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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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Route of the first round-the-world nonstop flight by a jet airplane


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Edward Teller in 1958 as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Edward Teller (Hungarian: Teller Ede, January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller emigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and was an early member of the Manhattan Project charged with developing the first atomic bombs.

In his later years he became especially known for his advocacy of controversial technological solutions to both military and civilian problems, including a plan to excavate an artificial harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear explosives. He was a vigorous advocate of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, perhaps overselling the feasibility of the program. Over the course of his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality, and is considered one of the inspirations for the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 movie of the same name.

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Mariah Carey (born March 27, 1970 or 1969; sources vary) is an American R&B/pop singer-songwriter, record producer and actress. She made her recording debut, in 1990, under the guidance of Columbia Records executive Tommy Mottola, and became the first recording artist to have her first five singles top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Following her marriage to Mottola, in 1993, a series of hit records established her position as Columbia Records' highest-selling act.

In a career spanning over two decades, Carey has sold more than 200 million albums, singles and videos worldwide, according to Island Def Jam, which makes her one of the world's best-selling music artists. Carey was cited as the world’s best-selling recording artist of the 1990s at the 1998 World Music Awards and was also named the best-selling female artist of the millennium by the same award-giving body in 2000. According to the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), she is the third-best-selling female artist, with shipments of 63 million albums. In 2008, Carey earned her eighteenth number one single on the Hot 100, the most by any solo artist. Aside from her commercial accomplishments, she has earned five Grammy Awards and is known for her five-octave vocal range, power, melismatic style and use of the whistle register.

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Times Square in New York City
New York City is the most populous city in the United States, and is rated as an alpha world city for its global influences in media, politics, education, entertainment, arts and fashion. The city is also a major center for foreign affairs, hosting the headquarters of the United Nations.

The comprises five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island. With over 8.2 million residents within an area of 322 square miles (830 km²), it's the most densely populated major city in the United States.

Many of the city's neighborhoods and landmarks are known around the world. The Statue of Liberty greeted millions of immigrants as they arrived at Ellis Island in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Wall Street is home to the New York Stock Exchange. The city has had several of the tallest buildings in the world, including the Empire State Building and the World Trade Center.

New York is the birthplace of many cultural movements, including the Harlem Renaissance in literature and visual art, abstract expressionism in painting, and hip hop, salsa and Tin Pan Alley in music. In 2005, nearly 170 languages were spoken in the city and 36% of its population was born outside the United States. With its 24-hour subway and constant bustling of traffic and people, New York is known as "The City That Never Sleeps."

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George Washington
I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is always the best policy.
George Washington, The Farewell Address, September 17, 1796

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President Lyndon B. Johnson meeting with Soviet Premier Alexei Kosygin.

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The centerpiece of contemporary Thanksgiving in the United States and in Canada is Thanksgiving dinner, a large meal, generally centered on a large roasted turkey. Thanksgiving may be the largest eating event in the United States as measured by retail sales of food and beverages and by estimates of individual food intake. People often consume as much as three or four thousand calories during the course of the dinner. (Full article...)

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The Crystal Range as seen from Desolation Valley near Lake Aloha
Credit: Mike Grindstaff
The Crystal Mountains as seen from Desolation Valley near Lake Aloha

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