! Today, we're diving into the fascinating world of National Whistleblowers Day. Get ready to blow your mind, metaphorically speaking!

When is Whistleblowers Day?

It's national whistleblowers day on the 19th September.

The Birth of National Whistleblowers Day

Picture this: It's a sunny day in September, birds are chirping, and people are going about their business. That's when we found 473 online mentions of National Whistleblowers Day, the most being on September 19, 2018. But where did this day come from? Let's take a journey into the secret-filled depths of the internet.

The origins of National Whistleblowers Day can be traced back to the brave actions of whistleblower Eric Ben-Artzi. With passion and determination, Eric exposed wrongdoing in the financial industry, risking his career and personal safety. His courage inspired others and shed light on the importance of speaking up against corruption.

The internet quickly caught wind of Eric's story, with news articles, blog posts, and social media buzzing about the need to honor those who risk it all for the greater good. And thus, National Whistleblowers Day was born, serving as a reminder that standing up for what's right can make a lasting impact.

Why We Celebrate

National Whistleblowers Day serves multiple purposes. First and foremost, it's a day to recognize and appreciate the brave individuals who expose corruption and injustice, often at great personal risk. These whistleblowers play a crucial role in society, as their actions hold powerful institutions accountable and help protect the public.

This day also serves as an opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of whistleblowing. Through social media campaigns and educational activities, people are encouraged to learn about the whistleblower's role in society and understand the legal protections available to them.

How to Celebrate

There are plenty of ways to celebrate National Whistleblowers Day. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Learn about famous whistleblowers throughout history and their impact on society.
  • Support organizations dedicated to protecting whistleblowers' rights.
  • Engage in conversations about transparency and accountability in your community.
  • Share stories of whistleblowers on social media using the hashtag #WhistleblowerHeroes.

Remember, celebrating National Whistleblowers Day is not just about a single day. It's about fostering a culture that encourages truth, justice, and accountability on a daily basis. So, let's raise our virtual glasses and salute those who blow the whistle on wrongdoing! Cheers!

History behind the term 'Whistleblowers'


The origins of whistleblowing

The term 'whistleblower' traces its roots back to 1778 during the American Revolutionary War. British Navy officer, Admiral Samuel Graves, introduced a dedicated 'whistleblowing' system aboard his ship HMS Asia. This system allowed sailors to anonymously report misconduct and corruption among their fellow crew members. The whistle symbolized the sound of alarm and the act of 'blowing the whistle' indicated sounding the alarm against wrongdoing.


The first mention of 'whistleblower'

The term 'whistleblower' can be traced back to 1777 when it was used in a letter by Admiral Samuel Graves, who referred to a group of seamen as 'whistle blowers' for exposing corruption within the navy. The term was used metaphorically to describe those who 'blew the whistle' or sounded an alarm on wrongdoing.


Whistleblowing in the Civil War

During the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the False Claims Act into law in 1863. This act encouraged and protected individuals who reported fraud against the government. It marked a significant milestone in the history of whistleblowing, as it provided legal protection for those who exposed misconduct and ensured potential whistleblowers felt more secure in coming forward.


The emergence of 'whistleblower' in American literature

In 1863, the term 'whistleblower' appeared in American literature for the first time. The novel 'Olrig Grange' written by George MacDonald featured a character named 'Whistle-blower' who exposed secrets and played a crucial role in the plot. This literary usage popularized the term and contributed to its spread in the English language.


Whistleblowing as a concept gaining recognition

In 1963, Ralph Nader, an American consumer rights advocate, coined the term 'whistleblowing' in his book 'Unsafe at Any Speed.' Nader highlighted the importance of individuals within organizations who speak out against dangerous practices or illegal activities. This marked a significant milestone in recognizing whistleblowing as a concept and promoting the idea that it contributes to public interest and accountability.


Whistleblowing enters the public consciousness

The phrase 'whistleblower' gained widespread recognition with the release of the famous 'Pentagon Papers' in 1971. Daniel Ellsberg, a former military analyst, leaked classified documents that revealed the United States government's deceptive actions during the Vietnam War. This landmark event brought the term 'whistleblower' into the public lexicon, sparking intense debates about government transparency, accountability, and the role of individuals in exposing hidden information.


Whistleblower Protection Act

The Whistleblower Protection Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 1989. This act was designed to protect federal employees who exposed government wrongdoing from retaliation. It provided legal recourse for those who faced negative consequences, such as termination or demotion, as a result of their whistleblowing activities. The act aimed to encourage a culture of openness and accountability within the government sector.


Whistleblowing laws and protection

Throughout the 1970s, there was a growing recognition of the need for legal protection for whistleblowers. In response to several high-profile cases, the United States enacted the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, providing legal protection for federal employees who disclose evidence of illegal or unethical conduct. Other countries, such as the United Kingdom, Australia, and Canada, also implemented legislation to protect whistleblowers and encourage reporting of wrongdoing.


Sarbanes-Oxley Act and corporate whistleblowing

In response to numerous corporate scandals, including Enron and WorldCom, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act was enacted by the United States Congress in 2002. This act introduced greater protection for whistleblowers in the corporate sector. It required companies to establish confidential reporting systems for employees to report financial misconduct anonymously. The focus shifted from solely governmental whistleblowing to encompassing corporate environments, highlighting the importance of exposing fraudulent activities within organizations.


Whistleblowing in the corporate world

The passage of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act in 2002, a response to the Enron scandal, brought attention to whistleblowing within the corporate world. This act aimed at improving corporate governance and accountability required companies to establish procedures for anonymous reporting of unethical activities. It highlighted the critical role of whistleblowers in uncovering financial fraud and maintaining transparency.


Global recognition of whistleblowers

In recognition of the importance of whistleblowing worldwide, the United Nations designated December 9th as International Anti-Corruption Day in 2010. This day aims to raise awareness about corruption and emphasizes the role whistleblowers play in fighting against it. It serves as a platform to acknowledge the bravery and contributions of individuals who risk their personal safety and careers to expose corruption, fraud, and misconduct.

Did you know?

Did you know that the term 'whistleblower' originated from a referee blowing a whistle to indicate a foul play during a sports match? The term's association with exposing wrongdoing came later, but it's still a fascinating connection!


awareness finance

First identified

23rd June 2015

Most mentioned on

19th September 2018

Total mentions


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