Portal:North America

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The North America Portal

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Because it is on the North American Tectonic Plate, Greenland is included as a part of North America geographically.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometres (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of Earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third-largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population. In human geography and in the English-speaking world outside the United States, particularly in Canada, "North America" and "North American" can refer to just Canada and the United States together.

North America was reached by its first human populations during the Last Glacial Period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 20,000 to 17,000 years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The first recorded Europeans to visit North America (other than Greenland) were the Norse around 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus's arrival in 1492 sparked a transatlantic exchange which included migrations of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the early modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves, immigrants from Europe, Asia, and the descendants of these groups.

Owing to Europe's colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak European languages such as English, Spanish or French, and their cultures commonly reflect Western traditions. However, in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America, there are indigenous populations continuing their cultural traditions and speaking native languages. (Full article...)

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Map of Texas highlighting Nacogdoches County.svg
Approximate location of the Republic of Fredonia

The Fredonian Rebellion (December 21, 1826 – January 23, 1827) was the first attempt by Anglo settlers in Texas to secede from Mexico. The settlers, led by Empresario Haden Edwards, declared independence from Mexican Texas and created the Republic of Fredonia near Nacogdoches. The short-lived republic encompassed the land the Mexican government had granted to Edwards in 1825 and included areas that had been previously settled. Edwards's actions soon alienated the established residents, and the increasing hostilities between them and settlers recruited by Edwards led Victor Blanco of the Mexican government to revoke Edwards's contract.

In late December 1826, a group of Edwards's supporters took control of the region by arresting and removing from office several municipality officials affiliated with the established residents. Supporters declared their independence from Mexico. Although the nearby Cherokee tribe initially signed a treaty to support the new republic because a prior agreement with the Mexican government negotiated by Chief Richard Fields was ignored, overtures from Mexican authorities and respected empresario, Stephen F. Austin, convinced tribal leaders to repudiate the rebellion. On January 31, 1827, a force of over 100 Mexican soldiers and 275 Texian Militia marched into Nacogdoches to restore order. Haden Edwards and his brother Benjamin Edwards fled to the United States. Chief Fields was killed by his own tribe. A local merchant was arrested and sentenced to death but later paroled. (Full article...)

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Wawona Tree tunnel
Credit: Library of Congress

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Clarence Decatur Howe, PC (UK), PC (Can) (15 January 1886 – 31 December 1960) was an American-born Canadian engineer, businessman and Liberal Party politician. Howe served as a cabinet minister in the governments of prime ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent continuously from 1935 to 1957. He is credited with transforming the Canadian economy from agriculture-based to industrial. During the Second World War, his involvement in the war effort was so extensive that he was nicknamed the "Minister of Everything".

Born in Massachusetts, Howe moved to Nova Scotia as a young adult to take up a professorship at Dalhousie University. After working for the Canadian government as an engineer, he began his own firm and became wealthy. In 1935, he was recruited as a Liberal candidate for the House of Commons of Canada by Mackenzie King. The Liberals won the election in a landslide and Howe won his seat. Mackenzie King appointed him to the Cabinet. There, he took major parts in many new enterprises, including the founding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Trans-Canada Air Lines (today Air Canada). Howe played a crucial role in Canada's war effort during WWII and recruited many corporate executives (as "dollar-a-year-men") to serve as executives in wartime enterprises. (Full article...)

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The National Football League (NFL) is a professional American football league that consists of 32 teams, divided equally between the American Football Conference (AFC) and the National Football Conference (NFC). The NFL is one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada and the highest professional level of American football in the world. Each NFL season begins with a three-week preseason in August, followed by the 18-week regular season which runs from early September to early January, with each team playing 17 games and having one bye week. Following the conclusion of the regular season, seven teams from each conference (four division winners and three wild card teams) advance to the playoffs, a single-elimination tournament that culminates in the Super Bowl, which is contested in February and is played between the AFC and NFC conference champions. The league is headquartered in New York City.

The NFL was formed in 1920 as the American Professional Football Association (APFA) before renaming itself the National Football League for the 1922 season. After initially determining champions through end-of-season standings, a playoff system was implemented in 1933 that culminated with the NFL Championship Game until 1966. Following an agreement to merge the NFL with the rival American Football League (AFL), the Super Bowl was first held in 1967 to determine a champion between the best teams from the two leagues and has remained as the final game of each NFL season since the merger was completed in 1970. The NFL has the highest average attendance (67,591) of any professional sports league in the world and is the most popular sports league in the United States. The Super Bowl is also among the biggest club sporting events in the world, with the individual games accounting for many of the most watched television programs in American history and all occupying the Nielsen's Top 5 tally of the all-time most watched U.S. television broadcasts by 2015. The NFL is the wealthiest professional sports league by revenue and the sports league with the most valuable teams. (Full article...)
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  • ...that the Cuban night lizard is less than 4 cm long and lives exclusively in the west corner of the southern-most coast of Cuba?

Selected panorama

Skyline Boulevard in winter
Credit: Jawed Karim
Skyline Boulevard runs through the Santa Cruz Mountains, here near Palo Alto, California. The Santa Cruz Mountains, part of the Coast Ranges, are a mountain range in central California.

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