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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 local 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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Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones


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Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan (February 6, 1911 – June 5, 2004) was the 40th President of the United States (1981–1989) and the 33rd Governor of California (1967–1975). Born in Illinois, Reagan moved to Los Angeles, California in the 1930s, where he became an actor, president of the Screen Actors Guild (SAG), and a spokesman for General Electric (GE). His start in politics occurred during his work for GE; originally a member of the Democratic Party, he switched to the Republican Party in 1962. After delivering a rousing speech in support of Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964, he was persuaded to seek the California governorship, winning two years later and again in 1970. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980.

As president, Reagan implemented new political initiatives as well as economic policies, advocating a laissez-faire philosophy, but the extent to which these ideas were implemented is debatable. The supply side economic policies, dubbed "Reaganomics", included substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. After surviving an assassination attempt and ordering controversial military actions in Grenada, he was re-elected in a landslide victory in 1984.

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Hemingway in 1939
Ernest Miller Hemingway (July 21, 1899 – July 2, 1961) was an American author and journalist. His distinctive writing style, characterized by economy and understatement, influenced 20th-century fiction, as did his life of adventure and public image. He produced most of his work between the mid-1920s and the mid-1950s. He won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1954. Hemingway's fiction was successful because the characters he presented exhibited authenticity that resonated with his audience. Many of his works are classics of American literature. He published seven novels, six short story collections, and two non-fiction works during his lifetime; a further three novels, four collections of short stories, and three non-fiction works were published posthumously.

Shortly after the publication of The Old Man and the Sea in 1952 Hemingway went on safari to Africa, where he was almost killed in a plane crash that left him in pain or ill-health for much of the rest of his life. Hemingway had permanent residences in Key West, Florida, and Cuba during the 1930s and '40s, but in 1959 he moved from Cuba to Ketchum, Idaho, where he committed suicide in the summer of 1961.

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A view looking south down Brush Street at the Renaissance Center (rear left) and the Wayne County Building (right) in Detroit, Michigan.
Detroit is the largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan and Metro Detroit is the second largest metropolitan area in the Midwestern United States. Detroit is a major port city on the Detroit River, in the Midwest region of the United States. Located north of Windsor, Ontario Detroit is a geographically unique as the only U.S. city that looks south to Canada. It was founded in 1701 by the Frenchman Antoine de la Mothe Cadillac.

It is known as the world's traditional automotive center — "Detroit" is a metonym for the American automobile industry — and an important source of popular music, legacies celebrated by the city's two familiar nicknames, Motor City and Motown. Other nicknames emerged in the twentieth century, including Rock City, Arsenal of Democracy (during World War II), The D, D-Town, and The 3-1-3 (its area code). The metropolitan area is an important center for research and development; its broad based economy includes advanced manufacturing, robotics, biotechnology, information technology, and finance. Metro Detroit attracts about 15.9 million visitors annually.

In 2008, Detroit ranked as the United States' eleventh most populous city, with 910,920 residents. A population shift to the suburbs began in the 1950s and continued as the metropolitan area grew to one of the nation's largest. The name Detroit sometimes refers to the Metro Detroit area, a sprawling region with a population of 4,425,110 for the Metropolitan Statistical Area, and 5,354,225 for the Combined Statistical Area, making it the nation's eleventh-largest as of the 2008 Census Bureau estimates. The Windsor-Detroit area, a critical commercial link straddling the Canada-U.S. border, has a total population of about 5,800,000.

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Theodore Roosevelt
I have always been fond of the West African proverb "Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far."

Anniversaries for June 12

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Shrimp gumbo and rice
The cuisine of New Orleans encompasses common dishes and foods in New Orleans, Louisiana. It is perhaps the most distinctively recognized regional cuisine in the United States. Some of the dishes originated in New Orleans, while others are common and popular in the city and surrounding areas, such as the Mississippi River Delta and southern Louisiana. The cuisine of New Orleans is heavily influenced by Creole cuisine, Cajun cuisine, and soul food. Seafood also plays a prominent part in the cuisine. Dishes invented in New Orleans include po' boy and muffuletta sandwiches, oysters Rockefeller and oysters Bienville, pompano en papillote, and bananas Foster, among others. (Full article...)

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Cedar Key, Florida.
Credit: Maison Bonfils (edited by Banzoo)

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