Altoona, Pennsylvania

Altoona is a city in Blair County, United States. It is the principal city of the Altoona Metropolitan Statistical Area; the population was 46,320 at the time of the 2010 Census, making it the eleventh most populous city in Pennsylvania. The Altoona MSA includes all of Blair County and was recorded as having a population of 127,089 at the 2010 Census, around 100,000 of whom live within a 5-mile radius of the Altoona city center according to U. S. Census ZIP Code population data; this includes the adjacent boroughs of Hollidaysburg and Duncansville, adjacent townships of Logan, Blair, Frankstown and Tyrone, as well as nearby boroughs of Bellwood and Newry. Having grown around the railroad industry, the city is working to recover from industrial decline and urban decentralization experienced in recent decades; the city is home to the Altoona Curve baseball team of the Double A Eastern League, the affiliate of the Major League Baseball team Pittsburgh Pirates. The 90-year-old Altoona Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Maestra Teresa Cheung has been calling Altoona home since 1928.

Prominent landmarks include the Horseshoe Curve, the Railroaders Memorial Museum, the Juniata Shops of the Altoona Works, the Mishler Theatre, the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament, the Jaffa Shrine Center. Altoona was founded by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1849 as the site for a shop and maintenance complex. Altoona was incorporated as a borough on February 6, 1854, as a city under legislation approved on April 3, 1867, February 8, 1868. One explanation of the city's name is that the word "Altoona" is a derivative of the Latin word altus, meaning "high"; this explanation is contradicted by Pennsylvania Place Names. Although Altoona, in Blair Country, is popularly known as "the Mountain City", its name has no direct or indirect etymological relation to the Latin adjective Altus, signifying "elevated, lofty." Two different explanations of the origin of this name are current. The one which seems to be the most natural and reasonable runs as follows: "The locomotive engineer who ran the first train into Altoona in 1851 was Robert Steele, who died several years ago, aged nearly 90 years.

He was the oldest continuous resident of the city. He had long been one of the private pensioners of Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Steele is authority for the statement that Col. Beverly Mayer, of Columbia, who, as a civil engineer of what was the Pennsylvania Central Railway, had laid out the tracks in the yards of the newly projected city, named the place Altoona after the city of Altona in Danish Holstein, which became part of Germany in 1864." The German Altona, today a district of Hamburg, lies on the right bank of the Elbe west of Hamburg city center, is an important railway and manufacturing center with a population of nearly 200,000. The etymological derivation of the name Altona is not known with certainty, but believed to be Low German all to na, meaning "all too near". However, linguistic research indicates that the name of German Altona is based on a former tributary of the Elbe river called Altenawe or Altenah, shown in the 1568 map of the Elbe river by Melchior Lorichs and in the 1652 maps by Johannes Mejer.

In 1849 David Robinson sold his farm to Archibald Wright of Philadelphia, who transferred the property to his son, John A. Wright, who laid it out in building lots, became one of the founders of Altoona, was responsible for the naming of the town. According to his own statement, he had spent considerable time in the Cherokee country of Georgia, where he had been attracted by the beautiful name of Allatoona, which he had bestowed upon the new town in the belief that it was a Cherokee word meaning "the high lands of great worth." In the Cherokee language there is a word eladuni, which means "high lands", or "where it is high". An older history dated 1883 favored the Cherokee derivation, stating that "Its name is not derived from the Latin word altus nor from the French word alto, as has been asserted and published, but from the beautiful and expressive Cherokee word Allatoona; this is on the authority of the person who bestowed the name, Mr. Wright, of Philadelphia, long a resident of the Cherokee country in Georgia, an admirer of the musical names of that Indian language."For 60 days in 2011, the city changed its name to "POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold" in exchange for $25,000 as part of a marketing gimmick for the movie of the same name.

In late September 1862, Altoona was home to the War Governors' Conference which brought together 13 governors of Union states. This body gave early approval to the Emancipation Proclamation; the town grew in the late 19th century, its population 2,000 in 1854, 10,000 in 1870, 20,000 in 1880. The demand for locomotives during the Civil War stimulated much of this growth, by the years of the war, Altoona was known as a valuable city for the North. Altoona was the site of the first Interstate Commission meeting to create and design the Gettysburg National Cemetery following the devastating Battle of Gettysburg; the centrality and convenience of the town's rail transportation brought these two important gatherings to the city during the war. Horseshoe Curve, a curved section of track built by the PRR, has become a tourist attraction and National Historic Landmark; the curve was built to help trains cross a barrier to westward trade. Construction of the Erie Canal in New Yor

Victoria Day (Sweden)

Victoria Day is an annual celebration in Sweden to celebrate Crown Princess Victoria's birthday. It is celebrated on 14 July, each year; this birthday tradition started with Crown Princess Victoria's 2nd birthday. The Victoria Day celebrations take place on the island of Öland, where the Swedish Royal family spends their summer holiday; the day begins at Solliden Palace, where the Crown Princess Family, King & Queen greet waiting crowds. The crowds sing Happy Birthday to Victoria, followed by Cheers lead by the King; the Royal Family do a walkabout. Each year a concert is held, with performances from famous artists; the concert is attended by the Royal Family and broadcast on TV. Each year during Victoria Day, the Victoria Award is awarded to a Swedish sportsperson who has performed an meritorious achievement during the year. Official website


Apatit JSC is a Russian mining and processing enterprise engaged in the extraction of mineral raw materials for manufacture of chemicals and fertilizers. Main operations are the mining and processing of mines and processes apatite-nepheline ore from the Khibiny deposit. Products are marketed locally and in Finland, Norway and the Netherlands. "Apatit" was established in 1929. The company is based in Murmansk Oblast, its main plants are located in Kirovsk and in Apatity, a town located at a distance of about 23km from Kirovsk, near the eastern shore of Lake Imandra. Both towns are situated at the foot of the Khibiny Mountains. In the early 1990s, the rapid decline in demand for apatite concentrate led to a significant reduction in production volumes resulting in a struggle of survival for the company. In 1994, only 6 million tonnes of apatite concentrate were produced, compared to 20 million tons in 1988; this deep crisis led to privatization of the company, starting in 1994. Apatit was owned by Mikhail Khodorkovsky’s financial holding company Menatep Group in the late 1990s.

Khodorkovsky and business partner Platon Lebedev purchased Apatit in 1994. Andrei Guriev who ran a department of Rosprom at that time, became chairman of its subsidiary Apatit in 2001. Following the arrest of Khodorkovsky in 2003, Guriev led a management buyout of Apatit and acquired control. Apatit assets were seized by the state during Khodorkovsky’s trial. Andrei Guryev led 50 % of Apatit to management. PhosAgro increased its holdings to 57.57% of Apatit. The arrest and subsequent 11-month trial of Khodorkovsky revealed that the focus was not on the alleged ‘loans-for-shares’ scheme, but rather on claims that the privatization of Apatit in 1994 was itself fraudulent. At present, JSC "Apatit" is a large Mining and Chemical Complex consisting of four mines, three concentrating mills and various support units. Core production activity is the production of apatite concentrate from apatite-nepheline ore. In the early 2000s, the company employed up to 13,000 people. In 2013, PhosAgro completed the consolidation of 100% of Apatit.

Phosagro is controlled by Andrey Guriev together with two other prominent businessmen. A 7% stake in PhosAgro is owned by Igor Antoshin, who serves as the Deputy Chair of the holding company. A further 10% is owned by Vladimir Litvinenko. Kola Alkaline Province PhosAgro — parent company Avisma Platon Lebedev Norra Kärr АО "Апатит", - Website of the company in Russian. Holding company enterprises - Upstream Аpatit, - Website of the company in English. OAO Apatit,