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The United States of America is a federal republic of 50 states, a capital district, and a number of other territories. It is located mostly in central North America. The U.S. has three land borders, two with Canada and one with Mexico, and is otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 50 states, only Alaska and Hawaii are not contiguous with any other state. The U.S. also has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Each state has a high level of autonomy according to the system of federalism. The U.S. traces its national origin to the declaration by 13 British colonies in 1776 that they were free and independent states. They were recognized as such by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Since then, the nation has grown to become a global superpower and exerts a high level of economic, political, military, and cultural influence.
Libertybell alone small.jpg More about the United States, its history and diversity

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Interior of the domed atrium at West Baden Springs Hotel


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Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953). As vice president, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

During World War I he served as an artillery officer. After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United States Senator. In 1945, Roosevelt replaced Henry A. Wallace as vice president with Truman for Roosevelt's fourth term.

As president, Truman faced challenge after challenge in domestic affairs. The tumultuous reconversion of the economy of the United States was marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes, and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto. He confounded all predictions to win re-election in 1948, largely due to his famous Whistle Stop Tour of rural America. After his re-election he was able to pass only one of the proposals in his Fair Deal program. He used executive orders to begin desegregation of the U.S. armed forces and to launch a system of loyalty checks to remove thousands of communist sympathizers from government office, even though he strongly opposed mandatory loyalty oaths for governmental employees, a stance that led to charges that his administration was soft on communism. Truman's presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the end of World War II and his decision to use nuclear weapons in combat, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the beginning of the Cold War, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War. Corruption in Truman's administration reached the cabinet and senior White House staff. Republicans made corruption a central issue in the 1952 campaign.

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Jackson at the White House in 1984
Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) was an American recording artist, dancer, singer-songwriter, musician and philanthropist. Referred to as the King of Pop, Jackson is recognized as the most successful entertainer of all time by Guinness World Records. His contribution to music, dance and fashion, along with a much-publicized personal life, made him a global figure in popular culture for over four decades. The eighth child of the Jackson family, he debuted on the professional music scene along with his brothers as a member of The Jackson 5 in the mid-1960s, and began his solo career in 1971.

Aspects of Jackson's personal life, including his changing appearance, personal relationships and behavior, have generated controversy. In 1993, he was accused of child sexual abuse, but the case was settled out of court and no formal charges were brought. In 2005, he was tried and acquitted of further sexual abuse allegations and several other charges after the jury ruled him not guilty on all counts. While preparing for his concert series This Is It, Jackson died on June 25, 2009, after suffering from cardiac arrest. Before his death, Jackson had reportedly been administered drugs such as propofol and lorazepam. The Los Angeles County Coroner declared his death a homicide, and his personal physician pleaded not guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's death triggered a global outpouring of grief, and as many as one billion people around the world reportedly watched his public memorial service on live television. In March 2010, Sony Music Entertainment signed a US$250 million deal with Jackson's estate to retain distribution rights to his recordings until 2017, and to release seven posthumous albums over the decade following his death.

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From top to bottom left to right: Atlanta skyline seen from Buckhead, the Fox Theatre, the Georgia State Capitol, Centennial Olympic Park, Millennium Gate, the Canopy Walk, the Georgia Aquarium, The Phoenix statue, and the Midtown skyline
Atlanta (/ətˈlæntə/, stressed /ætˈlæntə/, locally /ætˈlænə/) is the capital of and the most populous city in the U.S. state of Georgia, with a 2010 population of 420,003. Atlanta is the cultural and economic center of the Atlanta metropolitan area, home to 5,268,860 people and the ninth largest metropolitan area in the country. Atlanta is the county seat of Fulton County, and a small portion of the city extends eastward into DeKalb County.

Atlanta was established in 1847 at the intersection of two railroad lines, and the city rose from the ashes of the Civil War to become a national center of commerce. In the decades following the Civil Rights Movement, during which the city earned a reputation as "too busy to hate" for the progressive views of its citizens and leaders, Atlanta attained international prominence. Atlanta is the primary transportation hub of the Southeastern United States via highway, railroad, and air, with Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport being the world's busiest airport since 1998. Atlanta is considered an "alpha(-) world city," and, with a gross domestic product of US$270 billion, Atlanta’s economy ranks 15th among world cities and sixth in the nation. Although Atlanta’s economy is considered diverse, dominant sectors include logistics, professional and business services, media operations, government administration, and higher education. Geographically, Atlanta is marked by rolling hills and dense tree coverage. Revitalization of Atlanta's neighborhoods, initially spurred by the 1996 Olympics, has intensified in the 21st century, altering the city's demographics, politics, and culture.

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Barack Obama
There is not a liberal America and a conservative America — there is the United States of America. There is not a Black America and a White America and Latino America and Asian America — there's the United States of America.

Anniversaries for September 19

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Soul food is an ethnic cuisine traditionally prepared and eaten by African Americans, originating in the Southern United States. The cuisine originated with the foods that were given to enslaved black people by their white owners on Southern plantations during the Antebellum period; however, it was strongly influenced by the traditional practices of West Africans and Native Americans from its inception. Due to the historical presence of African Americans in the region, soul food is closely associated with the cuisine of the American South although today it has become an easily identifiable and celebrated aspect of mainstream American food culture. (Full article...)

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1909 Panoramic view of Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Credit: Clarence Jack, Library of Congress.
1909 Panoramic view of Tulsa, Oklahoma.

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