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.
, once known as Boulder Dam
, is a concrete arch-gravity dam
in the Black Canyon
of the Colorado River
, on the border between the US states
. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression
, and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President Franklin Roosevelt
. Its construction was the result of a massive effort involving thousands of workers, and cost over one hundred lives.
Hoover Dam impounds Lake Mead, and is located near Boulder City, Nevada, a municipality originally constructed for workers on the construction project, about 25 mi (40 km) southeast of Las Vegas, Nevada. The dam's generators provide power for public and private utilities in Nevada, Arizona, and California. Hoover Dam is a major tourist attraction; nearly a million people tour the dam each year. Heavily travelled U.S. 93 ran along the dam's crest until October 2010, when the Hoover Dam Bypass opened.
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Selected society biography
Franklin Delano Roosevelt
(January 30, 1882 – April 12, 1945), often referred to by his initials FDR
, was the thirty-second President of the United States
. Elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, and is the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms of office. He was a central figure of the 20th century during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war
During the Great Depression of the 1930s, Roosevelt created the New Deal to provide relief for the unemployed, recovery of the economy, and reform of the economic and banking systems. Although recovery of the economy was incomplete until almost 1940, many programs initiated continue to have instrumental roles in the nation's commerce, such as the FDIC, TVA, and the SEC. One of his most important legacies is the Social Security system.
Roosevelt won four presidential elections in a row, causing a realignment political scientists call the Fifth Party System. His aggressive use of the federal government re-energized the Democratic Party, creating a New Deal Coalition which dominated American politics until the late 1960s. He and his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, remain touchstones for modern American liberalism. Conservatives vehemently fought back, but Roosevelt usually prevailed until he tried to pack the Supreme Court in 1937. Thereafter, the new Conservative coalition successfully ended New Deal expansion; during the war it closed most relief programs like the WPA and Civilian Conservation Corps, arguing unemployment had disappeared.
Anniversaries for August 4
is an industrial city on the shore of Lake Erie
in the northwestern corner of the U.S. state of Pennsylvania
. Named for the lake and the Native American tribe
that resided along its southern shore, Erie is the state's fourth-largest city with a population of 104,000. Erie's Metropolitan Area consists of 281,000 residents. The city is the seat of government for Erie County
Erie is in proximity to Cleveland, Ohio; Buffalo, New York; and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Once teeming with heavy industry, Erie's heavy manufacturing sector now consists mainly of plastics and locomotive building. Known for its lake-effect snow, Erie is in the heart of the Rust Belt and has begun to focus on tourism as a driving force in its economy. More than four million people each year visit Presque Isle State Park, for water recreation, and a new casino named for the state park is growing in popularity.
Erie is known as the Flagship City because of the presence of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship USS Niagara.
Selected culture biography
(1935–1977) was an American singer and one of the most important figures of 20th-century popular culture. He is often referred to as the "King of Rock and Roll" or simply "the King". Born in Tupelo, Mississippi
, Presley moved to Memphis, Tennessee
, at the age of 13. He began his career there in 1954 and became the leading figure of the newly popular sound of rock and roll
with a series of television appearances and chart-topping records during the late 1950s. Conscripted in 1958, Presley relaunched his recording career two years later with some of his most commercially successful work. In 1968, after seven years away from the stage, he returned to live performance in a celebrated comeback television special
that led to an extended Las Vegas
concert residency and a string of profitable tours. In 1973 Presley staged the first concert broadcast globally via satellite, Aloha from Hawaii
, seen by around 1.5 billion viewers. Prescription drug abuse severely affected his health, and he died suddenly in 1977 from cardiac arrest. With his versatile voice and unusually wide success encompassing many genres, Presley is the best-selling solo artist in the history of popular music
. Nominated for 14 competitive Grammys
, he won three, and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award
at age 36. He has been inducted into multiple music halls of fame
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