A tank is an armoured fighting vehicle designed for front-line combat, with heavy firepower, strong armour, tracks and a powerful engine providing good battlefield manoeuvrability. They are a key part of combined arms combat. Modern tanks are versatile mobile land weapon system platforms, mounting a large-calibre cannon in a rotating gun turret, supplemented by mounted machine guns or other weapons, such as ATGMs, or rockets, they combine this with heavy vehicle armour which provides protection for the crew, the vehicle's weapons, its propulsion systems, operational mobility, due to its use of tracks rather than wheels, which allows the tank to move over rugged terrain and adverse conditions such as mud, be positioned on the battlefield in advantageous locations. These features enable the tank to perform well in a variety of intense combat situations both offensively with fire from their powerful tank gun, defensively due to their near invulnerability to common firearms and good resistance to heavier weapons, all while maintaining the mobility needed to exploit changing tactical situations.
Integrating tanks into modern military forces spawned a new era of combat, armoured warfare. There are classes of tanks, some being larger and heavily armoured, with high calibre guns, while others smaller armoured, equipped with a smaller calibre, lighter gun; these smaller tanks move over terrain with speed and agility and can perform a reconnaissance role in addition to engaging enemy targets. The smaller faster tank would not engage in battle with a larger armoured tank, except during a surprise flanking manoeuvre; the modern tank is the result of a century of development from the first primitive armoured vehicles, due to improvements in technology such as the internal combustion engine, which allowed the rapid movement of heavy armoured vehicles. As a result of these advances, tanks underwent tremendous shifts in capability in the years since their first appearance. Tanks in World War I were developed separately and by Great Britain and France as a means to break the deadlock of trench warfare on the Western Front.
The first British prototype, nicknamed Little Willie, was constructed at William Foster & Co. in Lincoln, England in 1915, with leading roles played by Major Walter Gordon Wilson who designed the gearbox and hull, by William Tritton of William Foster and Co. who designed the track plates. This was a prototype of a new design that would become the British Army's Mark I tank, the first tank used in combat in September 1916 during the Battle of the Somme; the name "tank" was adopted by the British during the early stages of their development, as a security measure to conceal their purpose. While the British and French built thousands of tanks in World War I, Germany was unconvinced of the tank's potential, built only twenty. Tanks of the interwar period evolved into the much larger and more powerful designs of World War II. Important new concepts of armoured warfare were developed. Less than two weeks Germany began their large-scale armoured campaigns that would become known as blitzkrieg – massed concentrations of tanks combined with motorised and mechanised infantry and air power designed to break through the enemy front and collapse enemy resistance.
The widespread introduction of high-explosive anti-tank warheads during the second half of World War II led to lightweight infantry-carried anti-tank weapons such as the Panzerfaust, which could destroy some types of tanks. Tanks in the Cold War were designed with these weapons in mind, led to improved armour types during the 1960s composite armour. Improved engines and suspensions allowed tanks of this period to grow larger. Aspects of gun technology changed as well, with advances in shell design and aiming technology. During the Cold War, the main battle tank concept became a key component of modern armies. In the 21st century, with the increasing role of asymmetrical warfare and the end of the Cold War, that contributed to the increase of cost-effective anti-tank rocket propelled grenades worldwide and its successors, the ability of tanks to operate independently has declined. Modern tanks are more organized into combined arms units which involve the support of infantry, who may accompany the tanks in infantry fighting vehicles, supported by reconnaissance or ground-attack aircraft.
The tank is the 20th century realization of an ancient concept: that of providing troops with mobile protection and firepower. The internal combustion engine, armour plate, continuous track were key innovations leading to the invention of the modern tank. Many sources imply that Leonardo da Vinci and H. G. Wells in some way "invented" the tank. Leonardo's late 15th century drawings of what some describe as a "tank" show a man-powered, wheeled vehicle with cannons all around it; however the human crew would not have enough power to move it over larger distance, usage of animals was problematic in a space so confined. In the 15th century, Jan Žižka built armoured wagons containing cannons and used them in several battles; the continuous "caterpillar" track arose from attempts to improve the mobility of wheeled vehicles by spreading their weight, reducing ground pressure, increasing their traction. Experiments can be traced back as far as the 17th century, by the late nineteenth they existed in various recognizable and practical forms in several countries.
It is frequen
Simon & Garfunkel
Simon & Garfunkel were an American folk rock duo consisting of singer-songwriter Paul Simon and singer Art Garfunkel. They were one of the bestselling music groups of the 1960s and became counterculture icons of the decade's social revolution, alongside artists such as the Beatles, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, their biggest hits—including "The Sound of Silence", "Mrs. Robinson", "The Boxer", "Bridge over Troubled Water" —reached number one on singles charts worldwide; the duo met in elementary school in Queens, New York, in 1953, where they learned to harmonize together and began writing original material. By 1957, under the name Tom & Jerry, the teenagers had their first minor success with "Hey Schoolgirl", a song imitating their idols The Everly Brothers. In 1963, aware of a growing public interest in folk music, they regrouped and were signed to Columbia Records as Simon & Garfunkel, their debut, Wednesday Morning, 3 A. M. sold poorly, they once again disbanded. In June 1965, a new version of "The Sound of Silence", overdubbed with electric guitar and drums, became a major U.
S. AM radio hit, reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100, they reunited to release a second studio album, Sounds of Silence, tour colleges nationwide. On their third release, Sage and Thyme, the duo assumed more creative control, their music was featured in the 1967 film The Graduate, giving them further exposure. Bookends, their next album, topped the Billboard 200 chart and included the number-one single "Mrs. Robinson" from the film, their rocky relationship led to artistic disagreements, which resulted in their breakup in 1970. Their final studio record, Bridge over Troubled Water, released that year, was their most successful, becoming one of the world's best-selling albums. After their breakup, Simon released a number of acclaimed albums, including 1986's Graceland. Garfunkel released some solo hits such as "All I Know", pursued an acting career, with leading roles in two Mike Nichols films, Catch-22 and Carnal Knowledge, in Nicolas Roeg's 1980 Bad Timing; the duo have reunited several times, most famously in 1981 for "The Concert in Central Park", which attracted more than 500,000 people, one of the largest concert attendances in history.
Simon & Garfunkel won 10 Grammy Awards and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1990. Bridge over Troubled Water is ranked at number 51 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Richie Unterberger described them as "the most successful folk-rock duo of the 1960s" and one of the most popular artists from the decade, they are among the best-selling music artists. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel grew up in the 1940s and 1950s in the predominantly Jewish neighborhood of Forest Hills in Queens, New York, three blocks away from one another, they attended the same schools: Public School 164 in Flushing, Parsons Junior High School, Forest Hills High School. They were both fascinated with music. Simon first noticed Garfunkel when Garfunkel was singing in a fourth grade talent show, which Simon thought was a good way to attract girls, they formed a streetcorner doo-wop group, the Peptones, with three friends, learned to harmonize. They began performing as a duo at school dances. Simon and Garfunkel moved to Forest Hills High School in 1955, where, in 1956, they wrote their first song, "The Girl for Me".
While trying to remember the lyrics to the Everly's song "Hey Doll Baby", they created their own song, "Hey Schoolgirl", which they recorded themselves for $25 at Sanders Recording Studio in Manhattan. While recording they were overheard by a promoter, Sid Prosen, who – after speaking to their parents – signed them to his independent label Big Records, they were 15. Under Big Records and Garfunkel assumed the name Tom & Jerry, their first single, "Hey Schoolgirl", was released with the B-side "Dancin' Wild" in 1957. Prosen, using the payola system, bribed DJ Alan Freed $200 to play the single on his radio show, where it became a nightly staple. "Hey Schoolgirl" attracted regular rotation on nationwide AM pop stations, leading it to sell over 100,000 copies and to land on Billboard's charts at number 49. Prosen promoted the group getting them a headlining spot on Dick Clark's American Bandstand alongside Jerry Lee Lewis. Simon and Gafunkel shared $4,000 from the song – earning two percent each from royalties, the rest staying with Prosen.
They released three more singles on Big Records: "Our Song", "That's My Story", "Don't Say Goodbye", none of them successful. After graduating from Forest Hills High School in 1958, the pair continued their education should a music career not unfold. Simon studied English at Queens College, City University of New York, Garfunkel studied architecture before switching to art history at Columbia College, Columbia University. While still with Big Records as a duo, Simon released a solo single, "True or False", under the name "True Taylor"; this upset Garfunkel. Their last recording with Big Records was a cover of a Jan and Dean single, "Baby Talk", but the company went bankrupt soon after release.
Wisconsin Central Ltd.
Wisconsin Central Ltd. is a railroad subsidiary of the Canadian National Railway. At one time, its parent Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation owned or operated railroads in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia. Wisconsin Central Ltd. started in US in the mid-1980s using most of the original Wisconsin Central Railway's rights of way and some former Milwaukee Road rights of way after the Soo Line Railroad acquired the Wisconsin, Indiana and Minnesota holdings of the bankrupt Milwaukee Road and divested its older railway trackage in Wisconsin. In 1993 the Wisconsin Central acquired the Green Bay and Western Railroad and the Fox River Valley Railroad. In 1995, Wisconsin Central acquired the 322-mile Canadian Algoma Central Railway whose tracks ran north of Sault Saint Marie to Hearst, Ontario; the Algoma Central runs a popular tourist passenger train through the Agawa Canyon and Agawa Canyon Wilderness Park near Lake Superior Provincial Park. In 2001, the Wisconsin Central was purchased by the Canadian National Railway.
Along with the former Illinois Central Railroad, the former Wisconsin Central became part of Canadian National's United States holdings and its property integrated into the CN system. At the time of its sale to Canadian National, Wisconsin Central operated over 2,850 miles of track in the Great Lakes region; the railroad extended from Chicago through Wisconsin to Minneapolis/St. Paul and Duluth, Minnesota, to Sault Ste Marie and north to Hearst, Ontario. April 3, 1987: The Soo Line Railroad announces the sale of its Lake States Transportation Division to private investors, forming the new Wisconsin Central Transportation Corporation. October 11, 1987: The first WC train runs, from Stevens Point to North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. May 1991: WC shares begin trading under the ticker symbol WCTC, raising $36.2 million. 1992: Railway Age Magazine names WC "Regional Railroad of the Year". 1993: WC acquires the Fox River Valley Railroad and Green Bay and Western railroads through a new subsidiary, Fox Valley & Western Ltd. 1993: A WC-led consortium acquires New Zealand Rail through a new subsidiary, Wisconsin Central International, renames it Tranz Rail in 1995.
1995: WC acquires the Algoma Central Railway through a new subsidiary, Wisconsin Central Canada Holdings. 1995: A WC-led consortium acquires Rail Express Systems in the United Kingdom. 1996: WC partners with Canadian National Railway and CSX, inaugurating a new intermodal shipping corridor between the west and east coasts of North America. 1996: Three trainload rail freight operators in the UK are united into a new WC subsidiary, English Welsh & Scottish. March 4, 1996: A Wisconsin Central freight train derails in Weyauwega, Wisconsin. 1997: EWS acquires two more freight railways in the UK. 1997: Another WC subsidiary, the Sault Ste. Marie Bridge Company, acquires 207 miles of track from Union Pacific Railroad forming a WC connection between Green Bay and Ishpeming, Michigan. 1997: A new WC subsidiary, Australian Transport Network, acquires a one-third ownership and an operating interest TasRail in Tasmania. Six months ATN acquires the Emu Bay Railway in Tasmania. 1999: Railroad industry trade journal Railway Age magazine names WC president Edward Burkhardt its Railroader of the Year.
January 30, 2001: WC and CN announce plans for CN to purchase WC for $800 million and the assumption of $400 million of WC's debt. September 7, 2001: The Surface Transportation Board approves the sale of WC to CN. October 9, 2001: WC is acquired by CN. December 21, 2011: Duluth and Pacific Railway and Duluth and Iron Range Railway owned by CN, are merged into Wisconsin Central. January 1, 2013: Elgin and Eastern Railway is merged into Wisconsin Central Ltd indirectly as parent company CN made the acquisition. Romell, Rick. Soo Line Historical and Technical Society WC2scale - Wisconsin Central Motive Power Photo Gallery #1 RailPictures. Net – Photographs of the Wisconsin Central
Richard J. Oglesby
Richard James Oglesby was an American soldier and Republican politician from Illinois. He served in the United States Army during the Mexican–American War of 1846–47, after the war became a prospector during the California Gold Rush and was elected to the Illinois General Assembly. During the American Civil War, Oglesby volunteered for the Union Army and rose to the rank of major general, serving in the Western Theater, he served as a United States Senator from Illinois from 1873 to 1879. The town of Oglesby, Illinois, is named in his honor. Oglesby was born in Oldham County, Kentucky, he was orphaned and moved to live with his uncle in Decatur, Illinois, in 1832, where he worked as a farmhand and carpenter. With the outbreak of the Mexican–American War, he enlisted as a 1st Lieutenant in Company C, 4th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment taking part in the battles of Veracruz and Cerro Gordo "where his regiment captured Mexican President General Santa Anna, but they had to settle for his cork leg, carriage and $20,000 in gold".
He might have participated in what may have been the first baseball game played outside the U. S. at the end of April 1847, a few days after the Battle of Cerro Gordo, "with the wooden leg captured from General Santa Anna". He was mustered out of the volunteer service in May 1847, he studied at Louisville Law School in 1848, but traveled to California for the gold rush in 1849, where he tried his hand at gold mining. After two years of traveling in Europe, he returned to Illinois in 1851, joined the Republican Party at its formation, ran unsuccessfully for the U. S. Congress in 1858, was elected to the Illinois Senate in 1860. In 1859 Oglesby married Decatur native Anna White, they had four children. At the start of the Civil War, Oglesby was appointed colonel of the 8th Illinois Volunteer Infantry Regiment on April 25, 1861, was soon given command of the 1st Brigade, 1st Division, District of Cairo, Department of the Missouri, serving under the command of Ulysses S. Grant, he was a well liked commander known to his troops as "Uncle Dick".
He commanded his brigade at the battles of Fort Henry and Fort Donelson and soon after was promoted to brigadier general. He commanded 2nd Division, Army of the Tennessee, during the Siege of Corinth, he was wounded in his chest and back at the Battle of Corinth in October 1862. Oglesby was promoted to major general on November 29, after a period of recovery, commanded the Left Wing of the XVI Corps, Army of the Tennessee, in western Tennessee and northern Mississippi from April to July 1863, he resigned his commission on May 1864, to run for governor on the Republican ticket. He was present in the room at the Petersen House when President Abraham Lincoln died on April 15, 1865. Oglesby was elected by a large majority and served as the Governor of Illinois between 1865 and 1869. During his tenure as governor, he advocated improving the quality of care of the mentally ill and for other groups of disabled citizens, he signed legislation expanding the State Hospital system from one campus to three.
After his term ended, he practiced law until 1872, when he agreed to a scheme in which Oglesby ran again for governor, but turned the office over to the lieutenant governor after inauguration in return for a seat in the U. S. Senate, he served as a Senator from 1873 until 1879. In 1884, he was reelected governor for a third time, becoming the first man in Illinois history to serve three times as governor. At the end of his third term as governor, he tried unsuccessfully to be reelected to his Senate seat, he died at his "Oglehurst" estate in Elkhart, Illinois. He is buried there in Elkhart Cemetery. There is a statue of Oglesby in Chicago, his son, John G. Oglesby, was a two time Lieutenant Governor of Illinois. List of American Civil War generals Eicher, John H. and David J. Eicher. Civil War High Commands. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001. ISBN 0-8047-3641-3. Warner, Ezra J. Generals in Blue: Lives of the Union Commanders. Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 1964. ISBN 0-8071-0822-7.
Plummer, Mark A. Lincoln's Rail Splitter: Governor Richard J. Oglesby. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 2001. ISBN 0-252-02649-7. Townsend, George Alfred; the Life and Capture of John Wilkes Booth. New York: Dick & Fitzgerald, 1865. OCLC 8110858. Richard J. Oglesby at Find a Grave Richard Oglesby Home in Decatur, Illinois
Rosehill Cemetery is an American Victorian-era cemetery on the North Side of Chicago, at 350 acres, is the largest cemetery in the City of Chicago. The name "Rosehill" resulted from a City Clerk's error – the area was called "Roe's Hill", named for nearby farmer Hiram Roe, he refused to sell his land to the city until it was promised that the cemetery be named in his honor. It is located in the north east section of the Lincoln Square community area. Rosehill's Joliet-limestone entrance gate was designed by William W. Boyington, the architect of the Chicago Water Tower and the Old University of Chicago, buried in Rosehill; the Rosehill Cemetery Administration Building and Entry Gate was listed on the U. S. National Register of Historic Places in 1975. Like its sister cemetery Graceland, Rosehill is the burial place of many well-known Chicagoans; the cemetery contains many monuments that are notable for their beauty and eccentricity, such as that of Lulu Fellows. Several graves from the old City Cemetery located in what is now Lincoln Park were relocated to Rosehill.
Some of the gravestones and monuments were moved to Rosehill Cemetery and can be seen. Dedicated in 1914, Rosehill Mausoleum was designed by architect Sidney Lovell, it is the largest mausoleum in Chicago and has two levels, the lower level being underground. The interior is constructed entirely of marble; the floors are Italian Carrara marble. There are many small family-owned rooms with heavy bronze gates; some of these private rooms feature stained glass windows by Louis Comfort Tiffany among other artists. Richard B. Ogilvie, Governor of Illinois, is entombed near the ceiling in the west part of the Mausoleum. Other notables include Aaron Montgomery Ward, his business rival Richard Warren Sears, John G. Shedd and president of Marshall Field & Company; the mausoleum has been expanded several times. Built in 1899, the Horatio N. May Chapel was designed by architect Joseph Lyman Silsbee, it is designed in a blend of Gothic and Romanesque styles, with an exterior of granite and an interior appointed with mosaic floors and a graceful oak roof with "hammer-beam trusses and curved brackets."
Civil War buffs have long been attracted to Rosehill, where 350 Union soldiers and sailors and at least three Confederates who gave their lives in service are entombed. It is the final resting place for several members of the 8th Illinois Cavalry, the unit that fired the first shots in the Battle of Gettysburg, of a general whose troops helped Ulysses S. Grant avoid surrender in the Battle of Shiloh, Grant's first major engagement of the war. Rosehill Cemetery maintains the distinction of being the largest private burial ground of Union veterans, including 16 generals, in the state of Illinois. To honor those who fought for country and cause, Rosehill opened its own Civil War Museum on January 15, 1995. A monument "To Honor All the Courageous Volunteer Firefighters of Chicago" was erected in Rosehill Cemetery in 1864; the monument, designed by Leonard Volk, features a vigilant fireman standing atop a tall column. A fire hose is wrapped around the base. Four old-style hydrants make up the corners of the memorial.
The granite marker at the base contains the names of all firefighters killed in the line of duty. Rosehill was featured in the film Next of Kin; the funeral scene in Backdraft takes place at the Volunteer Firefighter's Monument at Rosehill, but was filmed elsewhere using a replica of this monument. Lulu Fellowes appeared in the film U. S. Marshals; the roadhouse now known as the Fireside Restaurant & Lounge has stood across from historic Rosehill Cemetery for more than a century. It is one of the oldest continuously operating taverns in Chicago; the original tavern once served traveling farmers and mourners alike offering accommodations. In 2015, the Chicago Park District Park No. 568 - West Ridge Nature Preserve was established along the north western edge of Rosehill Cemetery. The park land, once part of the cemetery, features 20.585 acres of restored woodland, native plants, boardwalks, a 4.5 acre pond, a multipurpose trail around the park with elevated overlooks and interpretive signage for easy identification of plantings, fishing stations and wildlife viewing opportunities.
Official website Rosehill Cemetery Civil War Museum Photographs of Rosehill Cemetery Rosehill Cemetery on Graveyards.com Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum at Find a Grave U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rosehill Cemetery U. S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Rosehill Mausoleum Haunted USA Clown Trespasses At Chicago Cemetery In Dead Of Night Chicago Park District Park No. 568 Sears Founder Still Hangs Around
Richard Milhous Nixon was an American politician who served as the 37th president of the United States from 1969 to 1974. He had served as the 36th vice president of the United States from 1953 to 1961, prior to that as both a U. S. representative and senator from California. Nixon was born in California. After completing his undergraduate studies at Whittier College, he graduated from Duke University School of Law in 1937 and returned to California to practice law, he and his wife Pat moved to Washington in 1942 to work for the federal government. He subsequently served on active duty in the U. S. Navy Reserve during World War II. Nixon was elected to the House of Representatives in 1946 and to the Senate in 1950, his pursuit of the Hiss Case established his reputation as a leading anti-communist and elevated him to national prominence. He was the running mate of Dwight D. Eisenhower, the Republican Party presidential nominee in the 1952 election. Nixon served for eight years as Vice President, becoming the second-youngest vice president in history at age 40.
He waged an unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1960, narrowly losing to John F. Kennedy, lost a race for governor of California to Pat Brown in 1962. In 1968, he ran for the presidency again and was elected, defeating incumbent Vice President Hubert Humphrey. Nixon ended American involvement in the war in Vietnam in 1973 and brought the American POWs home, ended the military draft. Nixon's visit to China in 1972 led to diplomatic relations between the two nations and he initiated détente and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty with the Soviet Union the same year, his administration transferred power from Washington D. C. to the states. He imposed wage and price controls for ninety days, enforced desegregation of Southern schools, established the Environmental Protection Agency and began the War on Cancer. Nixon presided over the Apollo 11 moon landing, which signaled the end of the moon race, he was reelected in one of the largest electoral landslides in U. S. history in 1972 when he defeated George McGovern.
In his second term, Nixon ordered an airlift to resupply Israeli losses in the Yom Kippur War, resulting in the restart of the Middle East peace process and an oil crisis at home. The Nixon administration supported a coup in Chile that ousted the government of Salvador Allende and propelled Augusto Pinochet to power. By late 1973, the Watergate scandal escalated. On August 9, 1974, he resigned in the face of certain impeachment and removal from office—the only time a U. S. president has done so. After his resignation, he was issued a controversial pardon by Gerald Ford. In 20 years of retirement, Nixon wrote nine books and undertook many foreign trips, helping to rehabilitate his image into that of an elder statesman, he suffered a debilitating stroke on April 18, 1994 and died four days at the age of 81. Richard Milhous Nixon was born on January 9, 1913 in Yorba Linda, California, in a house, built by his father, his parents were Francis A. Nixon, his mother was a Quaker, his father converted from Methodism to the Quaker faith.
Nixon was a descendant of the early American settler, Thomas Cornell, an ancestor of Ezra Cornell, the founder of Cornell University, as well as of Jimmy Carter and Bill Gates. Nixon's upbringing was marked by evangelical Quaker observances of the time, such as refraining from alcohol and swearing. Nixon had four brothers: Harold, Donald and Edward. Four of the five Nixon boys were named after kings who had ruled in legendary Britain. Nixon's early life was marked by hardship, he quoted a saying of Eisenhower to describe his boyhood: "We were poor, but the glory of it was we didn't know it"; the Nixon family ranch failed in 1922, the family moved to Whittier, California. In an area with many Quakers, Frank Nixon opened a grocery gas station. Richard's younger brother. At the age of twelve, a spot was found on Richard's lung, with a family history of tuberculosis, he was forbidden to play sports; the spot was found to be scar tissue from an early bout of pneumonia. Young Richard attended East Whittier Elementary School, where he was president of his eighth-grade class.
His parents believed that attending Whittier High School had caused Richard's older brother Harold to live a dissolute lifestyle before he fell ill of tuberculosis, so they sent Richard to the larger Fullerton Union High School. He had to ride a school bus for an hour each way during his freshman year, he received excellent grades, he lived with an aunt in Fullerton during the week. He played junior varsity football, missed a practice though he was used in games, he had greater success as a debater, winning a number of championships and taking his only formal tutelage in public speaking from Fullerton's Head of English, H. Lynn Sheller. Nixon remembered Sheller's words, "Remember, speaking is conversation... don't shout at people. Talk to them. Converse with them." Nixon stated. At the start of his junior year beginning in September 1928, Richard's parents permitted him to transfer to Whittier High School. At Whittier High, Nixon suffered his first electoral defeat, for student body president, he rose at 4 a.m. to drive the family truck into Los Angeles and purchase vegetables at the market.
He drove to the store to wash and display them, befo
The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a passenger railroad service that provides medium- and long-distance intercity service in the contiguous United States and to nine Canadian cities. Founded in 1971 as a quasi-public corporation to operate many U. S. passenger rail services, it receives a combination of state and federal subsidies but is managed as a for-profit organization. Amtrak's headquarters is located one block west of Union Station in Washington, D. C. Amtrak serves more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces, operating more than 300 trains daily over 21,400 miles of track. Amtrak owns 623 miles of this track and operates an additional 132 miles of track; some track sections allow trains to run as fast as 150 mph. In fiscal year 2018, Amtrak served 31.7 million passengers and had $3.4 billion in revenue, while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly 87,000 passengers ride more than 300 Amtrak trains on a daily basis. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the 10 largest metropolitan areas.
The name Amtrak is a portmanteau of the words America and trak, the latter itself a sensational spelling of track. In 1916, 98% of all commercial intercity travelers in the United States moved by rail, the remaining 2% moved by inland waterways. Nearly 42 million passengers used railways as primary transportation. Passenger trains were owned and operated by the same owned companies that operated freight trains; as the 20th century progressed, patronage declined in the face of competition from buses, air travel, the automobile. New streamlined diesel-powered trains such as the Pioneer Zephyr were popular with the traveling public but could not reverse the trend. By 1940, railroads held just 67 percent of commercial passenger-miles in the United States. In real terms, passenger-miles had fallen by 40 % from 42 billion to 25 billion. Traffic surged during World War II, aided by troop movement and gasoline rationing; the railroad's market share surged with a massive 94 billion passenger-miles. After the war, railroads rejuvenated their overworked and neglected passenger fleets with fast and luxurious streamliners.
These new trains brought only temporary relief to the overall decline. As postwar travel exploded, passenger travel percentages of the overall market share fell to 46% by 1950, 32% by 1957; the railroads had lost money on passenger service since the Great Depression, but deficits reached $723 million in 1957. For many railroads, these losses threatened financial viability; the causes of this decline were debated. The National Highway System and airports, both funded by the government, competed directly with the railroads, who paid for their own infrastructure. Progressive Era rate regulation limited the railroad's ability to turn a profit. Railroads faced antiquated work rules and inflexible relationships with trade unions. To take one example, workers continued to receive a day's pay for 100-to-150-mile work days. Streamliners covered that in two hours. Matters approached a crisis in the 1960s. Passenger service route-miles fell from 107,000 miles in 1958 to 49,000 miles in 1970, the last full year of private operation.
The diversion of most U. S. Postal Service mail from passenger trains to trucks and freight trains in late 1967 deprived those trains of badly needed revenue. In direct response, the Atchison and Santa Fe Railway filed to discontinue 33 of its remaining 39 trains, ending all passenger service on one of the largest railroads in the country; the equipment the railroads had ordered after World War II was now 20 years old, worn out, in need of replacement. As passenger service declined various proposals were brought forward to rescue it; the 1961 Doyle Report proposed. Similar proposals failed to attract support; the federal government passed the High Speed Ground Transportation Act of 1965 to fund pilot programs in the Northeast Corridor, but this did nothing to address passenger deficits. In late 1969 multiple proposals emerged in the United States Congress, including equipment subsidies, route subsidies, lastly, a "quasi-public corporation" to take over the operation of intercity passenger trains.
Matters were brought to a head on March 5, 1970, when the Penn Central, the largest railroad in the Northeast United States and teetering on bankruptcy, filed to discontinue 34 of its passenger trains. In October 1970, Congress passed, President Richard Nixon signed into law, the Rail Passenger Service Act. Proponents of the bill, led by the National Association of Railroad Passengers, sought government funding to ensure the continuation of passenger trains, they conceived the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, a private entity that would receive taxpayer funding and assume operation of intercity passenger trains. The original working brand name for NRPC was Railpax, but shortly before the company started operating it was changed to Amtrak. There were several key provisions: Any railroad operating intercity passenger service could contract with the NRPC, thereby joining the national system. Participating railroads bought into the NRPC using a formula based on their recent intercity passenger losses.
The purchase price could be satisfied either by cash or rolling stock. Any participating railroad was freed of the obligation to operate intercity passenger service after May 1, 1971, except for those services chosen by the Department of Transportation as part of a "basic system" of servic