Healdsburg is a city located in Sonoma County, in California's Wine Country. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city had a population of 11,254. Healdsburg is a small tourist-oriented town in northern Sonoma County. Due to its three most important wine-producing regions, Healdsburg has been continuously awarded one of the top 10 small towns in America and is home to three of the top wineries in the United States. Healdsburg is centered on a 19th-century plaza that provides an important focal point for tourists and locals. Early inhabitants of the local area included the Pomo people, who constructed villages in open areas along the Russian River. Anglo-American settlement may have commenced in the mid-19th century, with a settlement nearby, established downstream along the Russian River near Graton, in 1836, the Rancho Sotoyome land grant, in 1844. In 1857, Harmon Heald, an Ohio businessman, squatting on Rancho Sotoyome since 1850, purchased part of the rancho—giving the city its official founding date.
In 1867, Heald’s eponymous small town was incorporated. Healdsburg is located within the former township of Mendocino; the San Francisco and North Pacific Railroad reached Healdsburg in 1872. Farming orchards and truck farms, was common within the present city limits from at least the 1890s to 1940s; the city has a total area of 4.464 sq mi. 4.457 sq mi of it is land and 0.007 sq mi is water. The total area is 0.15% water. It lies on the Russian River, near a point used as a crossing of the river since the 1850s, now the site of the Healdsburg Memorial Bridge. Foss Creek traverses the city from north to south, flowing into Dry Creek near the U. S. 101 Central Healdsburg interchange. Healdsburg warm to hot, dry summers. In January, the average high temperature is 57.6 °F and the average low is 38 °F. In July, the average high temperature is 88.8 °F and the average low is 52.7 °F. There are an average of 54.6 days with highs of 90 °F or higher and an average of 20.1 days with lows of 32 °F or lower.
The record high temperature was 116 °F on July 13, 1972, the record low temperature was 14 °F on December 22, 1990. Annual precipitation averages 42.2 in. There are an average of 73 days annually with measurable precipitation; the wettest year was 1983 with 96.25 in and the driest year was 1976 with 13.67 in. The most precipitation in one month was 29.9 in in January 1995. The most precipitation in 24 hours was 8.18 in on December 3, 1980. Snow is rare, with none in most years; the highest yearly snowfall totaled 0.8 in in 1976. An intrinsic element of the city's natural environment is the riparian zone associated with the Russian River that flows through Healdsburg. City residents support recycling by use of the Healdsburg Transfer Station; the city has shown an interest in creating a quiet environment by creating a Noise Element of the General Plan, which defines baseline sound level contours and sets forth standards of quiet for each land use category. The 2010 United States Census reported that Healdsburg had a population of 11,254.
The population density was 2,521.3 people per square mile. The racial makeup of Healdsburg was 8,334 White, 56 African American, 205 Native American, 125 Asian, 18 Pacific Islander, 2,133 from other races, 383 from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3,820 persons; the Census reported that 99.5% of the population lived in households and 0.5% were institutionalized. There were 4,378 households, out of which 1,335 had children under the age of 18 living in them, 2,140 were opposite-sex married couples living together, 465 had a female householder with no husband present, 222 had a male householder with no wife present. There were 259 unmarried opposite-sex partnerships, 54 same-sex married couples or partnerships. Of the households, 1,205 were made up of individuals and 542 had someone living alone, 65 years of age or older; the average household size was 2.56. There were 2,827 families; the population was spread out with 2,546 people under the age of 18, 925 people aged 18 to 24, 2,750 people aged 25 to 44, 3,349 people aged 45 to 64, 1,684 people who were 65 years of age or older.
The median age was 40.8 years. For every 100 females, there were 96.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.0 males. There were 4,794 housing units at an average density of 1,074.0 per square mile, of which 57.6% were owner-occupied and 42.4% were occupied by renters. The homeowner vacancy rate was 2.7%. Of the population, 53.2% lived in owner-occupied housing units and 46.3% lived in rental housing units. As of the 2000 census, there were 10,722 people, 3,968 households, 2,702 families residing in the city; the population density is 2,848/sq mi. There are 4,138 housing units at an average density of 1,099/sq mi; the racial makeup of the city is 79.89% White, 0.50% African American, 1.80% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 13.44% from other races, 3.56% from two or more races. Of the population, 28.82 % are Latino of any race. There are 3,968 households out of which 33.0% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.2% are married couples living together, 11.4% have a female householder with no husband present, 31.9% are non-families.
25.9% of all households are m
London is the capital and largest city of both England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans; the City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of the London Assembly. London is considered to be one of the world's most important global cities and has been termed the world's most powerful, most desirable, most influential, most visited, most expensive, sustainable, most investment friendly, most popular for work, the most vegetarian friendly city in the world. London exerts a considerable impact upon the arts, education, fashion, healthcare, professional services and development, tourism and transportation.
London ranks 26 out of 300 major cities for economic performance. It is one of the largest financial centres and has either the fifth or sixth largest metropolitan area GDP, it is the most-visited city as measured by international arrivals and has the busiest city airport system as measured by passenger traffic. It is the leading investment destination, hosting more international retailers and ultra high-net-worth individuals than any other city. London's universities form the largest concentration of higher education institutes in Europe. In 2012, London became the first city to have hosted three modern Summer Olympic Games. London has a diverse range of people and cultures, more than 300 languages are spoken in the region, its estimated mid-2016 municipal population was 8,787,892, the most populous of any city in the European Union and accounting for 13.4% of the UK population. London's urban area is the second most populous in the EU, after Paris, with 9,787,426 inhabitants at the 2011 census.
The population within the London commuter belt is the most populous in the EU with 14,040,163 inhabitants in 2016. London was the world's most populous city from c. 1831 to 1925. London contains four World Heritage Sites: the Tower of London. Other landmarks include Buckingham Palace, the London Eye, Piccadilly Circus, St Paul's Cathedral, Tower Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard. London has numerous museums, galleries and sporting events; these include the British Museum, National Gallery, Natural History Museum, Tate Modern, British Library and West End theatres. The London Underground is the oldest underground railway network in the world. "London" is an ancient name, attested in the first century AD in the Latinised form Londinium. Over the years, the name has attracted many mythicising explanations; the earliest attested appears in Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia Regum Britanniae, written around 1136. This had it that the name originated from a supposed King Lud, who had taken over the city and named it Kaerlud.
Modern scientific analyses of the name must account for the origins of the different forms found in early sources Latin, Old English, Welsh, with reference to the known developments over time of sounds in those different languages. It is agreed; this was adapted into Latin as Londinium and borrowed into Old English, the ancestor-language of English. The toponymy of the Common Brythonic form is much debated. A prominent explanation was Richard Coates's 1998 argument that the name derived from pre-Celtic Old European *lowonida, meaning "river too wide to ford". Coates suggested that this was a name given to the part of the River Thames which flows through London. However, most work has accepted a Celtic origin for the name, recent studies have favoured an explanation along the lines of a Celtic derivative of a proto-Indo-European root *lendh-, combined with the Celtic suffix *-injo- or *-onjo-. Peter Schrijver has suggested, on these grounds, that the name meant'place that floods'; until 1889, the name "London" applied to the City of London, but since it has referred to the County of London and Greater London.
"London" is sometimes written informally as "LDN". In 1993, the remains of a Bronze Age bridge were found on the south foreshore, upstream of Vauxhall Bridge; this bridge either reached a now lost island in it. Two of those timbers were radiocarbon dated to between 1750 BC and 1285 BC. In 2010 the foundations of a large timber structure, dated to between 4800 BC and 4500 BC, were found on the Thames's south foreshore, downstream of Vauxhall Bridge; the function of the mesolithic structure is not known. Both structures are on the south bank. Although there is evidence of scattered Brythonic settlements in the area, the first major settlement was founded by the Romans about four years after the invasion
Pennsylvania the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is a state located in the northeastern and Mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. The Appalachian Mountains run through its middle; the Commonwealth is bordered by Delaware to the southeast, Maryland to the south, West Virginia to the southwest, Ohio to the west, Lake Erie and the Canadian province of Ontario to the northwest, New York to the north, New Jersey to the east. Pennsylvania is the 33rd-largest state by area, the 6th-most populous state according to the most recent official U. S. Census count in 2010, it is the 9th-most densely populated of the 50 states. Pennsylvania's two most populous cities are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh; the state capital and its 10th largest city is Harrisburg. Pennsylvania has 140 miles of waterfront along the Delaware Estuary; the state is one of the 13 original founding states of the United States. Part of Pennsylvania, together with the present State of Delaware, had earlier been organized as the Colony of New Sweden.
It was the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, on December 12, 1787. Independence Hall, where the United States Declaration of Independence and United States Constitution were drafted, is located in the state's largest city of Philadelphia. During the American Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg was fought in the south central region of the state. Valley Forge near Philadelphia was General Washington's headquarters during the bitter winter of 1777–78. Pennsylvania is 170 miles north to south and 283 miles east to west. Of a total 46,055 square miles, 44,817 square miles are land, 490 square miles are inland waters, 749 square miles are waters in Lake Erie, it is the 33rd-largest state in the United States. Pennsylvania has 51 miles of coastline along Lake Erie and 57 miles of shoreline along the Delaware Estuary. Of the original Thirteen Colonies, Pennsylvania is the only state that does not border the Atlantic Ocean; the boundaries of the state are the Mason–Dixon line to the south, the Twelve-Mile Circle on the Pennsylvania-Delaware border, the Delaware River to the east, 80° 31' W to the west and the 42° N to the north, with the exception of a short segment on the western end, where a triangle extends north to Lake Erie.
Cities include Philadelphia, Reading and Lancaster in the southeast, Pittsburgh in the southwest, the tri-cities of Allentown and Easton in the central east. The northeast includes the former anthracite coal mining cities of Scranton, Wilkes-Barre and Hazleton. Erie is located in the northwest. State College serves the central region while Williamsport serves the commonwealth's north-central region as does Chambersburg the south-central region, with York and the state capital Harrisburg on the Susquehanna River in the east-central region of the Commonwealth and Altoona and Johnstown in the west-central region; the state has five geographical regions, namely the Allegheny Plateau and Valley, Atlantic Coastal Plain and the Erie Plain. New York Ontario Maryland Delaware West Virginia New Jersey Ohio Pennsylvania's diverse topography produces a variety of climates, though the entire state experiences cold winters and humid summers. Straddling two major zones, the majority of the state, with the exception of the southeastern corner, has a humid continental climate.
The southern portion of the state has a humid subtropical climate. The largest city, has some characteristics of the humid subtropical climate that covers much of Delaware and Maryland to the south. Summers are hot and humid. Moving toward the mountainous interior of the state, the winter climate becomes colder, the number of cloudy days increases, snowfall amounts are greater. Western areas of the state locations near Lake Erie, can receive over 100 inches of snowfall annually, the entire state receives plentiful precipitation throughout the year; the state may be subject to severe weather from spring through summer into fall. Tornadoes occur annually in the state, sometimes in large numbers, such as 30 recorded tornadoes in 2011; as of 1600, the tribes living in Pennsylvania were the Algonquian Lenape, the Iroquoian Susquehannock & Petun and the Siouan Monongahela Culture, who may have been the same as a little known tribe called the Calicua, or Cali. Other tribes who entered the region during the colonial era were the Trockwae, Saponi, Nanticoke, Conoy Piscataway, Iroquois Confederacy—possibly among others.
Other tribes, like the Erie, may have once held some land in Pennsylvania, but no longer did so by the year 1600. Both the Dutch and the English claimed both sides of the Delaware River as part of their colonial lands in America; the Dutch were the first to take possession. By June 3, 1631, the Dutch had begun settling the Delmarva Peninsula by establishing the Zwaanendael Colony on the site of present-day Lewes, Delaware. In 1638, Sweden established the New Sweden Colony, in the region of Fort Christina, on the site of present-day Wilmington, Delaware. New Sweden claimed and, for the most part, controlled the lower Delaware River region (parts of present-day Delaware, New Jersey, Pe
A handheld fan may be any broad, flat surface, waved back-and-forth to create an airflow. Purpose-made handheld fans are shaped like a sector of a circle and made of a thin material mounted on slats which revolve around a pivot so that it can be closed when not in use. On human skin, the airflow from handfans increases evaporation which has a cooling effect due to the latent heat of evaporation of water, it increases heat convection by displacing the warmer air produced by body heat that surrounds the skin. Fans are convenient to carry around folding fans. Next to the folding fans, the rigid hand screen fan, was a decorative and desired object among the higher classes, its purpose is different. They were used to shield the lady's face against the glare of the sun or the fire. Archaeological ruins and ancient texts show that the hand fan was used in ancient Greece at least since the 4th century BC and was known under the name rhipis. Christian Europe's earliest fan was the flabellum; this was used during services to drive insects away from wine.
Its use continues in the Eastern Orthodox and Ethiopian Churches. Hand fans were absent in Europe during the High Middle Ages until they were reintroduced in the 13th and 14th centuries Fans from the Middle East were brought back by Crusaders. Portuguese traders brought them back from China and Japan in the 16th century, fans became popular; the fan is popular in Spain, where flamenco dancers used the fan and extended its use to the nobility. European brands have introduced more modern designs and have enabled the hand fan to work with modern-day fashion. In the 17th century the folding fan, its attendant semiotic culture, were introduced from Japan. Simpler fans were developed in China and Egypt. Japanese fans became popular in Europe; these fans are well displayed in the portraits of the high-born women of the era. Queen Elizabeth I of England can be seen to carry both folding fans decorated with pom poms on their guardsticks as well as the older style rigid fan decorated with feathers and jewels.
These rigid style fans hung from the skirts of ladies, but of the fans of this era it is only the more exotic folding ones which have survived. Those folding fans of the 15th century found in museums today have either leather leaves with cut out designs forming a lace-like design or a more rigid leaf with inlays of more exotic materials like mica. One of the characteristics of these fans is the rather crude bone or ivory sticks and the way the leather leaves are slotted onto the sticks rather than glued as with folding fans. Fans made of decorated sticks without a fan'leaf' were known as brisé fans. However, despite the relative crude methods of construction folding fans were at this era high status, exotic items on par with elaborate gloves as gifts to royalty. In the 17th century the rigid fan, seen in portraits of the previous century had fallen out of favour as folding fans gained dominance in Europe. Fans started to display well painted leaves with a religious or classical subject; the reverse side of these early fans started to display elaborate flower designs.
The sticks are plain ivory or tortoiseshell, sometimes inlaid with gold or silver pique work. The way the sticks sit close to each other with little or no space between them is one of the distinguishing characteristics of fans of this era. In 1685 the Edict of Nantes was revoked in France; this caused large scale immigration from France to the surrounding Protestant countries of many fan craftsman. This dispersion in skill is reflected in the growing quality of many fans from these non-French countries after this date. In the 18th century, fans reached a high degree of artistry and were being made throughout Europe by specialized craftsmen, either in leaves or sticks. Folded fans of silk, or parchment were painted by artists. Fans were imported from China by the East India Companies at this time. Around the middle 18th century, inventors started designing mechanical fans. Wind-up fans were popular in the 18th century. In the 19th century in the West, European fashion caused fan size to vary, it has been said that in the courts of England and elsewhere fans were used in a more or less secret, unspoken code of messages These fan languages were a way to cope with the restricting social etiquette.
However, modern research has proved that this was a marketing ploy developed in the 18th century - one that has kept its appeal remarkably over the succeeding centuries. This is now used for marketing by fan makers like Co.. Ltd who produced a series of advertisements in 1954 showing "the language of the fan" with fans supplied by the well known French fan maker Duvelleroy; the rigid or screen fan became fashionable during the 18th and 19th century. They never reached the same level of popularity as the easy to carry around, folding fans which became an integrated part of women's dress; the screen fan was used inside the interior of the house. In 18th and 19th century paintings of interiors one sometimes sees one laying on a chimney mantle, they were used to protect a woman's face against the glare and heat of the fire, to avoid getting'coup rose' or ruddy cheeks from the heat. But not in the least it served to keep the heat from spoiling the applied
An art museum or art gallery is a building or space for the display of art from the museum's own collection. It might be in public or private ownership and may be accessible to all or have restrictions in place. Although concerned with visual art, art galleries are used as a venue for other cultural exchanges and artistic activities, such as performance arts, music concerts, or poetry readings. Art museums frequently host themed temporary exhibitions which include items on loan from other collections. In distinction to a commercial art gallery, run by an art dealer, the primary purpose of an art museum is not the sale of the items on show. Throughout history and expensive works of art have been commissioned by religious institutions and monarchs and been displayed in temples and palaces. Although these collections of art were private, they were made available for viewing for a portion of the public. In classical times, religious institutions began to function as an early form of art gallery. Wealthy Roman collectors of engraved gems and other precious objects donated their collections to temples.
It is unclear. In Europe, from the Late Medieval period onwards, areas in royal palaces and large country houses of the social elite were made accessible to sections of the public, where art collections could be viewed. At the Palace of Versailles, entrance was restricted to people wearing the proper apparel – the appropriate accessories could be hired from shops outside; the treasuries of cathedrals and large churches, or parts of them, were set out for public display. Many of the grander English country houses could be toured by the respectable for a tip to the housekeeper, during the long periods when the family were not in residence. Special arrangements were made to allow the public to see many royal or private collections placed in galleries, as with most of the paintings of the Orleans Collection, which were housed in a wing of the Palais-Royal in Paris and could be visited for most of the 18th century. In Italy, the art tourism of the Grand Tour became a major industry from the 18th century onwards, cities made efforts to make their key works accessible.
The Capitoline Museums began in 1471 with a donation of classical sculpture to the city of Rome by the Papacy, while the Vatican Museums, whose collections are still owned by the Pope, trace their foundation to 1506, when the discovered Laocoön and His Sons was put on public display. A series of museums on different subjects were opened over subsequent centuries, many of the buildings of the Vatican were purpose-built as galleries. An early royal treasury opened to the public was the Grünes Gewölbe of the Kingdom of Saxony in the 1720s. Established museums open to the public began to be established from the 17th century onwards based around a collection of the cabinet of curiosities type; the first such museum was the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, opened in 1683 to house and display the artefacts of Elias Ashmole that were given to Oxford University in a bequest. In the second half of the eighteenth century, many private collections of art were opened to the public, during and after the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars many royal collections were nationalized where the monarchy remained in place, as in Spain and Bavaria.
In 1753, the British Museum was established and the Old Royal Library collection of manuscripts was donated to it for public viewing. In 1777, a proposal to the British government was put forward by MP John Wilkes to buy the art collection of the late Sir Robert Walpole who had amassed one of the greatest such collections in Europe, house it in a specially built wing of the British Museum for public viewing. After much debate, the idea was abandoned due to the great expense, twenty years the collection was bought by Tsaritsa Catherine the Great of Russia and housed in the State Hermitage Museum in Saint Petersburg; the Bavarian royal collection was opened to the public in 1779 and the Medici collection in Florence around 1789. The opening of the Musée du Louvre during the French Revolution in 1793 as a public museum for much of the former French royal collection marked an important stage in the development of public access to art by transferring the ownership to a republican state; the building now occupied by the Prado in Madrid was built before the French Revolution for the public display of parts of the royal art collection, similar royal galleries were opened to the public in Vienna and other capitals.
In Great Britain, the corresponding Royal Collection remained in the private hands of the monarch and the first purpose-built national art galleries were the Dulwich Picture Gallery, founded in 1814 and the National Gallery opened to the public a decade in 1824. University art museums and galleries constitute collections of art developed and maintained by all kinds of schools, community colleges and universities; this phenomenon exists in the East, making it a global practice. Although overlooked, there are over 700 university art museums in the US alone; this number, compared to other kinds of art museums, makes university art museums the largest category of art museums in the country. While the first of these collections can be traced to learning collections developed in art academies in Western Europe, they are now associated with and housed in centers of higher education of all types; the word gallery being an archite
Wine Country (California)
Wine Country is the region of California, in the northern Bay Area, known worldwide as a premium wine-growing region. The region is famed for its wineries, its cuisine, Michelin star restaurants, boutique hotels, luxury resorts, historic architecture, culture. Viticulture and wine-making have been practiced in the region since the Spanish missionaries from Mission San Francisco Solano established the first vineyards in 1812. There are over 400 wineries in the North San Francisco Bay Area located in the area's valleys, including Napa Valley in Napa County, the Sonoma Valley, Alexander Valley, Dry Creek Valley, Bennett Valley, Russian River Valley in Sonoma County. Wine grapes are grown at higher elevations, such as Atlas Peak and Mount Veeder AVAs. Cities and towns associated with the Wine Country include Santa Rosa, Sonoma, Petaluma, Guerneville, Windsor and Cloverdale in Sonoma County. Lake County is an important part of the area, surpassing Mendocino County in 2014 in price paid per ton of grapes in the North Coast premium market.
Wine Country is regarded as the combined counties of Napa, Sonoma and Lake. These counties contain the following American Viticultural Areas: in Sonoma County: Alexander Valley, Bennett Valley, Chalk Hill, Dry Creek Valley, Green Valley of Russian River Valley, Knight's Valley, Los Carneros, Northern Sonoma, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Sonoma Mountain, Sonoma Valley. In Napa County: Atlas Peak, Los Carneros, Mount Veeder, Napa Valley, Rutherford, Saint Helena, Stags Leap District, Yountville. in Mendocino County: Anderson Valley, Covelo and Potter Valley. In Lake County: Clear Lake, Guenoc Valley, High Valley, Red Hills Lake County; the six-county North Coast AVA overlaps with the Wine Country. In addition, the names of the counties themselves are legal for use as appellation names; the earliest prehistory of the Wine Country involves habitation by several Native American tribes from 8000 BC. The principal tribes living in this region included the Pomo, Coast Miwok and Patwin, whose early peoples practiced certain forms of agriculture, but not involving the cultivation of grapes.
During the Mexican Colonial period and after, European settlers brought in more intensive agriculture to the Wine Country, including growing grapes and wine production. Some of the historical events that led to the establishment of California as a state transpired in the Wine Country. In particular, the town of Sonoma, is known as the birthplace of American California. Agoston Haraszthy is credited with being one of the forefathers of the California wine industry in Sonoma by his planting of grapes in the lower Arroyo Seco Creek watershed of Sonoma County. In 2017, many portions of California's Wine Country were devastated by wildfires, including the October 2017 Northern California wildfires. A diversity of aquatic and terrestrial organisms populate its riparian zones. Winter-run Chinook salmon, Delta smelt and steelhead are the most prominent fishes. Researchers have studied anadromous fish-movements extensively in Sonoma Creek and in the Napa River as well as in the Laguna de Santa Rosa - not only in the mainstems, but in many of the tributaries.
These investigations have demonstrated a historical decline in spawning and habitat value for these species due to sedimentation and secondarily to removal of riparian vegetation since the 19th century. A variety of salamanders and frogs are present in the Wine Country; the federally listed as threatened California red-legged frog is present in the northern reach draining the south slopes of Annadel State Park. Several endangered species present include Ridgway's rail, California black rail, California brown pelican, California freshwater shrimp, salt marsh harvest mouse, Suisun shrew, Sacramento splittail; the above are endangered species with the exception of the splittail and black rail, which are federally designated as threatened. Upland ecosystems drained include mixed California oak woodland and savannah woodland. In these upland reaches one finds plentiful black-tailed deer, skunk, opossum, wild turkey, turkey vulture, red-tailed hawk and bobcat and mountain lion. Prominent higher elevation trees include: Coast live oak, Garry oak, Pacific madrone, California buckeye, Douglas fir, whereas valley oak is prevalent on the Wine Country valley floors.
The Wine Country has undergone a boom in tourism. In 1975 there were only 25 Napa Valley wineries. Tourists come to the region not only for wine tasting, but for hiking, hot air ballooning, historic sites, as well as the extensive culinary choices. Numerous notable chefs and restaurateurs are present in the Wine Country, including Thomas Keller, John Ash, Sondra Bernstein. Besides the obvious winery attractions, the Wine Country is known for the Sonoma County coastline along the Pacific Ocean, the Russian River valley, hot spring baths, petrified forests and other natural areas; the Wine Country tourism boom has its downside, exemplified by traffic congestion on State Route 29 on summer weekends, when the number of tourists exceeds t
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