Henry Rowe Schoolcraft was an American geographer and ethnologist, noted for his early studies of Native American cultures, as well as for his 1832 expedition to the source of the Mississippi River. He is noted for his major six-volume study of Native Americans published in the 1850s, he served as United States Indian agent in Michigan for a period beginning in 1822. There he married Jane Johnston, mixed-race daughter of a prominent Scotch-Irish fur trader and Ojibwa mother, herself a daughter of Ojibwa war chief Waubojeeg. Jane taught Schoolcraft the Ojibwe language and much about her maternal culture, they had several children. She is now recognized as the first Native American literary writer in the United States. In 1846 the widower Schoolcraft was commissioned by Congress for a major study, known as Indian Tribes of the United States, published in six volumes from 1851 to 1857, he married again to Mary Howard, from a slaveholding family in South Carolina. In 1860 she published the bestselling an anti-Uncle Tom's Cabin novel.
Schoolcraft was born in 1793 in Guilderland, Albany County, New York, the son of Lawrence Schoolcraft and Margaret-Anne Barbara Schoolcraft. He entered Union College at age 15 and attended Middlebury College, he was interested in geology and mineralogy. His father was a glassmaker, Schoolcraft studied and worked in the same industry, he wrote his first paper on Vitreology. After working in several glass works in New York and New Hampshire, the young Schoolcraft left the family business at age 25 to explore the western frontier. From November 18 to February 1819, Schoolcraft and his companion Levi Pettibone made an expedition from Potosi, Missouri, to what is now Springfield, they traveled further down the White River into Arkansas, making a survey of the geography and mineralogy of the area. Schoolcraft published this study in A View of the Lead Mines of Missouri. In this book he identified the potential for lead deposits in the region, he published Journal of a Tour into the Interior of Missouri and Arkansaw, the first written account of a European-American exploration of the Ozarks.
This expedition and his resulting publications brought Schoolcraft to the attention of the Secretary of War, John C. Calhoun, who considered him "a man of industry and insatiable curiosity." Calhoun recommended him to the Michigan Territorial Governor, Lewis Cass, for a position on an expedition led by Cass to explore the wilderness region of Lake Superior and the lands west to the Mississippi River. Beginning in the spring of 1820, Schoolcraft served as a geologist on the Lewis Cass expedition. Beginning in Detroit, they traveled nearly 2,000 miles along Lake Huron and Lake Superior, west to the Mississippi River, down the river to present-day Iowa, returning to Detroit after tracing the shores of Lake Michigan; the expedition was intended to establish the source of the Mississippi River, in part to settle the question of an undetermined boundary between the United States and British Canada. The expedition traveled as far upstream as Upper Red Cedar Lake in present-day Minnesota. Since low water precluded navigating farther upstream, the lake was designated the river's headwaters, renamed in honor of Cass.
Schoolcraft's account of the expedition was published as A Narrative Journal of Travels Through the Northwestern Regions...to the Sources of the Mississippi River. In 1821 he was a member of another government expedition that traveled through Illinois and Ohio. In 1832, he led a second expedition to the headwaters of the Mississippi River. Arriving a month earlier than had the 1820 expedition, he was able to take advantage of higher water to navigate to Lake Itasca. Schoolcraft met his first wife Jane Johnston soon after being assigned in 1822 to Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, as the first US Indian agent in the region. Two years before, the government had built Fort Brady and wanted to establish an official presence to forestall any renewed British threat following the War of 1812; the government tried to ensure against British agitation of the Ojibwa. Jane Johnston was the eldest daughter of John Johnston, a prominent Scots-Irish fur trader, his wife Ozhaguscodaywayquay, daughter of a leading Ojibwe chief and his wife.
Both of the Johnstons were of high status. Jane was known as Bamewawagezhikaquay, her knowledge of the Ojibwe language and culture, which she shared with Schoolcraft, formed in part the source material for Longfellow's epic poem The Song of Hiawatha. Jane and Henry had four children together: William Henry died of croup at nearly three. Jane Schoolcraft wrote poems expressing her grief about his loss. Stillborn daughter. Jane Susan Ann, called Janee. John Johnston, was wounded at the Battle of Gettysburg and disabled, he died at the age of 34 in New York. The Schoolcrafts sent John to a boarding school in Detroit for part of their education. Janee at 11 could handle the transition
Minnesota is a state in the Upper Midwest and northern regions of the United States. Minnesota was admitted as the 32nd U. S. state on May 11, 1858, created from the eastern half of the Minnesota Territory. The state has a large number of lakes, is known by the slogan the "Land of 10,000 Lakes", its official motto is L'Étoile du Nord. Minnesota is the 12th largest in area and the 22nd most populous of the U. S. states. This area is the center of transportation, industry and government, while being home to an internationally known arts community; the remainder of the state consists of western prairies now given over to intensive agriculture. Minnesota was inhabited by various indigenous peoples for thousands of years prior to the arrival of Europeans. French explorers and fur traders began exploring the region in the 17th century, encountering the Dakota and Ojibwe/Anishinaabe tribes. Much of what is today Minnesota was part of the vast French holding of Louisiana, purchased by the United States in 1803.
Following several territorial reorganizations, Minnesota in its current form was admitted as the country's 32nd state on May 11, 1858. Like many Midwestern states, it remained centered on lumber and agriculture. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, a large number of European immigrants from Scandinavia and Germany, began to settle the state, which remains a center of Scandinavian American and German American culture. In recent decades, immigration from Asia, the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Latin America has broadened its demographic and cultural composition; the state's economy has diversified, shifting from traditional activities such as agriculture and resource extraction to services and finance. Minnesota's standard of living index is among the highest in the United States, the state is among the best-educated and wealthiest in the nation; the word Minnesota comes from the Dakota name for the Minnesota River: The river got its name from one of two words in the Dakota language,'Mní sóta' which means "clear blue water", or'Mnißota', which means cloudy water.
Native Americans demonstrated the name to early settlers by dropping milk into water and calling it mnisota. Many places in the state have similar names, such as Minnehaha Falls, Minneota, Minnetonka and Minneapolis, a combination of mni and polis, the Greek word for "city". Minnesota is the second northernmost U. S. state and northernmost contiguous state. Its isolated Northwest Angle in Lake of the Woods county is the only part of the 48 contiguous states lying north of the 49th parallel; the state is part of the U. S. region known as part of North America's Great Lakes Region. It shares a Lake Superior water border with Michigan and a land and water border with Wisconsin to the east. Iowa is to the south, North Dakota and South Dakota are to the west, the Canadian provinces of Ontario and Manitoba are to the north. With 86,943 square miles, or 2.25% of the United States, Minnesota is the 12th-largest state. Minnesota has gneisses that are about 3.6 billion years old. About 2.7 billion years ago, basaltic lava poured out of cracks in the floor of the primordial ocean.
The roots of these volcanic mountains and the action of Precambrian seas formed the Iron Range of northern Minnesota. Following a period of volcanism 1.1 billion years ago, Minnesota's geological activity has been more subdued, with no volcanism or mountain formation, but with repeated incursions of the sea, which left behind multiple strata of sedimentary rock. In more recent times, massive ice sheets at least one kilometer thick ravaged the state's landscape and sculpted its terrain; the Wisconsin glaciation left 12,000 years ago. These glaciers covered all of Minnesota except the far southeast, an area characterized by steep hills and streams that cut into the bedrock; this area is known as the Driftless Zone for its absence of glacial drift. Much of the remainder of the state outside the northeast has 50 feet or more of glacial till left behind as the last glaciers retreated. Gigantic Lake Agassiz formed in the northwest 13,000 years ago, its bed created the fertile Red River valley, its outflow, glacial River Warren, carved the valley of the Minnesota River and the Upper Mississippi downstream from Fort Snelling.
Minnesota is geologically quiet today. The state's high point is Eagle Mountain at 2,301 feet, only 13 miles away from the low of 601 feet at the shore of Lake Superior. Notwithstanding dramatic local differences in elevation, much of the state is a rolling peneplain. Two major drainage divides meet in Minnesota's northeast in rural Hibbing, forming a triple watershed. Precipitation can follow the Mississippi River south to the Gulf of Mexico, the Saint Lawrence Seaway east to the Atlantic Ocean, or the Hudson Bay watershed to the Arctic Ocean; the state's nickname, "Land of 10,000 Lakes", is apt, as there are 11,842 Minnesota lakes over 10 acres in size. Minnesota's portion of Lake Superior is the largest at 962,700 acres and deepest body of wate
The Territory of Minnesota was an organized incorporated territory of the United States that existed from March 3, 1849, until May 11, 1858, when the eastern portion of the territory was admitted to the Union as the State of Minnesota. The boundaries of the Minnesota Territory, as carved out of Iowa Territory, included the current Minnesota region and most of what became Dakota Territory east of the Missouri River. Minnesota Territory included portions of Wisconsin Territory that did not become part of Wisconsin, located between the Mississippi River and Wisconsin, including the Arrowhead Region. At the time of its formation, the territory contained three cities: St. Paul, St. Anthony, Stillwater; the major territorial institutions were divided among the three: St. Paul was made the capital. Charles K. Smith, 1849–1851 Alexander Wilkin, 1851–1853 Joseph Rosser, 1853–1857 Charles L. Chase, 1857–1858 Lorenzo A. Babcock, 1849–1853 Lafayette Emmett, 1853–1858 Henry Hastings Sibley, 31st Congress, 32nd Congress, 1849–1853 Henry Mower Rice, 33rd Congress, 34th Congress, 1853–1857 William W. Kingsbury, 35th Congress, 1857–1858 John Catlin Historic regions of the United States History of Minnesota Interior Plains Territorial era of Minnesota Territorial evolution of the United States Territory of France that encompassed land that would become part of the Territory of Minnesota: Louisiane, 1682–1764 and 1803 Territory of Spain that would be returned to France: Luisiana, 1764–1803 Territory of the United Kingdom that encompassed land that would become part of the Territory of Minnesota: Rupert's Land, 1670–1870 U.
S. territories that encompassed land that would become part of the Territory of Minnesota: Territory Northwest of the River Ohio, 1787–1803 Territory of Indiana, 1800–1816 Louisiana Purchase, 1803–1804 District of Louisiana, 1804–1805 Territory of Louisiana, 1805–1812 Territory of Illinois, 1809–1818 Territory of Missouri, 1812–1821 Territory of Michigan, 1805–1837 Territory of Wisconsin, 1836–1848 U. S. territories that encompassed land, part of the Territory of Minnesota: Territory of Dakota, 1861–1889 U. S. states that encompass land, once part of the Territory of Minnesota: State of Minnesota, 1858 State of North Dakota, 1889 State of South Dakota, 1889 Media related to Minnesota Territory at Wikimedia Commons Minnesota historic documents Debates and proceedings of the Constitutional convention for the territory of Minnesota, to form a state constitution preparatory to its admission into the Union as a state
The Mississippi River is the second-longest river and chief river of the second-largest drainage system on the North American continent, second only to the Hudson Bay drainage system. Its source is Lake Itasca in northern Minnesota and it flows south for 2,320 miles to the Mississippi River Delta in the Gulf of Mexico. With its many tributaries, the Mississippi's watershed drains all or parts of 32 U. S. two Canadian provinces between the Rocky and Appalachian mountains. The main stem is within the United States; the Mississippi ranks as the fifteenth-largest river by discharge in the world. The river either borders or passes through the states of Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Tennessee, Arkansas and Louisiana. Native Americans have lived along its tributaries for thousands of years. Most were hunter-gatherers, but some, such as the Mound Builders, formed prolific agricultural societies; the arrival of Europeans in the 16th century changed the native way of life as first explorers settlers, ventured into the basin in increasing numbers.
The river served first as a barrier, forming borders for New Spain, New France, the early United States, as a vital transportation artery and communications link. In the 19th century, during the height of the ideology of manifest destiny, the Mississippi and several western tributaries, most notably the Missouri, formed pathways for the western expansion of the United States. Formed from thick layers of the river's silt deposits, the Mississippi embayment is one of the most fertile regions of the United States. During the American Civil War, the Mississippi's capture by Union forces marked a turning point towards victory, due to the river's strategic importance to the Confederate war effort; because of substantial growth of cities and the larger ships and barges that replaced steamboats, the first decades of the 20th century saw the construction of massive engineering works such as levees and dams built in combination. A major focus of this work has been to prevent the lower Mississippi from shifting into the channel of the Atchafalaya River and bypassing New Orleans.
Since the 20th century, the Mississippi River has experienced major pollution and environmental problems – most notably elevated nutrient and chemical levels from agricultural runoff, the primary contributor to the Gulf of Mexico dead zone. The word Mississippi itself comes from Misi zipi, the French rendering of the Anishinaabe name for the river, Misi-ziibi. In the 18th century, the river was the primary western boundary of the young United States, since the country's expansion westward, the Mississippi River has been considered a convenient if approximate dividing line between the Eastern and Midwestern United States, the Western United States; this is exemplified by the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the phrase "Trans-Mississippi" as used in the name of the Trans-Mississippi Exposition, it is common to qualify a regionally superlative landmark in relation to it, such as "the highest peak east of the Mississippi" or "the oldest city west of the Mississippi". The FCC uses it as the dividing line for broadcast call-signs, which begin with W to the east and K to the west, mixing together in media markets along the river.
The Mississippi River can be divided into three sections: the Upper Mississippi, the river from its headwaters to the confluence with the Missouri River. The Upper Mississippi runs from its headwaters to its confluence with the Missouri River at St. Louis, Missouri, it is divided into two sections: The headwaters, 493 miles from the source to Saint Anthony Falls in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The source of the Upper Mississippi branch is traditionally accepted as Lake Itasca, 1,475 feet above sea level in Itasca State Park in Clearwater County, Minnesota; the name "Itasca" was chosen to designate the "true head" of the Mississippi River as a combination of the last four letters of the Latin word for truth and the first two letters of the Latin word for head. However, the lake is in turn fed by a number of smaller streams. From its origin at Lake Itasca to St. Louis, the waterway's flow is moderated by 43 dams. Fourteen of these dams are located above Minneapolis in the headwaters region and serve multiple purposes, including power generation and recreation.
The remaining 29 dams, beginning in downtown Minneapolis, all contain locks and were constructed to improve commercial navigation of the upper river. Taken as a whole, these 43 dams shape the geography and influence the ecology of the upper river. Beginning just below Saint Paul and continuing throughout the upper and lower river, the Mississippi is further controlled by thousands of wing dikes that moderate the river's flow in order to maintain an open navigation channel and prevent the river from eroding its banks; the head of navigation on the Mississippi is the Coon Rapids Dam in Minnesota. Before it was built in 1913, steamboats could go upstream as far as Saint Cloud, depending on river conditions; the uppermost lock and dam on the Upper Mississippi River is the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock an
U.S. Route 2
U. S. Route 2 or U. S. Highway 2 is an east–west U. S. Highway spanning 2,571 miles across the northern continental United States. US 2 consists of two segments connected by various roadways in southern Canada. Unlike some routes, which are disconnected into segments because of encroaching Interstate Highways, the two portions of US 2 were designed to be separate in the original 1926 highway plan; the western segment of US 2 has its western terminus at an interchange with Interstate 5 and State Route 529 in Everett and its eastern terminus at I-75 in St. Ignace, Michigan; the eastern segment of US 2 has its western terminus at US 11 in Rouses Point, New York and its eastern terminus at I-95 in Houlton, Maine. As its number indicates, it is the northernmost east–west U. S. Route in the country, it is the lowest primary-numbered east–west U. S. Route, whose numbers otherwise end in zero, was so numbered to avoid a US 0. Sections of US 2 in New England were once New England Route 15, part of the New England road marking system.
The western segment of US 2 extends from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan across the northern tier of the lower 48 states. Most of the western route was built paralleling the Great Northern Railway. US 2 adopted the railway's route nickname "The Highline" as the most northern crossing in the U. S; the Adventure Cycling Association's Northern Tier Bicycle Route is a bicycle touring route which follows or parallels US 2 for over 600 miles, most notably a 550-mile stretch between Columbia Falls and Williston, North Dakota. Within Washington state, US 2 is the northernmost all-season highway through the Cascade Mountains, it begins at Interstate 5 and State Route 529 in Everett, travels east via Stevens Pass. It intersects US 97 4 miles east of Leavenworth and continues as a duplicate route crossing the Columbia River at Wenatchee continues north as far as Orondo, where US 97 splits north. US 2 continues to the border in Newport. Shortly after entering Idaho from the west, US 2 crosses the Priest River.
US 2 follows Pend Oreille River to its source at Lake Pend Oreille. US 2 intersects Idaho State Highway 57 in the town of Priest River at mile 5.8. US 2 intersects US 95 at mile 28.4 in the town of Sandpoint. The two routes are duplexed for 36.2 miles until just after Bonners Ferry. At Three Mile Corner, US Route 2 continues southeast for 15.8 miles. US 2 is a vital northern corridor for Montana and has more mileage within Montana than in any other state, it intersects US 93 at Kalispell and passes through the southern end of Glacier National Park, crossing the continental divide at Marias Pass, before it enters the Great Plains west of Browning. It travels through Shelby; the highway continues east and leaves the state near the confluence of the Missouri and Yellowstone Rivers. US 2 is an east–west highway that runs through North Dakota’s northern tier of larger cities: Williston, Devils Lake, Grand Forks. US 2 intersects US 85 at Williston, US 52 and US 83 at Minot, US 281 at Churchs Ferry, the I-29 / US 81 concurrency at Grand Forks.
US 2 is four-laned from North Dakota’s eastern edge to just past Williston, a stretch of about 343 miles, leaving the remaining 12 miles to the Montana border as a two-lane highway. In Rugby, just east of the route's intersection with ND 3, the highway passes the location designated in 1931 as the geographical center of North America; the monument marking the geographic center had to be relocated in 1971 when US 2 was converted from two lanes to four lanes. The portion of US 2 from Cass Lake to Bemidji is designated the Paul Bunyan Expressway, it intersects US 169 and the Mississippi River in Grand Rapids, Minnesota. At the crossing between Duluth, Minn. and Superior, Wisc. the highway crosses the Richard I. Bong Memorial Bridge, about 8,300 feet in length—roughly 11,800 feet in length when the above land approaches are included. Of the 266 miles of US 2 in Minnesota, 146 miles have four lanes located in the northwest part of the state; the Minnesota section of US 2 is defined as Routes 8 and 203 in Minnesota Statutes §§161.114 and 161.115.
After crossing the Bong Bridge and entering into the city of Superior, Wisconsin's western segment of the highway joins Belknap Street. After crossing the midsection of Superior, US 2 merges with US 53 for a few miles following East 2nd Street out of the city. Ten miles outside of Superior, US 53 and US 2 part ways. US 53 veers south toward Eau Claire, while US 2 continues to the city of Ashland and to the Wisconsin–Michigan state line at the city of Ironwood. An eastern segment of US 2 re-enters Wisconsin 4 miles northwest of Florence and proceeds concurrently with US 141 for 14.5 miles until exiting Wisconsin again near Iron Mountain, Michigan. US 2 enters Michigan at the city of Ironwood and runs east to the town of Crystal Falls, where it turns south and re-enters Wisconsin northwest of Florence, it re-enters Michigan north of Iron Mountain and continues through the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the cities of Escanaba, St. Ignace. Along the way, it cuts through the Ottawa and Hiawatha National Forests and follows the northern shore of Lake Michigan.
It ends at I-75, just north of the Mackinac Bridge in St. Ignace; the eastern segment of US 2 traverses the northeastern part of New York and the northern New England states. The road starts at US 11, just 1 mile south of the Canadian border at Rouses Point in Champlain, New York. From there it crosses the Richelieu River at the outlet of
Chippewa National Forest
Chippewa National Forest is a National Forest located in northcentral Minnesota, United States, in the counties of Itasca and Beltrami. Forest headquarters are located in Minnesota. There are local ranger district offices in Deer River and Walker; the Forest was established as the Minnesota Forest Reserve on June 27, 1902, with passage of the Morris Act. While this act addressed the disposition of unallotted lands on Ojibwe Indian reservations in Minnesota, 200,000 acres of the Chippewas of the Mississippi, Cass Lake, Leech Lake, Winnibigoshish Indian reservations were designated as a Forest Reserve; the Reserve was re-established as the Minnesota National Forest on May 23, 1908. In 1928, the forest was renamed in honor of the Chippewa Indians from whose land the forest was created. Subsequent boundary expansions and land purchases increased the area of the forest to its present size; the Forest contains an area known as the Lost Forty. This area, which has a total of 144 acres, was accidentally mapped as part of Coddington Lake when the original maps of the region were laid out in 1882.
As a result of the mapping error, the Lost Forty was never logged. It contains some of the oldest forest in the state, with some trees more than 350 years old. Less than two percent of Minnesota's total forested land today is such old growth forest; these unique qualities offer an abundance of outdoor recreational opportunities throughout the year. There are over 3000 archeological and historic sites located within the forest, two that are most notable and open to the public are: Camp Rabideau a Civilian Conservation Corps camp is one of the best-preserved of the nation's many CCC camps; the Chippewa National Forest Historic Supervisor's Office, constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps and Works Project Administration. The forest covers 667,094 acres. Water is abundant, with over 1,300 lakes, 923 miles of rivers and streams and 400,000 acres of wetlands; the Forest has more lakes and wetlands than any other National Forest in the nation, boasting 13% of all surface water within the entire National Forest system.
Inside the forest the Cut Foot Sioux Trail runs along the Laurentian Divide. Three of the top ten largest lakes in size within the State of Minnesota are located within the forest, these are Cass Lake, Leech Lake and Lake Winnibigoshish. 44% of the Forest's land is within the Leech Lake Indian Reservation. Aspen, pine, balsam fir, maple blanket the forest. Old growth forest such as the Lost Forty section of the CNF is valuable for wildlife, including bald eagle, several species of hawk and woodpecker, red squirrel and numerous other species. In the 1960s, the bald eagle population in the forest was only 12 nesting pairs. Since the population has rebounded and the bald eagle population of the Chippewa National Forest is one of the highest density in the lower 48 states at 150 nesting pairs; the Forest contains 21 developed campgrounds, 41 miles of paved bike trails, 43 miles of unpaved bike trails, 160 miles of hiking trails, 298 miles of non-motorized trails, 380 miles of snowmobile trails, 68 dispersed camping locations, 20 miles of horse trails, 83 boat accesses.
The Forest operates three visitor centers in the forest, they are: Cut Foot Sioux Visitor Center - near Deer River, open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Edge of the Wilderness Discovery Center - near Marcell, open year-round. Norway Beach Visitor Center - near Cass Lake, open Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. Many roadways, including U. S. and State Highways and county roads intersect the forest for easy access to the forest. Within the Forest are five scenic byways for scenic drives for visitors that intersect through the forest. Great River Road, follows the Mississippi River within the Forest Edge of the Wilderness National Scenic Byway Avenue of the Pines National Forest Scenic Byway Lake Country Scenic Byway Lady Slipper Scenic Byway, named for the Minnesota State Flower Pink-and-white Lady's-slipper, which can be found in the Forest. Superior National Forest List of U. S. national forests List of Minnesota trees Official website History of the Forest "The Real Story of Chippewa National Forest" by Tim Brady in November–December 2004 issue of Minnesota Conservation Volunteer Online Map of the forest Print maps of the forest Brochure on "Lost 40" - USFS
Time in the United States
Time in the United States, by law, is divided into nine standard time zones covering the states and its possessions, with most of the United States observing daylight saving time for the spring and fall months. The time zone boundaries and DST observance are regulated by the Department of Transportation. Official and precise timekeeping services are provided by two federal agencies: the National Institute of Standards and Technology; the clocks run by these services are kept synchronized with each other as well as with those of other international timekeeping organizations. It is the combination of the time zone and daylight saving rules, along with the timekeeping services, which determines the legal civil time for any U. S. location at any moment. Before the adoption of four standard time zones for the continental United States, many towns and cities set their clocks to noon when the sun passed their local meridian, pre-corrected for the equation of time on the date of observation, to form local mean solar time.
Noon occurred at different times but time differences between distant locations were noticeable prior to the 19th century because of long travel times and the lack of long-distance instant communications prior to the development of the telegraph. The use of local solar time became awkward as railways and telecommunications improved. American railroads maintained many different time zones during the late 1800s; each train station set its own clock making it difficult to coordinate train schedules and confusing passengers. Time calculation became a serious problem for people traveling by train, according to the Library of Congress; every city in the United States used a different time standard so there were more than 300 local sun times to choose from. Time zones were therefore a compromise, relaxing the complex geographic dependence while still allowing local time to be approximate with mean solar time. Railroad managers tried to address the problem by establishing 100 railroad time zones, but this was only a partial solution to the problem.
Weather service chief Cleveland Abbe had needed to introduce four standard time zones for his weather stations, an idea which he offered to the railroads. Operators of the new railroad lines needed a new time plan that would offer a uniform train schedule for departures and arrivals. Four standard time zones for the continental United States were introduced at noon on November 18, 1883, when the telegraph lines transmitted time signals to all major cities. In October 1884, the International Meridian Conference at Washington DC adopted a proposal which stated that the prime meridian for longitude and timekeeping should be one that passes through the centre of the transit instrument at the Greenwich Observatory in the United Kingdom; the conference therefore established the Greenwich Meridian as the prime meridian and Greenwich Mean Time as the world's time standard. The US time-zone system grew from this, in which all zones referred back to GMT on the prime meridian. In 1960, the International Radio Consultative Committee formalized the concept of Coordinated Universal Time, which became the new international civil time standard.
UTC is, within about 1 second, mean solar time at 0°. UTC does not observe daylight saving time. For most purposes, UTC is considered interchangeable with GMT, but GMT is no longer defined by the scientific community. UTC is one of several related successors to GMT. Standard time zones in the United States are defined at the federal level by law 15 USC §260; the federal law establishes the transition dates and times at which daylight saving time occurs, if observed. It is the authority of the Secretary of Transportation, in coordination with the states, to determine which regions will observe which of the standard time zones and if they will observe daylight saving time; as of August 9, 2007, the standard time zones are defined in terms of hourly offsets from UTC. Prior to this they were based upon the mean solar time at several meridians 15° apart west of Greenwich. Only the full-time zone names listed below are official. View the standard time zone boundaries here; the United States uses nine standard time zones.
As defined by US law they are: From east to west, the four time zones of the contiguous United States are: Eastern Time Zone, which comprises the states on the Atlantic coast and the eastern two thirds of the Ohio Valley. Central Time Zone, which comprises the Gulf Coast, Mississippi Valley, most of the Great Plains. Mountain Time Zone, which comprises the states and portions of states that include the Rocky Mountains and the western quarter of the Great Plains. Pacific Time Zone, which comprises the states on the Pacific coast, plus Nevada and the Idaho panhandle. Alaska Time Zone, which comprises most of the state of Alaska. Hawaii-Aleutian Time Zone, which includes Hawaii and most of the length of the Aleutian Islands chain. Samoa Time Zone, which comprises American Samoa. Chamorro Time Zone, which comprises Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands. Atlantic Time Zone, which comprises Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands; some United States Minor Outlying Islands are outside the time zones defined by 15 U.
S. C. § exist in waters defined by Nautical time. In practice, military crews may