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
are not contiguous with any other state. The U.S. also has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions
around the world. 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.
The Shuttle–Mir Program
was a collaborative space program between Russia and the United States, which involved American Space Shuttles
visiting the Russian space station Mir
, Russian cosmonauts flying on the shuttle and an American astronaut flying aboard a Soyuz spacecraft
to engage in long-duration expeditions aboard Mir
The project, sometimes called "Phase One", was intended to allow the United States to learn from Russian experience with long-duration spaceflight and to foster a spirit of cooperation between the two nations and their space agencies, the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Russian Federal Space Agency (Roskosmos). The project helped to prepare the way for further cooperative space ventures; specifically, "Phase Two" of the joint project, the construction of the International Space Station (ISS). The program was announced in 1993, the first mission started in 1994 and the project continued until its scheduled completion in 1998. Eleven Space Shuttle missions, a joint Soyuz flight and almost 1000 cumulative days in space for American astronauts occurred over the course of seven long-duration expeditions.
During the four-year program, many firsts in spaceflight were achieved by the two nations, including the first American astronaut to launch aboard a Soyuz spacecraft, the largest spacecraft ever to have been assembled at that time in history, and the first American spacewalk using a Russian Orlan spacesuit.
The program was marred by various concerns, notably the safety of Mir following a fire and a collision, financial issues with the cash-strapped Russian Space Program and worries from astronauts about the attitudes of the program administrators. Nevertheless, a large amount of science, expertise in space station construction and knowledge in working in a cooperative space venture was gained from the combined operations, allowing the construction of the ISS to proceed much more smoothly than would have otherwise been the case.
Did you know?
Selected society biography
(1909–1974) was an American political strategist
, government official, and close associate and friend of President Richard Nixon
during much of Nixon's political career. He served as campaign manager
for the future president's run for the United States Senate
in 1950 and for his vice presidential bid in 1952, and managed the campaigns of other California Republicans
. He was active in each of Nixon's two successful runs for the White House
in low-profile positions. After Congress investigated Chotiner in 1956, suspecting the attorney was using his connections to Nixon for influence peddling
to benefit his private clients, the Vice President and his former campaign manager temporarily parted ways. Nixon recalled him to work on his 1962 gubernatorial
campaign and again for his successful 1968 presidential bid
. After Nixon was inaugurated in 1969, Chotiner received a political appointment to a government position and, in 1970, became a member of the White House staff
. He returned to private practice a year later, but was involved in Nixon's 1972 re-election campaign
. He remained an informal adviser to Nixon until he died in Washington D.C.
following an auto accident in January 1974, and Nixon mourned the loss of a man he described as a counselor and friend.
Anniversaries for October 31
Selected culture biography
Jacobus Franciscus "Jim" Thorpe
(Sac and Fox (Sauk) from Oklahoma
) (May 28, 1888 – March 28, 1953) was an American
athlete. Considered one of the most versatile athletes in modern sports
, he won Olympic
gold medals in the pentathlon
, played American football
collegiately and professionally, and also played professional baseball
. He subsequently lost his Olympic titles when it was found he was paid for playing two seasons of minor league baseball before competing in the games (thus violating the amateur status
Thorpe was of mixed Native American and white ancestry. He was raised as a Sac and Fox, and named Wa-Tho-Huk, roughly translated as "Bright Path". He struggled with racism throughout much of his life and his accomplishments were publicized with headlines describing him as a "Redskin" and "Indian athlete". He also played on several All-American Indian teams throughout his career and barnstormed as a professional basketball player with a team composed entirely of Native Americans.
Thorpe was named the greatest athlete of the first half of the twentieth century by the Associated Press (AP) in 1950, and ranked third on the AP list of athletes of the century in 1999. After his professional sports career ended, Thorpe lived in abject poverty. He worked several odd jobs, struggled with alcoholism, and lived out the last years of his life in failing health. In 1983, thirty years after his death, his medals were restored.
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