Ghostbusters II is a 1989 American film directed and produced by Ivan Reitman and written by Dan Aykroyd and Harold Ramis. It stars Bill Murray, Sigourney Weaver, Ernie Hudson and Rick Moranis; the sequel to the 1984 film Ghostbusters, it sees the Ghostbusters reunite to combat a new threat to New York City. Despite mixed reviews, Ghostbusters II grossed $112.5 million in the United States and $215.4 million worldwide, becoming the eighth-highest-grossing film of 1989. A reboot, Ghostbusters was released on July 15, 2016, while a direct sequel, Ghostbusters 3, is scheduled to be released on July 10, 2020. After saving New York City from the demi-god Gozer, the Ghostbusters are sued for property damage and barred from investigating the supernatural, forcing them out of business. Five years Ray Stantz owns an occult bookstore and works as a children's entertainer with Winston Zeddemore, Egon Spengler works in a laboratory conducting experiments into human emotion, Peter Venkman hosts a psychic television show.
Peter's ex-girlfriend Dana Barrett has had a son, with an ex-husband, works at an art museum. After Oscar's carriage is drawn to a busy intersection by an unseen force, Dana turns to the Ghostbusters for help. Dana's boss Janosz Poha is possessed by the spirit of Vigo the Carpathian, a sixteenth-century tyrant trapped in a painting in the museum. Vigo orders Poha allowing him to return to life. Under the intersection where Oscar's carriage was possessed, the Ghostbusters discover a river of slime filling the abandoned Beach Pneumatic Transit line. After obtaining a sample, Ray accidentally causes a citywide blackout; the Ghostbusters found guilty of investigating the supernatural. In the court room, the slime taken as evidence reacts to the judge's angry outburst and releases the ghosts of two deceased convicts; the Ghostbusters capture the ghosts in exchange for the restraining order being rescinded. The slime attacks her and Oscar, she seeks refuge with Peter, the two renew their relationship.
The Ghostbusters discover that the slime reacts to emotions, suspect that it has been generated by the negative attitudes of New Yorkers. While Peter and Dana have dinner, Egon and Winston explore the underground river of slime, they are pulled into the escape coated in slime. They begin arguing, Egon realizes that they are being influenced by the slime, they learn. The Ghostbusters are dismissed; the mayor's assistant, Jack Hardemeyer, has them committed to a psychiatric hospital to protect the mayor's interests. A spirit resembling Janosz kidnaps Oscar from Peter's apartment, Dana pursues them to the museum. After she enters, the museum is covered with a barrier of impenetrable slime. On New Year's Eve, the slime rises to the streets; the mayor has the Ghostbusters released. Determining that they need a symbol of positivity to rally the citizens and weaken the slime, the Ghostbusters use positively-charged slime to animate the Statue of Liberty and pilot it through the streets before the cheering populace.
At the museum, the slime recedes and they use the Statue's torch to break through the ceiling. Janosz is neutralized with positively-charged slime, but Vigo immobilizes the Ghostbusters and attempts to possess Oscar. A chorus of "Auld Lang Syne" by the citizens outside weakens Vigo, returning him to the painting and freeing the Ghostbusters. Vigo momentarily possesses Ray, the other Ghostbusters attack him. Louis attacks the weakened slime barrier with a proton stream of his own. Vigo is destroyed, the painting transforms into a likeness of the Ghostbusters protecting Oscar; the Ghostbusters receive a standing ovation from the onlookers and the Key to the City from the mayor. Some notable cast members in the film include one of Bill Murray's siblings, Brian Doyle-Murray, who played the psychiatric doctor, Dan Aykroyd's niece, Karen Humber, who played one of the school children, Ben Stein, who played a public works official for the mayor. Jason Reitman, son of director Ivan Reitman, plays the boy who insults the Ghostbusters at a birthday party.
Cheech Marin is the dock supervisor who witnesses the arrival of the Titanic, Philip Baker Hall is the city police chief. Bobby Brown is the doorman to Gracie Mansion when the Ghostbusters go to see the Mayor of New York City; the physical role of Vigo was played by Wilhelm von Homburg, his dialog was dubbed by Max von Sydow. After the success of the first film and the animated series, The Real Ghostbusters, Columbia Pictures pressed the producers to make a sequel. Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis and Ivan Reitman were uncomfortable with this, as the original film was intended to be conclusive and they wished to work on other projects, they agreed and created a script. At its release, Ghostbusters II was the biggest three-day opening weekend gross in history with $29.5 million, a record, broken one week by Batman. Ghostbusters II grossed $112.4 million in North America and $102.9 million internationally for a total of $215.3 million worldwide. The film received an approval rating of 53% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 38 reviews, with an average rating of 5.32/10.
The site's consensus reads, "Thanks to the cast, Ghostbusters 2 is reasonably amusing, but it lacks the charm and energy of its predecessor". On Metacritic, the film has a score of 56 out of 100 based on 14 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Variety said the film had a clever plot. On their show, Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert gave the picture
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Mr. Destiny is a 1990 fantasy comedy film starring James Belushi. Other actors in this film included Linda Hamilton, Michael Caine, Jon Lovitz, Courteney Cox and Rene Russo; the story begins on "the strangest day" of Larry Burrows' life consisting of a series of comic and dramatic misadventures. Larry, who blames all of his life's problems on the fact that he struck out during a key moment of his state high school baseball championship game on his 15th birthday, wishes he had done things differently, his wish is granted by a guardian angel-like figure named Mike, who appears at various times as a bartender, a cab driver, so on. Larry soon discovers that Mike has transferred Larry into an alternative reality in which he had won the pivotal high school game, he now finds himself rich and powerful, married to the boss's sexy daughter Cindy Jo Bumpers. At first, his new life seems perfect, but he soon begins to miss his best friend Clip Metzler and wife Ellen from his previous life; the story begins with an old Ford LTD station wagon, stalled out in a dark alley.
The pink lights of "The Universal Joint," a bar, come on. Larry goes inside to call a tow truck, tells bartender Mike his troubles, he reviews the day he just had, which ended with his getting fired after discovering his department head Niles Pender's scheme to sell the company under the nose of its owners to a group of naive Japanese investors. He tells Mike that he wishes he'd hit that last pitch out of the park, after which Mike fixes him a drink called "The Spilt Milk." The Spilt Milk was a drink that gave him his wish that he hit that home run in that championship game. Larry leaves the bar, walks home and discovers someone else living in his house, now fixed up. Mike appears as a cabdriver and drives him to his "new" home, a mansion in Forest Hills, explaining that he did in fact hit the last pitch and won the game, he soon discovers that Cindy Jo is his wife and he's the president of his company, Liberty Republic Sporting Goods. Being a classic car buff, he's shocked to find that he owns a collection of priceless antique automobiles.
Larry soon discovers that Clip has a low-level job in the accounting department and is quite insecure, as opposed to the jokester he was before. Ellen is shop is married to another man. Jewel, a forklift operator in the previous reality, is now his secretary. Ellen hates Larry and he discovers that the union is threatening a walkout due to massive layoffs and increased production, since Niles is selling Liberty Republic in both realities. Seeing Ellen, he realizes how much he misses her and agrees to all the union's demands, providing Ellen agrees to dinner at his favorite restaurant, she reluctantly agrees, Larry convinces her that they were married in a previous life. After discovering that Larry has agreed to union demands, Niles takes revenge, by telling both Cindy Jo and Jewel of Larry's dinner date with Ellen, he plots to kill Larry at the office that night. However, company owner Leo Hansen arrives to deliver a note to Larry, announcing his termination at Cindy Jo's request, Niles kills him by mistake.
Discovering the note, Niles calls the police. Larry escapes while jealous Jewel creates pandemonium outside in her attempts to shoot him, leading to a police chase. Larry is cornered in a dark alley, but the pink glow of "The Universal Joint" comes on and he runs into the bar. Unable to find Mike, Larry attempts to make the "Spilt Milk" himself, the ingredients aged; the flashing lights of the police cars appear and Larry surrenders, but instead of cops, a tow truck driver named Duncan enters. Confused at first, Larry realizes he's back in his old life. Larry thanks Mike for everything and, upon exiting the bar realizes that the deal with the Japanese investors is happening shortly. Driven by Duncan to company headquarters, Larry barges into the boardroom, decks Niles and exposes his scheme just as Leo is about to sign the deal. Thinking everyone forgot his birthday, Larry returns home to a surprise party with his family and friends in attendance. Soon after, Cindy Jo and her husband Jackie Earle, the company president, arrive.
Jackie offers Niles' job to Larry, plus a company car, a new Mercedes, he accepts. Back in the past, young Larry is about to leave the stadium, still upset about the loss, when he's approached by a mysterious stranger who reassures him that everything will be all right. Larry walks off wondering who Mike thinks he's kidding. James Belushi — Larry Joseph Burrows: The film's protagonist. A normal guy with an ordinary life who wishes it to be different, is granted that wish and becomes president of the company with a big house. Linda Hamilton — Ellen Jane Burrows/Robertson: Larry's loving wife in the normal reality, she is the head of the labor union. In the alternate reality, she looks at Larry with much disdain as in the past he managed the company like a tyrant. Michael Caine — Mike the Bartender/Mr. Destiny: A bartender and guardian angel like character, responsible for showing Larry what his life
Jan Tomáš "Miloš" Forman was a Czech American film director, screenwriter and professor who, until 1968, lived and worked in the former Czechoslovakia. Forman was an important component of the Czechoslovak New Wave, his 1967 film The Firemen's Ball, on the surface a naturalistic representation of an ill-fated social event in a provincial town, was seen by both film scholars and authorities in Czechoslovakia as a biting satire on Eastern European Communism. As a result, it was banned for many years in Forman's home country. After Forman left Czechoslovakia for the United States, two of his films, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus, acquired particular renown, both gained him an Academy Award for Best Director. One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest became the second film to win all five major Academy Awards after It Happened One Night in 1934—an accomplishment not repeated until 1991, by The Silence of the Lambs. Forman was nominated for a Best Director Oscar for The People vs. Larry Flynt, he won Golden Globe, Berlinale, BAFTA, David di Donatello, European Film Academy, Czech Lion awards.
Along with future favorite cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček and longtime schoolfriend Ivan Passer, Forman filmed the silent documentary Semafor about Semafor theater. Forman's first important production was the documentary Audition whose subject was competing singers, he directed several Czech comedies in Czechoslovakia. However, during the Prague Spring and the ensuing 1968 invasion, he was in Paris negotiating the production of his first American film, his employer, a Czech studio, fired him, he decided to move to the United States. He moved to New York, where he became a professor of film at Columbia University in 1978 and co-chair of Columbia's film department. One of his protégés was future director James Mangold. In 1977, he became a naturalized citizen of the United States. In 1985, he in 2000 did the same for the Venice festival, he presided over a ceremony of Caesar in 1988. In 1997, he received the Crystal Globe award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
Forman performed alongside actor Edward Norton in Norton's directorial debut, Keeping the Faith, as the wise friend to Norton's conflicted priest. In April 2007, he took part in the jazz opera Dobře placená procházka, itself a remake of the TV film he made in 1966, it premiered at the Prague National Theatre, directed by Petr Forman. Forman received an honorary degree in 2009 from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts, US, he collaborated with cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček. Loves of a Blonde is one of the best–known movies of the Czechoslovak New Wave, won awards at the Venice and Locarno film festivals, it was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film in 1967. A 1967 Czechoslovak–Italian co-production, this was Forman's first color film, it is one of the best–known movies of the Czechoslovak New Wave. On the face of it a naturalistic representation of an ill-fated social event in a provincial town, the film has been seen by both film scholars and the then-authorities in Czechoslovakia as a biting satire on East European Communism, which resulted in it being banned for many years in Forman's home country.
The Czech term zhasnout, associated with petty theft in the film, was used to describe the large-scale asset stripping that occurred in the country during the 1990s. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film; the first movie Forman made in the United States, Taking Off won the Grand Prix at the 1971 Cannes Film Festival. The film starred Lynn Carlin and Buck Henry, featured Linnea Heacock as Jeannie; the film left Forman struggling to find work. Forman said that it did so poorly he ended up owing the studio $500. Despite the failure of Taking Off, producers Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz hired him to direct the adaptation of Ken Kesey's cult novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Forman said they hired him because he was in their price range. Starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher, the adaptation was a commercial success; the film won Oscars in the five most important categories: Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay. One of only three films in history to do so, it established Forman's reputation.
The success of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest allowed Forman to direct his long-planned film version of Hair in 1979, a rock musical based on the Broadway musical by James Rado, Gerome Ragni, Galt MacDermot. The film starred John Savage and Beverly D'Angelo, it was disowned by the writers of the original musical, although it received positive reviews, it did not do well financially. Forman's next important achievement was an adaptation of Peter Shaffer's Amadeus. Retelling the story of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Antonio Salieri, it starred Tom Hulce, Elizabeth Berridge, F. Murray Abraham; the film was internationally acclaimed and won eight Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor. Forman's adaptation of Pierre Choderlos de Laclos's novel Les Liaisons dangereuses had its premiere on November 17, 1989. Another film adaptation by Stephen Frears from the same source material had been released the previous year and overshadowed Forman's adaptation; the film starred Colin Firth, Meg Tilly, and
Stop Press Girl
Stop Press Girl is a 1949 British fantasy comedy film directed by Michael Barry and starring Sally Ann Howes, Gordon Jackson, Basil Radford and Naunton Wayne. The film was one of the four of David Rawnsley's films that used his "independent frame" technique, a form of back projection. Jennifer Peters is a normal girl except for one unfortunate trait. All the women in her family stop any mechanical contrivance; as the film progresses, Jennifer stops her boyfriend's automobile a train she travels in without being aware of what she does. Tension mounts when a girlfriend takes ill and Jennifer takes her job. Sally Ann Howes as Jennifer Peters Gordon Jackson as Jock Meville Basil Radford as The Mechanical Type Naunton Wayne as The Mechanical Type James Robertson Justice as Arthur Sonia Holm as Angela Carew Nigel Buchanan as Rory Fairfax Joyce Barbour as Aunt Mab Campbell Cotts as John Fairfax Cyril Chamberlain as Johnnie Julia Lang as Carole Saunders Percy Walsh as Editor, Evening Comet Oliver Burt as Editor, Morning Sun Kenneth More as Police Sgt.'Bonzo' Humphrey Lestocq as Radio Commentator Michael Goodliffe as McPherson TV Guide called it "A British comedy with a premise that promises but never delivers".
Stop Press Girl on IMDb
Ernest Saves Christmas
Ernest Saves Christmas is a 1988 American Christmas comedy film directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney; this is the first film to feature Gailard Sartain's character, Chuck along with Bill Byrge as his brother, Bobby. They made their first appearance in the television series Hey Vern, It's Ernest!, in production at the same time as this film. Ernest Saves Christmas is the third film to feature Varney's character Ernest P. Worrell, chronicles Ernest's attempt to help find a replacement for an aging Santa Claus. A man claiming to be Santa Claus arrives in Orlando, where Ernest P. Worrell is working as a taxicab driver, he picks up Santa, who tells Ernest that he is on his way to inform a local celebrity named Joe Carruthers that he has been chosen to be the new Santa Claus. Joe hosts a local children's program with emphasis on manners and integrity. While they are driving, a runaway teenage girl who says she is named Harmony Starr joins Ernest and Santa in the taxicab; when they get to their destination, Santa possesses no legal currency, so in his giving Christmas spirit, Ernest lets him ride for free.
The decision gets Ernest fired from his job. Ernest discovers that Santa left his magic sack in the taxicab, Ernest begins a quest to find the old man and return it to him. At the Orlando Children's Museum, Santa tries talking to Joe, but is rudely interrupted and rebuffed by Joe's agent Marty Brock. Santa begins to worry when he discovers his sack is missing, becomes more discouraged because of his increasing forgetfulness, a result of being 151 years old. Santa tries to explain his predicament. Ernest poses as an employee of the governor with Harmony as the governor's niece, the two help Santa escape from jail by convincing the police chief that Santa must be taken to an insane asylum. Santa explains to Ernest and Harmony that he was handed down the job of Santa Claus in 1889 and has enjoyed it since, but the magic grows weaker over time; the only way to restore its full strength is to pass it on to someone else, why he must find Joe and make him the new Santa Claus by 7 pm. Ernest disguises himself as a snake rancher.
Marty presses Joe to quit his children's job and instead land a part in a horror film titled Christmas Slay, about an alien which terrorizes children on Christmas Eve, a concept that offends Santa so he punches the director. Santa tracks down Joe at his home, he explains about passing the position of Santa Claus over to him because otherwise the magic will die. Santa explains that from Orlando, Joe must leave to deliver the presents by 7 pm. Joe declines, but is overcome by conscience when the film director wants him to use foul language, which he refuses to say in front of the children on the set. Ernest and Harmony discover the magic power of Santa's sack, Pamela starts to abuse it, she steals the sack, attempts to run away again. However, on Christmas Eve, her conscience prevails, she rushes back to find Ernest and Santa and return the sack. Ernest meets Santa's elves at the airport and they retrieve the reindeer and sleigh from the holding dock; because they are short on time, Ernest decides to fly the sleigh to the children's museum, much to the helpers' objection.
Having trouble controlling it at first, the reindeer and the sleigh fly all over the sky. At a meeting, Joe sees the reindeer and sleigh flying and it convinces him that everything Santa told him is real. Joe leaves to find Santa. Joe tells Santa that he wants the job. Pleased, Santa transforms Joe into the new Santa Claus; the new Santa uses his new magic to make it snow in Orlando. Ernest and the helpers arrive at the museum at 6:58. Pamela has decided to come home; the new Santa decides to have Pamela be his special helper and take her to her home, allows Ernest to be the sleigh driver for the night. The old Santa resumes his former identity, Seth Applegate, spends Christmas Eve with an elderly museum employee named Mary Morrissey; the new Santa takes off at 7 pm to deliver the gifts. Jim Varney as Ernest P. Worrell Douglas Seale as Santa Claus Oliver Clark as Joe Carruthers, the new Santa Claus Noelle Parker as Pamela Trenton, a.k.a. Harmony Starr Gailard Sartain as Chuck Bill Byrge as Bobby Billie Bird as Mary Morrissey Key Howard as Immigration Agent Jack Swanson as Businessman Buddy Douglas as Pyramus the Elf Patty Maloney as Thisbe the Elf Barry Brazell as Cab Passenger George Kaplan as Mr. Dillis Robert Lesser as Marty Brock Zachary Bowden as Boy in the Train Station This was the first major feature production filmed entirely in Orlando, Florida, at the then-unfinished Disney-MGM Studios.
Exterior scenes set at the house of Ernest's friend Vern were filmed at a house located on Residential Street at the park, and, part of the Studio Backlot Tour until it was demolished in 2002. The remainder of the scenes were filmed in various locations in the greater Orlando area, including Orlando International Airport, Epcot Center Drive, Lake Eola, Church Street Station and Orange Avenue in Downtown Orlando, a toll booth on the Bee Line Expressway, the original Orlando Science Center, now the John and Rita Lowndes Shakespeare Center, the Orlando AMTRAK station. Scenes that take place at the movie studio and its hallways were shot at the faciliti
The United States of America known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U. S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D. C. and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico; the State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean; the U. S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The diverse geography and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.
Paleo-Indians migrated from Siberia to the North American mainland at least 12,000 years ago. European colonization began in the 16th century; the United States emerged from the thirteen British colonies established along the East Coast. Numerous disputes between Great Britain and the colonies following the French and Indian War led to the American Revolution, which began in 1775, the subsequent Declaration of Independence in 1776; the war ended in 1783 with the United States becoming the first country to gain independence from a European power. The current constitution was adopted in 1788, with the first ten amendments, collectively named the Bill of Rights, being ratified in 1791 to guarantee many fundamental civil liberties; the United States embarked on a vigorous expansion across North America throughout the 19th century, acquiring new territories, displacing Native American tribes, admitting new states until it spanned the continent by 1848. During the second half of the 19th century, the Civil War led to the abolition of slavery.
By the end of the century, the United States had extended into the Pacific Ocean, its economy, driven in large part by the Industrial Revolution, began to soar. The Spanish–American War and World War I confirmed the country's status as a global military power; the United States emerged from World War II as a global superpower, the first country to develop nuclear weapons, the only country to use them in warfare, a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council. Sweeping civil rights legislation, notably the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and the Fair Housing Act of 1968, outlawed discrimination based on race or color. During the Cold War, the United States and the Soviet Union competed in the Space Race, culminating with the 1969 U. S. Moon landing; the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 left the United States as the world's sole superpower. The United States is the world's oldest surviving federation, it is a representative democracy.
The United States is a founding member of the United Nations, World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Organization of American States, other international organizations. The United States is a developed country, with the world's largest economy by nominal GDP and second-largest economy by PPP, accounting for a quarter of global GDP; the U. S. economy is post-industrial, characterized by the dominance of services and knowledge-based activities, although the manufacturing sector remains the second-largest in the world. The United States is the world's largest importer and the second largest exporter of goods, by value. Although its population is only 4.3% of the world total, the U. S. holds 31% of the total wealth in the world, the largest share of global wealth concentrated in a single country. Despite wide income and wealth disparities, the United States continues to rank high in measures of socioeconomic performance, including average wage, human development, per capita GDP, worker productivity.
The United States is the foremost military power in the world, making up a third of global military spending, is a leading political and scientific force internationally. In 1507, the German cartographer Martin Waldseemüller produced a world map on which he named the lands of the Western Hemisphere America in honor of the Italian explorer and cartographer Amerigo Vespucci; the first documentary evidence of the phrase "United States of America" is from a letter dated January 2, 1776, written by Stephen Moylan, Esq. to George Washington's aide-de-camp and Muster-Master General of the Continental Army, Lt. Col. Joseph Reed. Moylan expressed his wish to go "with full and ample powers from the United States of America to Spain" to seek assistance in the revolutionary war effort; the first known publication of the phrase "United States of America" was in an anonymous essay in The Virginia Gazette newspaper in Williamsburg, Virginia, on April 6, 1776. The second draft of the Articles of Confederation, prepared by John Dickinson and completed by June 17, 1776, at the latest, declared "The name of this Confederation shall be the'United States of America'".
The final version of the Articles sent to the states for ratification in late 1777 contains the sentence "The Stile of this Confederacy shall be'The United States of America'". In June 1776, Thomas Jefferson wrote the phrase "UNITED STATES OF AMERICA" in all capitalized letters in the headline of his "original Rough draught" of the Declaration of Independence; this draft of the document did not surface unti