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
Scottsdale is a city in the eastern part of Maricopa County, United States, part of the Greater Phoenix Area. Named Scottsdale in 1894 after its founder Winfield Scott, a retired U. S. Army chaplain, the city was incorporated in 1951 with a population of 2,000; the 2015 population of the city was estimated to be 236,839 according to the U. S. Census Bureau; the New York Times described downtown Scottsdale as "a desert version of Miami's South Beach" and as having "plenty of late night partying and a buzzing hotel scene." Its slogan is "The West's Most Western Town."Scottsdale, 31 miles long and 11.4 miles wide at its widest point, shares boundaries with many other municipalities and entities. On the west, Scottsdale is bordered by Phoenix, Paradise Valley and unincorporated Maricopa County land. Carefree is located along the western boundary, as well as sharing Scottsdale's northern boundary with the Tonto National Forest. To the south Scottsdale is bordered by Tempe; the southern boundary is occupied by the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which extends along the eastern boundary, which borders Fountain Hills, the McDowell Mountain Regional Park and more unincorporated Maricopa County land.
The area which would include what would become Scottsdale was inhabited by the Hohokam, from 300 BC to 1450 AD. This ancient civilization farmed the area and developed a complex network of canals for irrigation, unsurpassed in pre-Columbian North America. At its peak, the canals stretched over 250 miles, many of which built remains extant today, some having been renovated and put back into use in the 20th century. Under still-mysterious circumstances, the Hohokam disappeared around 1450 or 1500, the most theory having to do with a prolonged drought; the area's occupants, the Pima and O'odham, are thought to be the direct descendants of the Hohokam people. Before European settlement, Scottsdale was a Pima village known as Vaṣai S-vaṣonĭ, meaning "rotting hay." Some Pima remained in their original homes well into the 20th century. For example, until the late 1960s, there was a still-occupied traditional dwelling on the southeast corner of Indian Bend Road and Hayden Road; those Pima who live within Scottsdale reside in newer homes rather than traditional dwellings.
Many Pima and Maricopa people continue to reside on the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, which borders Scottsdale directly to the south and east. In the early to mid 1880s, U. S. Army Chaplain Winfield Scott visited the Salt River Valley and was impressed with the region and its potential for agriculture. Returning in 1888 with his wife, Helen, he purchased 640 acres for $3.50 an acre for a stretch of land where downtown Scottsdale is now located. Winfield and his brother, George Washington Scott, became the first residents of the town, known as Orangedale due to the large citrus groves planted by the Scott brothers. Many of the community's original settlers, recruited by Scott from the East and Midwest, were educated and had an appreciation for cultural activities; the town's name was changed to Scottsdale after its founder. In 1896, these settlers established the Scottsdale Public School system, opened the first schoolhouse, followed by the opening of the first general store by J. L. Davis, which housed the first post office for Scottsdale in 1897.
In the early 1900s the community supported an artists and writers culture, culminating in the opening of the region's first resort in 1909, the Ingleside Inn, located just south of the Arizona Canal and west of the Crosscut Canal in what is today Scottsdale. In 1909, Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop opened in downtown Scottsdale, the original schoolhouse was replaced by the much more expansive Little Red Schoolhouse, which remains standing to this day. While not in its original building, Cavalliere's has been in continuance operation since that time. In 1912, both the Phoenix Street Railway Company and a competitor, the Salt River Valley Electric Railway Company, proposed building streetcar lines to Scottsdale but due to an economic downturn, neither was built. Between 1908 and 1933, due to the construction of the Granite Reef and Roosevelt dams, Scottsdale's population experienced a boom, growing during those years. Scottsdale became a small market town providing services for families involved in the agricultural industry.
During the First World War Scottsdale and its environs supported a large cotton farming industry, due to the creation of Long Staple Egyptian Cotton, developed by the US Department of Agriculture. Although cotton is still grown in southern Arizona, Scottsdale's cotton boom ended with the loss of government contracts at the end of the war. In 1920, a second resort was opened on 12 acres of the property owned by the artist Jessie Benton Evans. Called the Jokake Inn, meaning "mud house," the structure still stands on the grounds of the world-famous Phoenician Resort; the Depression years saw an influx of artists and architects to Scottsdale, which included, in 1937, the internationally renowned Frank Lloyd Wright. In 1937, Wright and his wife purchased 600 desert acres at the foot of the McDowell Mountains and established what is now known as Taliesin West, his winter home and his architectural firm's Southwestern headquarters. Scottsdale and the rest of Phoenix have seen an everlasting influence from Frank Lloyd Wright.
Many buildings throughout the region were designed by the famous architect. His significant influence on the regional architecture is commemorated through a major street which bears his name and a 125-foot spire memorial designed by Wright himself in North Scottsdale. Among the more
Millwork (building material)
Millwork building materials are any woodmill-produced products for building construction. Stock profiled and patterned millwork building components fabricated by milling at a planing mill can be installed with minimal alteration. Today, millwork encompasses items that are made using alternatives to wood, including synthetics and wood-adhesive composites. Specified by Architects and Designers, millwork products are considered a design element within a room or on a building to create a mood or design theme. Millwork products are used on both interior and exterior applications and can serve as either decorative or functional features of a building. Millwork building materials include the ready-made carpentry elements installed in any building. Many of the specific features in a space are created using different types of architectural millwork: doors, transoms, moulding, stair parts, cabinetry to name just a few; the primary material used in millwork items today are most produced from softwood or hardwood lumber.
Other materials used in millwork products include MDF, finger-jointed wood, composite materials, particle board and fiberglass. Some millwork products like doors and stair parts incorporate the use of steel, stainless and various glass options. All wood products in millwork require decorative finish coatings; these finishes include stain and a semi-transparent finishes or paint. The finishes protect the wood from decay, warping and fade. Most millwork building materials can be installed with little or no modification as part of the construction process; the term millwork applied to building elements made from wood. During the "Golden Age" of millworking everything in the house was made from wood. During this time, the millwork produced in the United States became standardized nationwide. Today, the increase in the use of synthetic materials has led many professionals to consider any item, composed of a combination of wood and synthetic elements to be properly defined as millwork; this includes products that make use of pressed-wood chips in the design, such as melamine coated shelving.
There are two types of manufacturers of millwork goods. In one, referred to as "stock millwork", commodity fabricators mass-produce trims and building components—with the end product being low cost, interchangeable items for commercial or home builders. In another, the product is custom produced for individuals or individual building projects—usually a costlier option, referred to as "architectural millwork." Millwork building materials are used for both function in buildings. Exterior doors and windows are tested by independent agencies and rated for energy efficiency, they can be impact rated, fire rated and can be specified to reduce sound transference. Interior millwork products are not rated for energy efficiency; these products are used as a decorative feature but can serve functions for privacy and sound deadening
Arizona is a state in the southwestern region of the United States. It is part of the Western and the Mountain states, it is the 14th most populous of the 50 states. Its capital and largest city is Phoenix. Arizona shares the Four Corners region with Utah and New Mexico. Arizona is the 48th state and last of the contiguous states to be admitted to the Union, achieving statehood on February 14, 1912, coinciding with Valentine's Day. Part of the territory of Alta California in New Spain, it became part of independent Mexico in 1821. After being defeated in the Mexican–American War, Mexico ceded much of this territory to the United States in 1848; the southernmost portion of the state was acquired in 1853 through the Gadsden Purchase. Southern Arizona is known for its desert climate, with hot summers and mild winters. Northern Arizona features forests of pine, Douglas fir, spruce trees. There are ski resorts in the areas of Flagstaff and Tucson. In addition to the Grand Canyon National Park, there are several national forests, national parks, national monuments.
About one-quarter of the state is made up of Indian reservations that serve as the home of 27 federally recognized Native American tribes, including the Navajo Nation, the largest in the state and the United States, with more than 300,000 citizens. Although federal law gave all Native Americans the right to vote in 1924, Arizona excluded those living on reservations in the state from voting until the state Supreme Court ruled in favor of Native American plaintiffs in Trujillo v. Garley; the state's name appears to originate from an earlier Spanish name, derived from the O'odham name alĭ ṣonak, meaning "small spring", which applied only to an area near the silver mining camp of Planchas de Plata, Sonora. To the European settlers, their pronunciation sounded like "Arissona"; the area is still known as alĭ ṣonak in the O'odham language. Another possible origin is the Basque phrase haritz ona, as there were numerous Basque sheepherders in the area. A native Mexican of Basque heritage established the ranchería of Arizona between 1734 and 1736 in the current Mexican state of Sonora, which became notable after a significant discovery of silver there, c.
1737. There is a misconception. For thousands of years before the modern era, Arizona was home to numerous Native American tribes. Hohokam and Ancestral Puebloan cultures were among the many that flourished throughout the state. Many of their pueblos, cliffside dwellings, rock paintings and other prehistoric treasures have survived, attracting thousands of tourists each year; the first European contact by native peoples was with Marcos de Niza, a Spanish Franciscan, in 1539. He explored parts of the present state and made contact with native inhabitants the Sobaipuri; the expedition of Spanish explorer Coronado entered the area in 1540–1542 during its search for Cíbola. Few Spanish settlers migrated to Arizona. One of the first settlers in Arizona was José Romo de Vivar. Father Kino was the next European in the region. A member of the Society of Jesus, he led the development of a chain of missions in the region, he converted many of the Indians to Christianity in the Pimería Alta in the 1690s and early 18th century.
Spain founded presidios at Tubac in 1752 and Tucson in 1775. When Mexico achieved its independence from the Kingdom of Spain and its Spanish Empire in 1821, what is now Arizona became part of its Territory of Nueva California known as Alta California. Descendants of ethnic Spanish and mestizo settlers from the colonial years still lived in the area at the time of the arrival of European-American migrants from the United States. During the Mexican–American War, the U. S. Army occupied the national capital of Mexico City and pursued its claim to much of northern Mexico, including what became Arizona Territory in 1863 and the State of Arizona in 1912; the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo specified that, in addition to language and cultural rights of the existing inhabitants of former Mexican citizens being considered as inviolable, the sum of US$15 million dollars in compensation be paid to the Republic of Mexico. In 1853, the U. S. acquired the land south below the Gila River from Mexico in the Gadsden Purchase along the southern border area as encompassing the best future southern route for a transcontinental railway.
What is now known as the state of Arizona was administered by the United States government as part of the Territory of New Mexico until the southern part of that region seceded from the Union to form the Territory of Arizona. This newly established territory was formally organized by the Confederate States government on Saturday, January 18, 1862, when President Jefferson Davis approved and signed An Act to Organize the Territory of Arizona, marking the first official use of the name "Territory of Arizona"; the Southern territory supplied the Confederate government with men and equipment. Formed in 1862, Arizona scout companies served with the Confederate States Army duri
Phoenix is the capital and most populous city of Arizona, with 1,626,000 people. It is the fifth most populous city in the United States, the most populous American state capital, the only state capital with a population of more than one million residents. Phoenix is the anchor of the Phoenix metropolitan area known as the Valley of the Sun, which in turn is part of the Salt River Valley; the metropolitan area is the 11th largest by population in the United States, with 4.73 million people as of 2017. Phoenix is the seat of Maricopa County and the largest city in the state at 517.9 square miles, more than twice the size of Tucson and one of the largest cities in the United States. Phoenix was settled in 1867 as an agricultural community near the confluence of the Salt and Gila Rivers and was incorporated as a city in 1881, it became the capital of Arizona Territory in 1889. It has a hot desert climate. Despite this, its canal system led to a thriving farming community with the original settler's crops remaining important parts of the Phoenix economy for decades, such as alfalfa, cotton and hay.
Cotton, citrus and copper were known locally as the "Five C's" anchoring Phoenix's economy. These remained the driving forces of the city until after World War II, when high-tech companies began to move into the valley and air conditioning made Phoenix's hot summers more bearable; the city averaged a four percent annual population growth rate over a 40-year period from the mid-1960s to the mid-2000s. This growth rate slowed during the Great Recession of 2007–09, has rebounded slowly. Phoenix is the cultural center of the state of Arizona; the Hohokam people occupied the Phoenix area for 2,000 years. They created 135 miles of irrigation canals, making the desert land arable, paths of these canals were used for the Arizona Canal, Central Arizona Project Canal, the Hayden-Rhodes Aqueduct, they carried out extensive trade with the nearby Ancient Puebloans and Sinagua, as well as with the more distant Mesoamerican civilizations. It is believed that periods of drought and severe floods between 1300 and 1450 led to the Hohokam civilization's abandonment of the area.
After the departure of the Hohokam, groups of Akimel O'odham, Tohono O'odham, Maricopa tribes began to use the area, as well as segments of the Yavapai and Apache. The O'odham were offshoots of the Sobaipuri tribe, who in turn were thought to be the descendants of the Hohokam; the Akimel O'odham were the major group in the area and lived in small villages, with well-defined irrigation systems that spread over the entire Gila River Valley, from Florence in the east to the Estrellas in the west. Their crops included corn and squash for food, while cotton and tobacco were cultivated, they banded together with the Maricopa for protection against incursions by the Yuma and Apache tribes. The Maricopa are part of the larger Yuma people; the Tohono O'odham lived in the region, as well, but their main concentration was to the south and stretched all the way to the Mexican border. The O'odham lived in small settlements as seasonal farmers who took advantage of the rains, rather than the large-scale irrigation of the Akimel.
They grew crops such as sweet corn, tapery beans, lentils, sugar cane, melons, as well as taking advantage of native plants such as saguaro fruits, cholla buds, mesquite tree beans, mesquite candy. They hunted local game such as deer and javelina for meat; the Mexican–American War ended in 1848, Mexico ceded its northern zone to the United States, residents of that region became U. S. citizens. The Phoenix area became part of the New Mexico Territory. In 1863, the mining town of Wickenburg was the first to be established in Maricopa County, to the northwest of Phoenix. Maricopa County had not yet been incorporated; the Army created Fort McDowell on the Verde River in 1865 to forestall Indian uprisings. The fort established a camp on the south side of the Salt River by 1866, the first settlement in the valley after the decline of the Hohokam. Other nearby settlements merged to become the city of Tempe; the history of the city of Phoenix begins with Jack Swilling, a Confederate veteran of the Civil War.
He saw a potential for farming. He formed a small community that same year about four miles east of the city. Lord Darrell Duppa was one of the original settlers in Swilling's party, he suggested the name "Phoenix", as it described a city born from the ruins of a former civilization; the Board of Supervisors in Yavapai County recognized the new town on May 4, 1868, the first post office was established the following month with Swilling as the postmaster. On February 12, 1871, the territorial legislature created Maricopa County by dividing Yavapai County; the first election for county office was held in 1871. He ran unopposed; the town grew during the 1870s, President Ulysses S. Grant issued a land patent for the site of Phoenix on April 10, 1874. By 1875, the town had a telegraph office
Hollywood Park Racetrack
Hollywood Park sold and referred to as Betfair Hollywood Park, was a thoroughbred race course located in Inglewood, about 3 miles from Los Angeles International Airport and adjacent to the Forum indoor arena. In 1994 Hollywood Park Casino, with a poker card room, was added to the racetrack complex. Horse racing and training were shut down in December 2013 though the casino operations continued while a new state of the art casino building opened in October 2016; the former horse racetrack area will be the site of Los Angeles Stadium at Hollywood Park, home of the Los Angeles Rams and the Los Angeles Chargers of the National Football League, when the stadium is completed in 2020. Until the Rams temporarily play home games at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum and the Chargers play at the StubHub Center; the track was opened on June 10, 1938 by the Hollywood Turf Club the racetrack was designed by noted racetrack architect Arthur Froehlich. Its chairman was Jack L. Warner of the Warner Bros. film studio.
Prominent shareholders included Jack Warner's brother and fellow Warner Bros. executive Harry, Hollywood studio executives Walt Disney, Samuel Goldwyn, Darryl Zanuck, actors Al Jolson, Bing Crosby, Joan Blondell, George Jessel, Ronald Colman and Ralph Bellamy. In addition to being shareholders film directors Raoul Walsh and Mervyn LeRoy were founding members of the track's Board of Directors with Jack and Harry Warner and Al Jolson. Hollywood Park closed from 1942 to 1944 due to World War II, where it was used as a storage facility. In 1949, the grandstand and clubhouse were destroyed by a fire. In 1984, the racetrack was extended from one mile around to 1 1⁄8 miles around prior to the first Breeders Cup race. Harness racing took place at Hollywood Park. By the late 1980s the racetrack Hollywood Park, though frequented by celebrities, was near the point of bankruptcy; as of 1989, a group of investors was working to buy Los Alamitos Racetrack in California for $68 million. Los Alamitos, owned by Hollywood Park, was still under its original ownership as of 1991, though a significant portion of the stock had been bought by external investors.
RD Hubbard became CEO of Hollywood Park in April 1991, after having purchased a portion of the company's stock in late 1990. He was assisted in the ouster of the former chairman Marje Everett, who had run Hollywood Park since 1972, by company shareholder Tom Gamel and sports businessman Harry Ornest. In 1991 $20 million was spent improving the racetrack; that year the park earned its first profit in five years, despite rioting in nearby Los Angeles in 1992, annual profits that year increased to $5.4 million. By 1993, the Los Angeles Times wrote that "shareholders at Hollywood Park... are enjoying substantial investment gains." A card club casino was added to the complex in 1994, as Hollywood Park underwent a $100 million expansion into Hollywood Park Casino, which opened in the summer of 1994. In 1994, Hollywood Park Inc. purchased the Arizona-based Turf Paradise Race Track for $34 million in stock. In May 1995 after the departure of the Rams for St. Louis, the owners of the National Football League teams approved with a 27-1 vote with two abstentions, a resolution supporting a plan to build a $200 million financed stadium on property owned by Hollywood Park for the Los Angeles Raiders.
Raiders owner Al Davis balked and refused the deal over a stipulation that he would have to accept a second team at the stadium. After the deal fell through the Raiders returned to Oakland, California. Hollywood Park Inc. suffered losses in 1995, though at the end of 1996, Hollywood Park bought Boomtown, Inc. for $188 million. Boomtown owned casinos in several cities such as Las Vegas and New Orleans. Boomtown merged with the casino operator Pinnacle Entertainment in 1998. Hollywood Park was purchased by Churchill Downs Incorporated on September 1999 for $140 million. Churchill Downs acquired Hollywood Park-Casino in the process, in turn leased by Hollywood Park Inc.. The previous owners of the track renamed their company Pinnacle Entertainment to concentrate on its gambling interests. In July 2005, Churchill Downs Incorporated sold the track to the Bay Meadows Land Company, owned by Stockbridge Capital Group for $260 million in cash. Under the terms of the deal, the company, which at the time operated Bay Meadows in San Mateo, was to continue thoroughbred racing at Hollywood Park for at least three years.
According to Bay Meadows officials, the continuation of Hollywood Park as a racing venue after that depended on California allowing more gambling, like slot machines, to the track. Some of the Hollywood Park land was sold to real estate developers to build a new housing community called the Inglewood Renaissance. Development began in 2005. New grass was planted on the turf course after Hollywood Park's spring-summer meet in 2005. Due to safety concerns, turf racing was not conducted for that year's autumn meet; as a result, several major stakes races that comprised Hollywood's Autumn Turf Festival were cancelled that year. After the conclusion of Hollywood's spring-summer meet in 2006, it was announced that a second chute would be built inside the turf course to accommodate sprint races at six furlongs; this followed a similar move by Monmouth Park to build a turf chute for sprint races. In 2010, Hollywood Park played host for the first time to Oak Tree; the Hollywood Park Racing Association and Betfair US, the Los Angeles-based subsidiary of Betfair that owns TVG Network, completed a historic agreement March 13, 2012 intended to transform the customer experience for fans at the venue as well as online and on television.
Under terms of the five-year deal, Hollywoo
A race track is a facility built for racing of vehicles, athletes, or animals. A race track may feature grandstands or concourses. Racetracks are used in the study of animal locomotion; some motorsport tracks are called speedways. A racetrack is building. Racecourse is an alternate term for a horse racing track, found in countries such as the United Kingdom, Australia, Hong Kong, the United Arab Emirates. Race tracks built for bicycles are known as velodromes. Circuit is a common alternate term for racetrack, given the circuit configuration of most race tracks, allowing races to occur over several laps. A race course, as opposed to a racecourse, is a non-permanent track for sports road running, water sports, road racing, or rallying. Many sports held on racetracks can occur on temporary tracks, such as the Monaco Grand Prix in Formula One. There is some evidence of racetracks being developed in several ancient civilizations; the most developed ancient racetracks were the hippodromes of the Ancient Greeks and the circuses of the Roman Empire.
Both of these structures were designed for chariot racing. The stadium of the Circus Maximus in Ancient Rome could hold 200,000 spectators. Racing facilities existed during the Middle Ages, there are records of a public racecourse being opened at Newmarket in London in 1174. In 1780 the Earl of Derby created a horse-racing course on his estate at Epsom. Racecourses in the British Isles are based on grass, known as turf tracks. In the United States, the race tracks are dirt. With the advent of the automobile in the late nineteenth/early twentieth century, racetracks were designed to suit the nature of powered machines; the earliest tracks were modified horse racing courses. Racing automobiles in such facilities began in September 1896, at Narragansett Park in Cranston, Rhode Island; the Indianapolis Motor Speedway was opened in August 1909. Beginning in the early 1900s, motorcycle races were run on high, wooden race tracks called board tracks. During the 1920s, many of the races on the AAA Championship circuit were run on such board tracks.
Modern racetracks are designed with spectator safety being paramount, following incidents of spectator and track marshals fatalities. These involve run off areas and high fencing. Racetracks are used for: horse racing harness racing greyhound racing camel racing bobsleigh skeleton cycle sport track and field auto racing motorcycle racing track racing stock car racing drag racing Kart racing Truck racing Surfaces include: Concrete Asphalt/tarmac Tartan Grass Dirt Sand Wood Ice Carpet Artificial turf Some racetracks offer little in the way of permanent infrastructure other than the track. Several racetracks are incorporated into larger venues or complexes, incorporating golf courses, museums and conference centres; some racetracks are small enough to be contained indoors, for sports such as motocross and athletics. Many racetracks are multi-use, allowing different types of sport on the same track, or incorporating many tracks in one venue. Running tracks are incorporated within general use or soccer stadiums, either permanently visible or covered by stands or pitches.
Many horse and motorsport tracks are configurable, allowing different sections. Some venues contain smaller tracks inside larger ones, with access tunnels and bridges for spectators; some racetracks incorporate a short course and a longer course which uses part of the shorter one the main straight, such as Brands Hatch. The Le Mans road race venue is centred on a smaller permanent circuit within its complex. Race tracks are designed for road racing competition through speed, featuring defined start-finish lines or posts, sometimes a series of defined timing points that divide the track into time sectors; some sports measure endurance, or how long a competitor can race. Race tracks can host individual or team sports. Racetracks can feature rolling starts, or fixed starts, with associated equipment They invariably feature a pit lane, timing equipment; some race tracks are of an oval shape banked, which allows universal spectator views or high speed racing, but are criticised for lack of excitement.
A famous one is Nardò where high-speed manufacturer testing takes place, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Some oval tracks are variations on an oval shape, for practical reasons or to introduce varying difficulties such as Talladega. Most race tracks have meandering circuits with many curves and changes in height, to allow for a challenge in skill to the competitors, notably motocross and touring car racing - these tend to predominate throughout most of the world, but in Europe. Flatter meandering motorsport courses are sometimes called'road circuits', originating in the fact that the earliest road racing circuits were closed-off pub