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
An army or land force is a fighting force that fights on land. In the broadest sense, it is the land-based military branch, service branch or armed service of a nation or state, it may include aviation assets by possessing an army aviation component. In certain states, the term army refers to the entire armed forces. Within a national military force, the word army may mean a field army. In several countries, the army is called the Land Army to differentiate it from an air force called the Air Army, notably France. In such countries, the word "army" on its own retains its connotation of a land force in common usage; the current largest army in the world, by number of active troops, is the People's Liberation Army Ground Force of China with 1,600,000 active troops and 510,000 reserve personnel followed by the Indian Army with 1,129,000 active troops and 960,000 reserve personnel. By convention, irregular military is understood in contrast to regular armies which grew from personal bodyguards or elite militia.
Regular in this case refers to standardized doctrines, organizations, etc. Regular military can refer to full-time status, versus reserve or part-time personnel. Other distinctions may separate statutory forces, from de facto "non-statutory" forces such as some guerrilla and revolutionary armies. Armies may be expeditionary or fencible India's armies were among the first in the world; the first recorded battle, the Battle of the Ten Kings, happened when an Hindu Aryan king named Sudas defeated an alliance of ten kings and their supportive chieftains. During the Iron Age, the Maurya and Nanda Empires had the largest armies in the world, the peak being over 600,000 Infantry, 30,000 Cavalry, 8,000 War-Chariots and 9,000 War Elephants not including tributary state allies. In the Gupta age, large armies of longbowmen were recruited to fight off invading horse archer armies. Elephants and cavalry were other featured troops. In Rajput times, the main piece of equipment was iron or chain-mail armour, a round shield, either a curved blade or a straight-sword, a chakra disc and a katar dagger.
The states of China raised armies for at least 1000 years before the Autumn Annals. By the Warring States period, the crossbow had been perfected enough to become a military secret, with bronze bolts which could pierce any armor, thus any political power of a state rested on their organization. China underwent political consolidation of the states of Han, Chu, Zhao and Qi, until by 221 BCE, Qin Shi Huang, the first emperor of the Qin dynasty, attained absolute power; this first emperor of China could command the creation of a Terracotta Army to guard his tomb in the city of Xi'an, as well as a realignment of the Great Wall of China to strengthen his empire against insurrection and incursion. Sun Tzu's The Art of War remains one of China's Seven Military Classics though it is two thousand years old. Since no political figure could exist without an army, measures were taken to ensure only the most capable leaders could control the armies. Civil bureaucracies arose to control the productive power of the states, their military power.
The Spartan Army was one of the earliest known professional armies. Boys were sent to a barracks at the age of eight to train for becoming a soldier. At the age of thirty they were allowed to marry and have a family. After that, men devoted their lives to war until their retirement at the age of 60. Unlike other civilizations, whose armies had to disband during the planting and harvest seasons, the Spartan serfs or helots, did the manual labor; this allowed the Spartans to field a full-time army with a campaign season. The Spartan Army was composed of hoplites, equipped with arms and armor nearly identical to each other; each hoplite bore a scarlet uniform. The main pieces of this armor were a spear and a helmet; the Roman Army had its origins in the citizen army of the Republic, staffed by citizens serving mandatory duty for Rome. Reforms turned the army into a professional organization, still filled by citizens, but these citizens served continuously for 25 years before being discharged; the Romans were noted for making use of auxiliary troops, non-Romans who served with the legions and filled roles that the traditional Roman military could not fill such as light skirmish troops and heavy cavalry.
After their service in the army they were made citizens of Rome and their children were citizens also. They were given land and money to settle in Rome. In the Late Roman Empire, these auxiliary troops, along with foreign mercenaries, became the core of the Roman Army. In the earliest Middle Ages it was the obligation of every aristocrat to respond to the call to battle with his own equipment and infantry; this decentralized system was necessary due to the social order of the time, but could lead to motley forces with variable training and abilities. The more resources the noble had access to, the better his troops would be; the words "knight" and "noble" were used interchangeably as there was not a distinction between them. While the nobility did fight upon horseback, they were supported by lower class citizens –
Tennis is a racket sport that can be played individually against a single opponent or between two teams of two players each. Each player uses a tennis racket, strung with cord to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over or around a net and into the opponent's court; the object of the game is to maneuver the ball in such a way that the opponent is not able to play a valid return. The player, unable to return the ball will not gain a point, while the opposite player will. Tennis is played at all levels of society and at all ages; the sport can be played by anyone. The modern game of tennis originated in Birmingham, England, in the late 19th century as lawn tennis, it had close connections both to various field games such as croquet and bowls as well as to the older racket sport today called real tennis. During most of the 19th century, in fact, the term tennis referred to real tennis, not lawn tennis; the rules of modern tennis have changed little since the 1890s. Two exceptions are that from 1908 to 1961 the server had to keep one foot on the ground at all times, the adoption of the tiebreak in the 1970s.
A recent addition to professional tennis has been the adoption of electronic review technology coupled with a point-challenge system, which allows a player to contest the line call of a point, a system known as Hawk-Eye. Tennis is played by millions of recreational players and is a popular worldwide spectator sport; the four Grand Slam tournaments are popular: the Australian Open played on hard courts, the French Open played on red clay courts, Wimbledon played on grass courts, the US Open played on hard courts. Historians believe that the game's ancient origin lay in 12th century northern France, where a ball was struck with the palm of the hand. Louis X of France was a keen player of jeu de paume, which evolved into real tennis, became notable as the first person to construct indoor tennis courts in the modern style. Louis was unhappy with playing tennis outdoors and accordingly had indoor, enclosed courts made in Paris "around the end of the 13th century". In due course this design spread across royal palaces all over Europe.
In June 1316 at Vincennes, Val-de-Marne and following a exhausting game, Louis drank a large quantity of cooled wine and subsequently died of either pneumonia or pleurisy, although there was suspicion of poisoning. Because of the contemporary accounts of his death, Louis X is history's first tennis player known by name. Another of the early enthusiasts of the game was King Charles V of France, who had a court set up at the Louvre Palace, it wasn't until the 16th century that rackets came into use, the game began to be called "tennis", from the French term tenez, which can be translated as "hold!", "receive!" or "take!", an interjection used as a call from the server to his opponent. It was popular in England and France, although the game was only played indoors where the ball could be hit off the wall. Henry VIII of England was a big fan of this game, now known as real tennis. During the 18th and early 19th centuries, as real tennis declined, new racket sports emerged in England. Further, the patenting of the first lawn mower in 1830, in Britain, is believed to have been the catalyst, for the preparation of modern-style grass courts, sporting ovals, playing fields, greens, etc.
This in turn led to the codification of modern rules for many sports, including lawn tennis, most football codes, lawn bowls and others. Between 1859 and 1865 Harry Gem, a solicitor and his friend Augurio Perera developed a game that combined elements of racquets and the Basque ball game pelota, which they played on Perera's croquet lawn in Birmingham, United Kingdom. In 1872, along with two local doctors, they founded the world's first tennis club on Avenue Road, Leamington Spa; this is. After Leamington, the second club to take up the game of lawn tennis appears to have been the Edgbaston Archery and Croquet Society in Birmingham. In Tennis: A Cultural History, Heiner Gillmeister reveals that on December 8, 1874, British army officer Walter Clopton Wingfield wrote to Harry Gem, commenting that he had been experimenting with his version of lawn tennis “for a year and a half”. In December 1873, Wingfield designed and patented a game which he called sphairistikè, was soon known as "sticky" – for the amusement of guests at a garden party on his friend's estate of Nantclwyd Hall, in Llanelidan, Wales.
According to R. D. C. Evans, turfgrass agronomist, "Sports historians all agree that deserves much of the credit for the development of modern tennis." According to Honor Godfrey, museum curator at Wimbledon, Wingfield "popularized this game enormously. He produced a boxed set which included a net, rackets, balls for playing the game – and most you had his rules, he was terrific at marketing and he sent his game all over the world. He had good connections with the clergy, the law profession, the aristocracy and he sent thousands of sets out in the first year or so, in 1874." The world's oldest annual tennis tournament took place at Leamington Lawn Tennis Club in Birmingham in 1874. This was three years before the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club would hold its first championships at Wimbledon, in 1877; the first Championships culminated a significant debate on. In the U. S. in 1874 Mary Ewing Outerbridge, a young socialite, returned from Bermuda with a sphairistikè set. She became fascin
De La Salle Brothers
The Institute of the Brothers of the Christian Schools is a Catholic religious teaching congregation, founded in France by a priest named Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, now based in Rome. The Brothers use the post-nominal abbreviation FSC to denote their membership of the order, the honorific title Brother, abbreviated Br.. The Lasallian Christian Brothers are not the same order as the Irish Christian Brothers. There are 560 Lasallian educational institutions around the world which, assisted by more than 73,000 lay colleagues, teach over 900,000 students in over 82 countries, from impoverished nations such as Nigeria to post-secondary institutions such as Bethlehem University, Manhattan College, the La Salle Universities in Philadelphia; the central administration of the Brothers operates out of the Generalate in Rome and is made up of the Superior General and his councillors. A number of Lasallian institutions have been accused of, have admitted and apologised for and serious physical and sexual abuse against their charges.
The order was founded in the name of Saint Jean-Baptiste de la Salle, a French priest from a wealthy family, in 1725. In March, 1679, La Salle met Adrian Nyel in a chance encounter at the Convent of the Sisters of the Infant Jesus. Nyel asked for De La Salle's help in opening free schools for the poor boys in Reims. A novitiate and normal school were established in Paris in 1694. La Salle spent his life teaching poor children in parish charity schools, was canonized as a saint on 15 May 1900. In 1950 Pope Pius XII declared him to be the "Special Patron of All Teachers of Youth in the Catholic Church"; the order, approved by Pope Benedict XIII in 1725 spread over France. It was dissolved by a decree of the National Assembly set up after the French revolution in February 1790, but recalled by Napoleon I in 1804 and formally recognized by the French government in 1808. Since its members penetrated into nearly every country of Europe, Asia and Australia; as religious, members take the three usual vows of poverty and obedience.
The Institutes headquarters is in Italy. The order has five global regions: North America, Asia/Oceania, Europe/Mediterranean and Latin America. During the International Year of Literacy/Schooling, UNESCO awarded the NOMA prize to Lasallian Institutions; the order says that its key principles are faith, proclamation of the gospel, respect for all people, quality education, concern for the poor and social justice. In 2017 the Institute had 3,800 brothers, 75% fewer than in 1965; the decline is due to many brothers reaching retirement age, the small number of new recruits. In the same period the number of students in Lasallian schools increased from about 700,000 to over a million. La Salle initiated a number of innovations in teaching, he recommended dividing up of the children into distinct classes according to their attainments. He taught pupils to read the vernacular language. In accordance with their mission statement "to provide a human and Christian education... the poor" the Brothers' principal activity is education of the poor.
As of 2017 the Institute conducted educational work in 82 different countries, in both developed and developing nations, with more than 1,000,000 students enrolled in its educational works. There are 92,000 lay women who are Lasallian Partners in their institutions; the Guadalupana De La Salle Sisters were founded by Br. Juan Fromental Cayroche in the Archdiocese of Mexico, they teach in ten countries. The motherhouse is in Mexico City; the Congregation of the Lasallian Sisters was founded in 1966 by the Brothers of the Christian School in Vietnam to take care of the needs of poor children abandoned because of the civil war there. The office is in Bangkok. Lasallian Volunteers are lay people who volunteer for one or two years to engage in teaching and other Lasallian activities, they receive a living stipend. In 1981, the Institute started Christian Brothers Investment Services, a "socially responsible investing service" for Catholic organisations, that it "encourage companies to improve policies and practices through active ownership".
The Brothers arrived in Martinez, California, US on the southern edge of the Carquinez Strait, part of the greater San Francisco Bay in 1868. In 1882 they began making wine as sacramental wine, they began to distill brandy, beginning with the pot-still production method, used in the cognac region. In 1932, in the period when alcohol was prohibited in the US, they relocated the winery to the Mont La Salle property in the Napa Valley and continued making wine. In 1935 Brother Timothy Diener became wine master, he served in this position for 50 years. In the 1950s they acquired Greystone Cellars near California. Varietal wine was made at the Napa Valley facility, generic wine and brandy were produced at Reedley in the San Joaquin Valley, barrel aging was handled at Greystone; the Christian Brothers winery operated under the corporate name "Mont La Salle Vineyards". In 1988 the winery employed 250 people and produced 900,000 cases of wine, 1.2 million cases of brandy, 80,000 cases of altar wine. Proceeds from sales helped to fund the Christian Brothers programs and sc
Cross country running
Cross country running is a sport in which teams and individuals run a race on open-air courses over natural terrain such as dirt or grass. Sometimes the runners are referred to as harriers; the course 4–12 kilometres long, may include surfaces of grass, earth, pass through woodlands and open country, include hills, flat ground and sometimes gravel road. It is both a team sport. Both men and women of all ages compete in cross country, which takes place during autumn and winter, can include weather conditions of rain, snow or hail, a wide range of temperatures. Cross country running is one of the disciplines under the umbrella sport of athletics, is a natural terrain version of long-distance track and road running. Although open-air running competitions are pre-historic, the rules and traditions of cross country racing emerged in Britain; the English championship became the first national competition in 1876 and the International Cross Country Championships was held for the first time in 1903. Since 1973 the foremost elite competition has been the IAAF World Cross Country Championships.
Cross country courses are laid out on an woodland area. The IAAF recommends that courses be grass-covered, have rolling terrain with frequent but smooth turns. Courses consist of one or more loops, with a long straight at the start and another leading to the finish line. Terrain can vary from open fields to forest hills and across rivers, it includes running down and up hills. Because of variations in conditions, international standardization of cross country courses is impossible, not desirable. Part of cross country running's appeal is the distinct characteristics of each venue's terrain and weather, as in other outdoor sports like motor racing and golf. According to the IAAF, an ideal cross country course has a loop of 1,750 to 2,000 metres laid out on an open or wooded land, it should be covered by grass, as much as possible, include rolling hills "with smooth curves and short straights". While it is acceptable for local conditions to make dirt or snow the primary surface, courses should minimize running on roads or other macadamized paths.
Parks and golf courses provide suitable locations. While a course may include natural or artificial obstacles, cross country courses support continuous running, do not require climbing over high barriers, through deep ditches, or fighting through the underbrush, as do military-style assault courses. A course at least 5 metres full allows competitors to pass others during the race. Clear markings keep competitors from making wrong turns, spectators from interfering with the competition. Markings may include tape or ribbon on both sides of the course, chalk or paint on the ground, or cones; some classes use colored flags to indicate directions: red flags for left turns, yellow flags for right turns, blue flags to continue straight or stay within ten feet of the flag. Courses commonly include distance markings at each kilometer or each mile; the course should have 400 to 1,200 m of level terrain before the first turn, to reduce contact and congestion at the start. However, many courses at smaller competitions have their first turn after a much shorter distance.
Courses for international competitions consist of a loop between 2000 meters. Athletes complete three to six loops, depending on the race. Senior men compete on a 12-kilometre course. Senior women and junior men compete on an 8-kilometre course. Junior women compete on a 6-kilometre course. In the United States, college men compete on 8 km or 10 km courses, while college women race for 5 km or 6 km. High school courses are 5 km. Middle school courses are 1.5 mi or 2 mi long. All runners start at the same time, from a starting arc marked with lines or boxes for each team or individual. An official, 50 meters or more in front of the starting line, fires a pistol to indicate the start. If runners collide and fall within the first 100 meters, officials can call the runners back and restart the race, however this is done only once. Crossing the line or starting before the starting pistol is fired is considered a false start and most results in disqualification of the runner; the course ends at a finish line located at the beginning of a funnel or chute that keeps athletes single-file in order of finish and facilitates accurate scoring.
Depending on the timing and scoring system, finish officials may collect a small slip from each runner's bib, to keep track of finishing positions. An alternative method is to have four officials in two pairs. In the first pair, one official reads out numbers of finishers and the other records them. In the second pair, one official reads out times for the other to record. At the end of the race, the two lists are joined along with information from the entry information; the primary disadvantage of this system is that distractions can upset the results when scores of runners finish close together. Chip timing has grown in popularity to increase accuracy and decrease the number of officials required at the finish line; each runner attaches a transponder with RFID to her shoe. When the runner crosses the finish line, an electronic pad records the chip number and matches the runner to a database. Chip timing allows officials to use checkpoint mats throughout the race to calculate split times, to ensure runners cover the entire course.
This is by far the most efficient method, although it is t
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton is a suffragan see of Archdiocese of Philadelphia, established on March 3, 1868. The seat of the bishop is St. Peter's Cathedral in Scranton, PA. Other cities in the diocese are Wilkes-Barre, Hazleton, Nanticoke and Pittston; the diocese comprises Lackawanna, Bradford, Wayne, Sullivan, Lycoming and Monroe counties, all in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. The area of the diocese is 8,487 square miles. On February 23, 2010, Pope Benedict XVI appointed Monsignor Joseph C. Bambera the tenth Bishop of Scranton. Bambera was installed as bishop on April 26, 2010, at St. Peter's Cathedral. Cardinal Justin Rigali, Archbishop of Philadelphia, served as principal consecrator and James Timlin, Bishop Emeritus of Scranton, John Dougherty, former Auxiliary Bishop of Scranton, served as co-consecrators. Pietro Sambi, the Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, read the papal appointment letter; the first Catholic settlers in the area were principally of German descent.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries and Italian populations attracted by the coal-mining industry came to comprise one-half of the Catholic population. Although many of the early settlers were Catholic immigrants, the first official visit of a priest to this territory of which there is any authentic record was not until 1787. In that year James Pellentz traveled from Baltimore up the Susquehanna River as far as Elmira, New York, ministering to the Catholics scattered through this region. A few years the famous French settlement of Asylum or "Azilum" was founded. Planned as a retreat for French nobility, the site chosen was on the banks of the Susquehanna River, opposite the present village of Standing Stone in Bradford County. Today scarcely a trace of this unique settlement remains; the earliest permanent Catholic settlements were at Friendsville and Silver Lake in Susquehanna County. These, as well as the other Catholic settlers scattered throughout this district, were attended by priests sent from Philadelphia.
In 1825 due to the solicitations of Patrick Griffin, father of Gerald Griffin, Francis Kenrick, Bishop of Philadelphia, sent the Rev. John O'Flynn as the first resident pastor, his work, was similar to that of a missionary, as his field of labor comprised thirteen counties in northeastern Pennsylvania and five counties in New York state. The first church in the diocese was built in 1825 near Silver Lake. Father O'Flynn died at Danville in 1829, was succeeded by Father Clancy. On February 1, 1836, Henry Fitzsimmons was sent to take charge of this territory and took up his residence in Carbondale, where a church had been built in 1832. In 1838 John Vincent O'Reilly was sent by Kenrick to assist in administering to the Catholics of this extensive territory, he took up his residence at Silver Lake and his charge comprised Susquehanna, Tioga and Sullivan counties in Pennsylvania and the five adjoining counties in New York. The early history of the diocese is intimately bound to the labors of Father O'Reilly and the foundations of many present parishes were the results of his missionary zeal.
The following bishops have served as the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Scranton. William O'Hara Michael Hoban Thomas C. O'Reilly William Hafey Jerome Hannan J. Carroll McCormick John O'Connor, appointed Archbishop of New York James Timlin Joseph Martino Joseph Bambera Michael Hoban William Hafey Andrew Brennan (1923-1926, appointed Bishop of Richmond Martin O'Connor, appointed Rector of the Pontifical North American College and President of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications and Apostolic Nuncio and Titular Archbishop Henry Klonowski James Timlin, appointed Bishop of Scranton Francis X. DiLorenzo, appointed Bishop of Honolulu and Bishop of Richmond John Dougherty Joseph Kopacz, appointed Bishop of Jackson Catholic education in the diocese began with the pioneer Father O'Reilly. In the autumn of 1842, he opened a college at Susquehanna County. Under his supervision, it grew and flourished and in the 22 years of its existence, the college educated two bishops and over 20 priests.
It was never rebuilt. St. Thomas College came under the direction of the Christian Brothers. In 1938, it was elevated to become the University of Scranton; the Society of Jesus took charge of its governance in 1942. Marywood University in Scranton, was founded and is operated by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. King's College in Wilkes-Barre is operated by the Congregation of the Holy Cross. And, in Dallas, Misericordia University was founded by the Religious Sisters of Mercy in 1924. In the 1940s, it opened the South Scranton Catholic High School Bishop Klonowski High School; the school closed in 1982. Due to declining enrollment and mounting financial obligations, Joseph Martino employed the Meitler Consultants to assess the catholic schools and provide recommendations to restructure the education system; the final decisions, made in January 2007, resulted in the consolidation of all schools as under direct diocesan control. It created four regional systems, closed many individual schools.
All of the secondary education centers in Lackawanna and Luzerne Counties were closed and replaced by two regional schools: Holy Cross High School to serve Lackawanna County and Holy Redeemer High School to serve Luzerne County
Softball is a variant of baseball played with a larger ball on a field that has base lengths of 60 feet, a pitcher's mound that ranges from 35-43 feet away from home plate, a homerun fence, 220 feet away from home plate. It was invented in 1887 in Chicago, United States as an indoor game; the game moves at a faster pace than traditional baseball. There is less time for the base runner to get to first; the name softball was given to the game in 1926, because the ball used to be soft, however in modern day usage, the balls are hard. A tournament held in 1933 at the Chicago World's Fair spurred interest in the game; the Amateur Softball Association of America governs the game in the United States and sponsors annual sectional and World Series championships. The World Baseball Softball Confederation regulates rules of play in more than 110 countries, including the United States and Canada. Women's fast pitch softball became a Summer Olympic sport in 1996, but it and baseball were dropped from the 2012 Games.
There are three types of softball. In the most common type, slow-pitch softball, the ball, which can measure either 11 or 12 inches in circumference depending on gender and league, must arch on its path to the batter, there are 10 players on the field at once. In fastpitch softball, the pitch is fast, there are nine players on the field at one time, bunting and stealing bases are permitted. Modified softball restricts the "windmill" wind-up used by fastpitch pitchers, although the pitcher is allowed to throw as hard as possible with the restricted back swing. Softball rules vary somewhat from those of baseball. Two major differences are that the ball must be pitched underhand—from 46 ft for men or 43 ft for women as compared with 60.5 ft in baseball—and that seven innings instead of nine constitute a regulation game. Despite the name, the ball used in softball is not soft, it is about 12 in in circumference, 3 in larger than a baseball. Softball recreational leagues for children use 11-inch balls until they participate in travel ball around age 12 and adjust to a 12-inch sized ball.
The infield in softball is smaller than on an adult or high school baseball diamond but identical to that used by Little League Baseball. In fast pitch softball the entire infield is dirt, whereas the infield in baseball is grass except at the bases and on the pitcher's mound which are dirt. Softball mounds are flat, while baseball mounds are a small hill. Softballs are pitched underhand; this changes the arc of the ball. For example, depending if the pitcher pitches a fastball, in softball the ball would most rise while in baseball because the pitcher is on a hill, the ball would drop; the earliest known softball game was played in Chicago, Illinois on Thanksgiving Day, 1887. It took place at the Farragut Boat Club at a gathering to hear the outcome of the Yale University and Harvard University football game; when the score was announced and bets were settled, a Yale alumnus threw a boxing glove at a Harvard supporter. The Harvard fan swung at the rolled up glove. George Hancock, a reporter there, called out "Play ball!" and the game began, with the boxing glove tightened into a ball, a broom handle serving as a bat.
This first contest ended with a score of 41–40. The ball, being soft, was fielded barehanded. George Hancock is credited as the game's inventor for his development of a 17" ball and an undersized bat in the next week; the Farragut Club soon set rules for the game, which spread to outsiders. Envisioned as a way for baseball players to maintain their skills during the winter, the sport was called "Indoor Baseball". Under the name of "Indoor-Outdoor", the game moved outside in the next year, the first rules were published in 1889. In 1895 Lewis Rober, Sr. of Minneapolis organized outdoor games as exercise for firefighters. Rober's version of the game used a ball 12 inches in circumference, rather than the 16-inch ball used by the Farragut club, the Minneapolis ball prevailed, although the dimensions of the Minneapolis diamond were passed over in favor of the dimensions of the Chicago one. Rober may not have been familiar with the Farragut Club rules. Fire Station No. 19 in Minneapolis, Rober's post from 1896 to 1906, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in part for its association with the sport's development.
The first softball league outside the United States was organized in Toronto in 1897. The name "softball" dates back to 1926; the name was coined by Walter Hakanson of the YMCA at a meeting of the National Recreation Congress. The name softball had spread across the United States by 1930. By the 1930s, similar sports with different rules and names were being played all over the United States and Canada. By 1936, the Joint Rules Committee on Softball had standardized the rules and naming throughout the United States. Sixteen-inch softball sometimes referred to as "mush ball" or "super-slow pitch", is a direct descendant of Hancock's original game. Defensive players are not allowed to wear fi