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.
was an English
colonial venture in North America
from 1620 until 1691. The first settlement was at New Plymouth, a location previously surveyed and named by Captain John Smith
. The settlement, which served as the capital of the colony, is today the modern town of Plymouth
. At its height, Plymouth Colony occupied most of the southeastern portion of the modern state of Massachusetts
Founded by a group of separatists who later came to be known as the Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony was, along with Jamestown, Virginia, one of the earliest colonies to be founded by the English in North America and the first sizable permanent English settlement in the New England region. Aided by Squanto, a Native American, the colony was able to establish a treaty with Chief Massasoit which helped to ensure the colony's success. The colony played a central role in King Philip's War, one of the earliest and bloodiest of the Indian Wars. Ultimately, the colony was annexed by the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1691.
Plymouth holds a special role in American history. Rather than being entrepreneurs like many of the settlers of Jamestown, the citizens of Plymouth were fleeing religious persecution and searching for a place to worship God as they saw fit. The social and legal systems of the colony were thus closely tied to their religious beliefs. Many of the people and events surrounding Plymouth Colony have become part of American mythology, including the North American tradition known as Thanksgiving and the monument known as Plymouth Rock. Despite the colony's relatively short history, it has become an important symbol of what is now labeled "American", owing largely to its treatment in American public schools.
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Selected society biography
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
(August 29, 1809 – October 7, 1894) was an American physician
, professor, lecturer, and author. Regarded by his peers as one of the best writers of the 19th century, he is considered a member of the Fireside Poets
. His most famous prose works are the "Breakfast-Table" series, which began with The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table
(1858). He is recognized as an important medical reformer.
Surrounded by Boston's literary elite—which included friends such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, and James Russell Lowell—Holmes made an indelible imprint on the literary world of the 19th century. Many of his works were published in The Atlantic Monthly, a magazine that he named. For his literary achievements and other accomplishments, he was awarded numerous honorary degrees from universities around the world. Holmes's writing often commemorated his native Boston area, and much of it was meant to be humorous or conversational. Some of his medical writings, notably his 1843 essay regarding the contagiousness of puerperal fever, were considered innovative for their time. He was often called upon to issue occasional poetry, or poems written specifically for an event, including many occasions at Harvard. Holmes also popularized several terms, including "Boston Brahmin" and "anesthesia".
Anniversaries for October 21
Philadelphia cheesesteak "wiz wit", i.e. steak, Cheez Whiz, "wit" onions
The cuisine of Philadelphia was shaped largely by the city's mixture of ethnicities, available foodstuffs and history. Certain foods have become iconic to the city. Invented in Philadelphia in the 1930s, the cheesesteak is the most well known icon of the city, and soft pretzels have become a part of Philadelphia culture. The late 19th and early 20th centuries saw the creation of two Philadelphia landmarks, the Reading Terminal Market and Italian Market. After a dismal restaurant scene during the post-war era of the 20th century, the 1970s brought a restaurant renaissance that has continued into the 21st century. Read more...
U.S. Route 50
(US 50) is a transcontinental highway in the United States, stretching from Sacramento, California
in the west to Ocean City, Maryland
on the east coast. The Nevada
portion crosses the center of state and was named "The Loneliest Road in America" by Life
magazine in July 1986. The name was intended as a pejorative
, but Nevada officials seized on it as a marketing slogan. The name originates from large desolate areas traversed by the route, with few or no signs of civilization. The highway crosses several large desert valleys separated by numerous mountain ranges towering over the valley floors, in what is known as the Basin and Range province
of the Great Basin
The route was constructed over a historic corridor, first used for the Pony Express and later for the Central Overland Route and Lincoln Highway. Before the formation of the U.S. Highway System, most of US 50 in Nevada was designated State Route 2. The routing east of Ely has changed significantly from the original plans. The route change resulted from a rivalry between Nevada and Utah over which transcontinental route was better to serve California bound traffic, the Lincoln Highway or the Victory Highway.
Selected culture biography
(born Robert Allen Zimmerman
, May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter
who has been a major figure in music for five decades. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s
when he was an informal chronicler, and an apparently reluctant figurehead, of social unrest. A number of his songs such as "Blowin' in the Wind
" and "The Times They Are a-Changin'
" became anthems for the US civil rights
movements. His early lyrics incorporated a variety of political, social and philosophical, as well as literary influences. They defied existing pop music conventions and appealed hugely to the then burgeoning counterculture
. Initially inspired by the songs of Woody Guthrie
, Robert Johnson
, Hank Williams
, and the performance styles of Buddy Holly
and Little Richard
. Dylan has both amplified and personalized musical genres
, exploring numerous distinct traditions in American song—from folk
, rock and roll
, and rockabilly
, to English
, and Irish folk music
, embracing even jazz
Since 1994, Dylan has published three books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. As a songwriter and musician, Dylan has received numerous awards over the years including Grammy, Golden Globe, and Academy Awards; he has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, and Songwriters Hall of Fame. In 2008, a Bob Dylan Pathway was opened in the singer's honor in his birthplace of Duluth, Minnesota. The Pulitzer Prize jury in 2008 awarded him a special citation for "his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power."
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