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Colombia

Colombia the Republic of Colombia, is a country situated in the north of South America, with land and territories in North America. Colombia is bounded on the north by the Caribbean Sea, the northwest by Panama, the south by both Ecuador and Peru, the east by Venezuela, the southeast by Brazil, the west by the Pacific, it comprises thirty-two departments, with the capital in Bogotá. Colombia is ethnically and linguistically diverse, with its rich cultural heritage reflecting influences by various Amerindian civilizations, European settlement, forced African labor, immigration from Europe and the greater Middle East. Urban centres are concentrated in the Caribbean coast. Colombia has been inhabited by various American Indian peoples since at least 12,000 BCE, including the Muisca and the Tairona. Spaniards arrived in 1499 and by the mid-16th century annexed part of the region, establishing the New Kingdom of Granada, with Santafé de Bogotá as its capital. Independence from Spain was achieved in 1819, but by 1830 the Gran Colombia Federation was dissolved, with what is now Colombia and Panama emerging as the Republic of New Granada.

The new sovereign state experimented with federalism as the Granadine Confederation, the United States of Colombia, before the Republic of Colombia was declared in 1886. Panama seceded in 1903. Beginning in the 1960s, the country suffered from an asymmetric low-intensity armed conflict and political violence, both of which escalated in the 1990s. Since 2005, there has been significant improvement in security and rule of law. Colombia has the second-highest biodiversity in the world and is one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries. Colombia is the only NATO Global Partner in Latin America, it is part of the CIVETS group of leading emerging markets and a member of the UN, the WTO, the OAS, the Pacific Alliance, an associate member of Mercosur and other international organizations. Colombia's diversified economy is the third largest in South America, with macroeconomic stability and favorable long-term growth prospects; the name "Colombia" is derived from the last name of the Italian navigator Christopher Columbus.

It was conceived by the Venezuelan revolutionary Francisco de Miranda as a reference to all the New World, but to those portions under Spanish law. The name was adopted by the Republic of Colombia of 1819, formed from the territories of the old Viceroyalty of New Granada; when Venezuela and Cundinamarca came to exist as independent states, the former Department of Cundinamarca adopted the name "Republic of New Granada". New Granada changed its name in 1858 to the Granadine Confederation. In 1863 the name was again changed, this time to United States of Colombia, before adopting its present name – the Republic of Colombia – in 1886. To refer to this country, the Colombian government uses the terms Colombia and República de Colombia. Owing to its location, the present territory of Colombia was a corridor of early human civilization from Mesoamerica and the Caribbean to the Andes and Amazon basin; the oldest archaeological finds are from the Pubenza and El Totumo sites in the Magdalena Valley 100 kilometres southwest of Bogotá.

These sites date from the Paleoindian period. At Puerto Hormiga and other sites, traces from the Archaic Period have been found. Vestiges indicate that there was early occupation in the regions of El Abra and Tequendama in Cundinamarca; the oldest pottery discovered in the Americas, found at San Jacinto, dates to 5000–4000 BCE. Indigenous people inhabited the territory, now Colombia by 12,500 BCE. Nomadic hunter-gatherer tribes at the El Abra, Tibitó and Tequendama sites near present-day Bogotá traded with one another and with other cultures from the Magdalena River Valley. Between 5000 and 1000 BCE, hunter-gatherer tribes transitioned to agrarian societies. Beginning in the 1st millennium BCE, groups of Amerindians including the Muisca, Zenú, Tairona developed the political system of cacicazgos with a pyramidal structure of power headed by caciques; the Muisca inhabited the area of what is now the Departments of Boyacá and Cundinamarca high plateau where they formed the Muisca Confederation. They farmed maize, potato and cotton, traded gold, blankets, ceramic handicrafts and rock salt with neighboring nations.

The Tairona inhabited northern Colombia in the isolated mountain range of Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The Quimbaya inhabited regions of the Cauca River Valley between the Western and Central Ranges of the Colombian Andes. Most of the Amerindians practiced agriculture and the social structure of each indigenous community was different; some groups of indigenous people such as the Caribs lived in a state of permanent war, but others had less bellicose attitudes. The Incas expanded their empire onto the southwest part of the country. Alonso de Ojeda reached the Guajira Peninsula in 1499. Spanish explorers, led by Rodrigo de Bastidas, made the first exploration of the Caribbean coast in 1500. Christopher Columbus navigated near the Caribbean in 1502. In 1508, Vasco N

Municipal Borough of Bexley

Bexley was a local government district in north west Kent from 1879 to 1965 around the town of Old Bexley. The parish of Bexley adopted the Local Government Act 1858 in 1879, a local board of 15 members was formed to govern the area; the local board established offices at High Street, Bexley. The Local Government Act 1894 reconstituted the local board's area as an urban district. Bexley Urban District Council replaced the board. In 1902 the urban district was enlarged by absorbing the neighbouring parish of East Wickham in Dartford Rural District; the enlarged urban district was divided into three wards: St Mary's and East Wickham. The Council offices moved to Bexleyheath; the urban district council ran its own tram services until they became the responsibility of the London Passenger Transport Board in 1933. The town was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1935; the royal charter was presented by the Lord Lieutenant of Kent in a ceremony held in Danson Park on 30 September. A corporation consisting of a mayor, 6 aldermen and 18 councillors replaced the UDC, with the first elections being held on 1 November.

In 1965 the municipal borough was abolished by the London Government Act 1963 and its former area transferred to Greater London from Kent. Its former area was combined with that of other districts to form the present-day London Borough of Bexley; the borough council was controlled by independents. In 1945 the Labour Party gained a majority; the Conservative Party took control in 1950, which they held until 1958. The size of the council had been increased to 24 councillors and 8 aldermen in 1954, in 1958 the council was evenly divided between Labour and Conservatives; the Conservatives regained control in 1959, holding it until 1963. At the final election before the borough's abolition in 1965, Labour took control. A coat of arms was inherited by the borough; the blazon was as follows: Per fesse vert and Or a fesse wavy barry wavy of four argent and azure in chief an eagle displayed between two apples leaved and slipped of the second and in base an oak tree eradicated proper. Crest: Upon heather proper within a coronet of four fleur-de-lis set upon a rim Or a horse forcene argent.

The green and gold colouring of the arms represented the cornfields and grasslands which covered the area before the town grew up. The oak tree continued this theme, depicted the town's parks; the blue and silver waves or "becks" referred to the name "Bexley". Gold apples stood for traditional fruit-growing and the eagle came from the arms of Nicholas Vansittart, 1st Baron Bexley, one time chancellor of the exchequer; the crown was included in the crest as the arms were granted in the year of the coronation of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth. The crest was the white horse of Kent on a mound of heather for former heath lands of Bexleyheath; the Latin motto was Non Nobis Sed Communitati or "Not for ourselves but for the community". Local Government Act 1888 Local Government Act 1894 London Government Act 1963 A Vision of Britain - Bexley MB

Elena Carter Richardson

Elena Carter Richardson was an American ballerina and dance instructor. Born and raised in Mexico City, she trained at the Academia de Ballet de Coyoacán, going on to be a principal dancer at Compania Nacional de Danza, with Ballet Classico 70. Richardson joined Dance Theatre of Harlem and toured the world as a principal before taking time off to have children in 1982, she moved to Portland and became a principal in Pacific Ballet Theatre and Oregon Ballet Theatre as well as a faculty member in the Performing Arts Program at Jefferson High School and at Da Vinci Arts Middle School. Richardson was diagnosed with cancer in 2000 and succumbed to the disease in 2006. Elena Carter Richardson obituary