The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south and is bounded by Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east. At 165,250,000 square kilometers in area, this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth's water surface and about one-third of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth's land area combined; the centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. The equator subdivides it into the North Pacific Ocean and South Pacific Ocean, with two exceptions: the Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific, its mean depth is 4,000 meters. The Mariana Trench in the western North Pacific is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,911 meters; the western Pacific has many peripheral seas. Though the peoples of Asia and Oceania have traveled the Pacific Ocean since prehistoric times, the eastern Pacific was first sighted by Europeans in the early 16th century when Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa crossed the Isthmus of Panama in 1513 and discovered the great "southern sea" which he named Mar del Sur.
The ocean's current name was coined by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521, as he encountered favorable winds on reaching the ocean. He called it Mar Pacífico, which in both Portuguese and Spanish means "peaceful sea". Important human migrations occurred in the Pacific in prehistoric times. About 3000 BC, the Austronesian peoples on the island of Taiwan mastered the art of long-distance canoe travel and spread themselves and their languages south to the Philippines and maritime Southeast Asia. Long-distance trade developed all along the coast from Mozambique to Japan. Trade, therefore knowledge, extended to the Indonesian islands but not Australia. By at least 878 when there was a significant Islamic settlement in Canton much of this trade was controlled by Arabs or Muslims. In 219 BC Xu Fu sailed out into the Pacific searching for the elixir of immortality. From 1404 to 1433 Zheng He led expeditions into the Indian Ocean; the first contact of European navigators with the western edge of the Pacific Ocean was made by the Portuguese expeditions of António de Abreu and Francisco Serrão, via the Lesser Sunda Islands, to the Maluku Islands, in 1512, with Jorge Álvares's expedition to southern China in 1513, both ordered by Afonso de Albuquerque from Malacca.
The east side of the ocean was discovered by Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa in 1513 after his expedition crossed the Isthmus of Panama and reached a new ocean. He named it Mar del Sur because the ocean was to the south of the coast of the isthmus where he first observed the Pacific. In 1519, Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan sailed the Pacific East to West on a Spanish expedition to the Spice Islands that would result in the first world circumnavigation. Magellan called the ocean Pacífico because, after sailing through the stormy seas off Cape Horn, the expedition found calm waters; the ocean was called the Sea of Magellan in his honor until the eighteenth century. Although Magellan himself died in the Philippines in 1521, Spanish Basque navigator Juan Sebastián Elcano led the remains of the expedition back to Spain across the Indian Ocean and round the Cape of Good Hope, completing the first world circumnavigation in a single expedition in 1522. Sailing around and east of the Moluccas, between 1525 and 1527, Portuguese expeditions discovered the Caroline Islands, the Aru Islands, Papua New Guinea.
In 1542–43 the Portuguese reached Japan. In 1564, five Spanish ships carrying 379 explorers crossed the ocean from Mexico led by Miguel López de Legazpi, sailed to the Philippines and Mariana Islands. For the remainder of the 16th century, Spanish influence was paramount, with ships sailing from Mexico and Peru across the Pacific Ocean to the Philippines via Guam, establishing the Spanish East Indies; the Manila galleons operated for two and a half centuries, linking Manila and Acapulco, in one of the longest trade routes in history. Spanish expeditions discovered Tuvalu, the Marquesas, the Cook Islands, the Solomon Islands, the Admiralty Islands in the South Pacific. In the quest for Terra Australis, Spanish explorations in the 17th century, such as the expedition led by the Portuguese navigator Pedro Fernandes de Queirós, discovered the Pitcairn and Vanuatu archipelagos, sailed the Torres Strait between Australia and New Guinea, named after navigator Luís Vaz de Torres. Dutch explorers, sailing around southern Africa engaged in discovery and trade.
In the 16th and 17th centuries Spain considered the Pacific Ocean a mare clausum—a sea closed to other naval powers. As the only known entrance from the Atlantic, the Strait of Magellan was at times patrolled by fleets sent to prevent entrance of non-Spanish ships. On the western side of the Pacific Ocean the Dutch threatened the Spanish Philippines; the 18th cen
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base
Guantanamo Bay Naval Base known as Naval Station Guantanamo Bay or NSGB, is a United States military base and detention camp located on 120 square kilometers of land and water at Guantánamo Bay, which the U. S. leased for use as a coaling station and naval base in 1903. The lease was $2,000 in gold per year until 1934, when the payment was set to match the value in gold in dollars; the base is on the shore of Guantánamo Bay at the southeastern end of Cuba. It is the oldest overseas U. S. Naval Base. Since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, the Cuban government has protested against the U. S. presence on Cuban soil and called it illegal under international law, alleging that the base was imposed on Cuba by force. Since 2002, the naval base has contained a military prison, the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, for alleged unlawful combatants captured in Afghanistan and other places during the War on Terror. Cases of torture of prisoners, their denial of protection under the Geneva Conventions, have been condemned internationally.
Headquarters, Naval Station Guantanamo Bay Customer Service Desk Joint Task Force GuantanamoHeadquarters, JTF Guantanamo Joint Detention Group Joint Intelligence Group Joint Medical Group U. S. Coast Guard Marine Security Detachment Guantanamo Bay Marine Corps Security Force Company Naval Computer and Telecommunications Area Master Station Atlantic Detachment Guantanamo Bay Naval Hospital Guantanamo Bay Navy Supply Navy Security Forces SEABEE Detachment U. S. Coast Guard Aviation Detachment Guantanamo Bay Fleet Composite Squadron Ten U. S. Marine Corps Ground Defense Force Naval Security Group Activity Shore Intermediate Maintenance Activity Fleet Training Group YC 1639 Leeward Windward YON 258 USS Wanamassa LCU 1671 and MK-8: landing craft used as an alternate ferry for transportation to areas inaccessible by the primary ferry and for moving hazardous cargo. GTMO-5, GTMO-6 and GTMO-7: used for personnel transportation during off-ferry hours. Besides servicemembers, the base houses a large number of civilian contractors working for the military.
Many of these contractors are migrant workers from Jamaica and the Philippines, are thought to constitute up to 40% of the base's population. Major contractors working at NSGB have included the following: KBR Schuyler Line Navigation Company Satellite Communication Systems Incorporated Centerra EMCOR Islands Mechanical Contractor Munilla Construction Management RQ Construction MCM Construction J&J Worldwide Services Vectrus - https://vectrus.com Ocean Transportation is provided by Schuyler Line Navigation Company, a US Flag Ocean Carrier. Schuyler Line operates under government contract to supply sustainment and building supplies to the Base; the area surrounding Guantanamo bay was inhabited by the Taíno people. On 30 April 1494, Christopher Columbus, on his second voyage and spent the night; the place where Columbus landed is now known as Fisherman's Point. Columbus declared the bay Puerto Grande; the bay and surrounding areas came under British control during the War of Jenkins' Ear. Prior to British occupation, the bay was referred to as Walthenham Harbor.
The British renamed the bay Cumberland Bay. The British retreated from the area after a failed attempt to march to Santiago de Cuba. During the Spanish–American War, the U. S. fleet attacking Santiago secured Guantánamo's harbor for protection during the hurricane season of 1898. The Marines landed at Guantanamo Bay with naval support, American and Cuban forces routed the defending Spanish troops; the war ended with the Treaty of Paris of 1898, in which Spain formally relinquished control of Cuba. Although the war was over, the United States maintained a strong military presence on the island. In 1901 the United States government passed the Platt Amendment as part of an Army Appropriations Bill. Section VII of this amendment read That to enable the United States to maintain the independence of Cuba, to protect the people thereof, as well as for its own defense, the government of Cuba will sell or lease to the United States lands necessary for coaling or naval stations at certain specified points to be agreed upon with the President of the United States After initial resistance by the Cuban Constitutional Convention, the Platt Amendment was incorporated into the Constitution of the Republic of Cuba in 1901.
The Constitution took effect in 1902, land for a naval base at Guantanamo Bay was granted to the United States the following year. USS Monongahela, an old warship which served as a storeship at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba was destroyed by fire on March 17, 1908. A 4-inch gun was put on display at the Naval Station. Since the gun was deformed by the heat from the fire, it was nicknamed "Old Droopy"; the gun was on display on Deer Point until the command disposed of it, judging its appearance less than exemplary of naval gunnery. The 1903 lease agreement was executed in two parts; the first, signed in February, consisted of the following provisions: Agreement – This is a lease between the U. S. and Cuba for properties for naval stations, in accord with Article VII of the Platt Amendment. Article 1 – Describes the boundaries of the areas being leased, Guantanamo Bay and Bahia Honda. Article 2 – The U. S. may occupy and modify the properties to fit the needs of a coaling and
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and completely enclosed by land: on the north by Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa and on the east by the Levant. Although the sea is sometimes considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, it is identified as a separate body of water. Geological evidence indicates that around 5.9 million years ago, the Mediterranean was cut off from the Atlantic and was or desiccated over a period of some 600,000 years, the Messinian salinity crisis, before being refilled by the Zanclean flood about 5.3 million years ago. It covers an approximate area of 2.5 million km2, representing 0.7 % of the global ocean surface, but its connection to the Atlantic via the Strait of Gibraltar-the narrow strait that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Mediterranean Sea and separates Spain in Europe from Morocco in Africa- is only 14 km wide. In oceanography, it is sometimes called the Eurafrican Mediterranean Sea or the European Mediterranean Sea to distinguish it from mediterranean seas elsewhere.
The Mediterranean Sea has an average depth of 1,500 m and the deepest recorded point is 5,267 m in the Calypso Deep in the Ionian Sea. The sea is bordered on the north by Europe, the east by Asia, in the south by Africa, it is located between latitudes 30° and 46° N and longitudes 6° W and 36° E. Its west-east length, from the Strait of Gibraltar to the Gulf of Iskenderun, on the southwestern coast of Turkey, is 4,000 km; the sea's average north-south length, from Croatia's southern shore to Libya, is 800 km. The sea was an important route for merchants and travellers of ancient times that allowed for trade and cultural exchange between emergent peoples of the region; the history of the Mediterranean region is crucial to understanding the origins and development of many modern societies. The countries surrounding the Mediterranean in clockwise order are Spain, Monaco, Slovenia, Croatia and Herzegovina, Albania, Turkey, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco. In addition, the Gaza Strip and the British Overseas Territories of Gibraltar and Akrotiri and Dhekelia have coastlines on the sea.
The Ancient Greeks called the Mediterranean ἡ θάλασσα or sometimes ἡ μεγάλη θάλασσα, ἡ ἡμέτερα θάλασσα, or ἡ θάλασσα ἡ καθ'ἡμᾶς. The Romans called it Mare Mare Internum and, starting with the Roman Empire, Mare Nostrum; the term Mare Mediterrāneum appears later: Solinus used it in the 3rd century, but the earliest extant witness to it is in the 6th century, in Isidore of Seville. It means'in the middle of land, inland' in Latin, a compound of medius, -āneus; the Latin word is a calque of Greek μεσόγειος, from μέσος and γήινος, from γῆ. The original meaning may have been'the sea in the middle of the earth', rather than'the sea enclosed by land'; the Carthaginians called it the "Syrian Sea". In ancient Syrian texts, Phoenician epics and in the Hebrew Bible, it was known as the "Great Sea" or as "The Sea". Another name was the "Sea of the Philistines", from the people inhabiting a large portion of its shores near the Israelites. In Modern Hebrew, it is called HaYam HaTikhon'the Middle Sea'. In Modern Arabic, it is known as al-Baḥr al-Mutawassiṭ'the Middle Sea'.
In Islamic and older Arabic literature, it was Baḥr al-Rūm'the Sea of the Romans' or'the Roman Sea'. At first, that name referred to only the Eastern Mediterranean, but it was extended to the whole Mediterranean. Other Arabic names were Baḥr al-šām'the Sea of Syria' and Baḥr al-Maghrib'the Sea of the West'. In Turkish, it is the Akdeniz'the White Sea'; the origin of the name is not clear, as it is not known in earlier Greek, Byzantine or Islamic sources. It may be to contrast with the Black Sea. In Persian, the name was translated as Baḥr-i Safīd, used in Ottoman Turkish, it is the origin of the colloquial Greek phrase Άσπρη Θάλασσα. Johann Knobloch claims that in Classical Antiquity, cultures in the Levant used colours to refer to the cardinal points: black referred to the north, yellow or blue to east, red to south, white to west; this would explain both the Turkish Akdeniz and the Arab nomenclature described above. Several ancient civilizations were located around the Mediterranean shores and were influenced by their proximity to the sea.
It provided routes for trade and war, as well as food for numerous communities throughout the ages. Due to the shared climate and access to the sea, c
Korea is a region in East Asia. Since 1948, it has been divided between two distinct sovereign states: South Korea. Korea consists of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island, several minor islands near the peninsula. Korea is bordered by China to the northwest, Russia to the northeast, neighbours Japan to the east by the Korea Strait and the Sea of Japan. During the first half of the 1st millennium, Korea was divided between the three competing states of Baekje and Silla, together known as the "Three Kingdoms of Korea". In the second half of the 1st millennium and Goguryeo were conquered by Silla, leading to the "Unified Silla" period. Meanwhile, Balhae formed in the north following the collapse of Goguryeo. Unified Silla collapsed into three separate states due to civil war, ushering in the Later Three Kingdoms. Toward the end of the 1st millennium Goryeo, a revival of Goguryeo, defeated the two other states and unified the Korean Peninsula as one single state. Around the same time, Balhae collapsed and its last crown prince fled south to Goryeo.
Goryeo, whose name developed into the modern exonym "Korea", was a cultured state that created the world's first metal movable type in 1234. However, multiple invasions by the Mongol Empire during the 13th century weakened the nation, which agreed to become a vassal state after decades of fighting. Following military resistance under King Gongmin which ended Mongol political influence in Goryeo, severe political strife followed, Goryeo fell to a coup led by General Yi Seong-gye, who established Joseon in 1392; the first 200 years of Joseon were marked by relative peace. During this period, the Korean alphabet was created by Sejong the Great in the 15th century and there was increasing influence of Confucianism. During the part of the dynasty, Korea's isolationist policy earned it the Western nickname of the "Hermit Kingdom". By the late 19th century, the country became the object of imperial design by the Empire of Japan. After the First Sino-Japanese War, despite the Korean Empire's effort to modernize, it was annexed by Japan in 1910 and ruled by Imperial Japan until the end of World War II in August 1945.
In 1945, the Soviet Union and the United States agreed on the surrender of Japanese forces in Korea in the aftermath of World War II, leaving Korea partitioned along the 38th parallel. The North was under Soviet occupation and the South under U. S. occupation. These circumstances soon became the basis for the division of Korea by the two superpowers, exacerbated by their inability to agree on the terms of Korean independence; the Communist-inspired government in the North received backing from the Soviet Union in opposition to the pro-Western government in the South, leading to Korea's division into two political entities: North Korea, South Korea. Tensions between the two resulted in the outbreak of the Korean War in 1950. With involvement by foreign troops, the war ended in a stalemate in 1953, but without a formalized peace treaty; this status contributes to the high tensions. Both governments of the two Koreas claim to be the sole legitimate government of the region. "Korea" is the modern spelling of "Corea", a name attested in English as early as 1614.
Korea was transliterated as Cauli in The Travels of Marco Polo, of the Chinese 高麗. This was the Hanja for the Korean kingdom of Goryeo, which ruled most of the Korean peninsula during Marco Polo's time. Korea's introduction to the West resulted from trade and contact with merchants from Arabic lands, with some records dating back as far as the 9th century. Goryeo's name was a continuation of Goguryeo the northernmost of the Three Kingdoms of Korea, known as Goryeo beginning in the 5th century; the original name was a combination of the adjective go with the name of a local Yemaek tribe, whose original name is thought to have been either *Guru or *Gauri. With expanding British and American trade following the opening of Korea in the late 19th century, the spelling "Korea" appeared and grew in popularity; the name Korea is now used in English contexts by both North and South Korea. In South Korea, Korea as a whole is referred to as Hanguk; the name references Samhan, referring to the Three Kingdoms of Korea, not the ancient confederacies in the southern Korean Peninsula.
Although written in Hanja as 韓, 幹, or 刊, this Han has no relation to the Chinese place names or peoples who used those characters but was a phonetic transcription of a native Korean word that seems to have had the meaning "big" or "great" in reference to leaders. It has been tentatively linked with the title khan used by the nomads of Central Asia. In North Korea, China and Japan, Korea as a whole is referred to as. "Great Joseon" was the name of the kingdom ruled by the Joseon dynasty from 1393 until their declaration of the short-lived Great Korean Empire in 1897. King Taejo had named them for the earlier Kojoseon, who ruled northern Korea from its legendary prehistory until their conquest in 108 BC by China's Han Empire; this go is the Hanja 古 and
Key West is an island and city in the Straits of Florida on the North American continent. The city lies at the southernmost end of U. S. Route 1, the longest north-south road in the United States. Key West is the southernmost city in the contiguous United States and the westernmost island connected by highway in the Florida Keys; the island is 1 mile wide, with a total land mass of 4.2 square miles. Duval Street, its main street, is 1.1 miles in length in its 14-block-long crossing from the Gulf of Mexico to the Straits of Florida and the Atlantic Ocean. Key West is about 95 miles north of Cuba at their closest points; the city is the county seat of Monroe County. The city boundaries include the island of Key West and all or part of several nearby islands: Sigsbee Park, Fleming Key, Sunset Key, the northern part of Stock Island; the total land area of the city is 5.6 square miles. Key West is the southern terminus of U. S. Route 1, State Road A1A, the East Coast Greenway and, before 1935, the Florida East Coast Railway.
Key West is 129 miles southwest of Miami by air, about 160 miles by car, 106 miles north-northeast of Havana. Key West is a port of call for many passenger cruise ships; the Key West International Airport provides airline service. Naval Air Station Key West is an important year round training site for naval aviation due to the tropical weather, the reason Key West was chosen as the Winter White House of President Harry S. Truman; the central business district is located along Duval Street and includes much of the northwestern corner of the island. The official city motto is "One Human Family". Prior to the 19th century Key West was inhabited at various times by people who were related or subject to the Calusa and the Tequesta; the last Native American residents of Key West were Calusa refugees who were taken to Cuba when Florida was transferred from Spain to Great Britain in 1763. Cayo Hueso is the original Spanish name for the island of Key West. Spanish-speaking people today use the term when referring to Key West.
It means "bone cay", cay referring to a low island or reef. It is said that the island was littered with the remains of prior native inhabitants, who used the isle as a communal graveyard; this island was the westernmost Key with a reliable supply of water. Between 1763, when Great Britain took control of Florida from Spain, 1821, when the United States took possession of Florida from Spain, there few or no permanent inhabitants anywhere in the Florida Keys. Cubans and Bahamians visited the Keys, the Cubans to fish, while the Bahamians fished, caught turtles, cut hardwood timber, salvaged wrecks. Smugglers and privateers used the Keys for concealment. In 1766 the British governor of East Florida recommended that a post be set up on Key West to improve control of the area, but nothing came of it. During both the British and Spanish periods no nation exercised de facto control over the Keys; the Bahamians set up camps in the Keys that were occupied for months at a time, there were rumors of permanent settlements in the Keys by 1806 or 1807, but the locations are not known.
Fishermen from New England started visiting the Keys after the end of the War of 1812, may have settled on Key Vaca in 1818. In 1815, the Spanish governor of Cuba in Havana deeded the island of Key West to Juan Pablo Salas, an officer of the Royal Spanish Navy Artillery posted in Saint Augustine, Florida. After Florida was transferred to the United States in 1821, Salas was so eager to sell the island that he sold it twice – first for a sloop valued at $575 to a General John Geddes, a former governor of South Carolina, to a U. S. businessman John W. Simonton, during a meeting in a Havana café on January 19, 1822, for the equivalent of $2,000 in pesos in 1821. Geddes tried in vain to secure his rights to the property before Simonton who, with the aid of some influential friends in Washington, was able to gain clear title to the island. Simonton had wide-ranging business interests in Alabama, he bought the island because a friend, John Whitehead, had drawn his attention to the opportunities presented by the island's strategic location.
John Whitehead had been stranded in Key West after a shipwreck in 1819 and he had been impressed by the potential offered by the deep harbor of the island. The island was indeed considered the "Gibraltar of the West" because of its strategic location on the 90-mile –wide deep shipping lane, the Straits of Florida, between the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. On March 25, 1822, Lt. Commander Matthew C. Perry sailed the schooner Shark to Key West and planted the U. S. flag. No protests were made over the American claim on Key West, so the Florida Keys became the property of the United States. After claiming the Florida Keys for the United States, Perry renamed Cayo Hueso to Thompson's Island for Secretary of the Navy Smith Thompson, the harbor Port Rodgers in honor of War of 1812 hero and President of the Navy Supervisors Board John Rodgers. In 1823, Commodore David Porter of the United States Navy West Indies Anti-Pirate Squadron took charge of Key West, which he ruled as military dictator under martial law.
Porter was tasked by the American Navy to end acts of piracy in the Key West area including slave ships. Soon after his purchase, John Simonton subdivided the island into plots and sold three undivided quarters of each plot to: John Mountain and U. S. Consul John Warner, who resold their quarter to Pardon C. Greene, who took up residence on the is
Panama the Republic of Panama, is a country in Central America, bordered by Costa Rica to the west, Colombia to the southeast, the Caribbean Sea to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south. The capital and largest city is Panama City, whose metropolitan area is home to nearly half the country's 4 million people. Panama was inhabited by indigenous tribes before Spanish colonists arrived in the 16th century, it broke away from Spain in 1821 and joined the Republic of Gran Colombia, a union of Nueva Granada and Venezuela. After Gran Colombia dissolved in 1831, Panama and Nueva Granada became the Republic of Colombia. With the backing of the United States, Panama seceded from Colombia in 1903, allowing the construction of the Panama Canal to be completed by the US Army Corps of Engineers between 1904 and 1914; the 1977 Torrijos–Carter Treaties led to the transfer of the Canal from the United States to Panama on December 31, 1999. Revenue from canal tolls continues to represent a significant portion of Panama's GDP, although commerce and tourism are major and growing sectors.
It is regarded as a high-income country. In 2015 Panama ranked 60th in the world in terms of the Human Development Index. In 2018, Panama was ranked seventh-most competitive economy in Latin America, according to the World Economic Forum's Global Competitiveness Index. Covering around 40 percent of its land area, Panama's jungles are home to an abundance of tropical plants and animals – some of them found nowhere else on the planet. Panama is a founding member of the United Nations and other international organizations such as OAS, LAIA, G77, WHO and NAM; the definite origin of the name Panama is unknown. There are several theories. One postulates that the country was named after a found species of tree. Another that the first settlers arrived in Panama in August, when butterflies abound, that the name means "many butterflies" in one or several of indigenous Amerindian languages that were spoken in the territory prior to Spanish colonization. Most scientifically corroborated theory, that by Panamanian linguists, states that the word is a hispanicization of Kuna language word "bannaba" which means "distant" or "far away".
A relayed legend in Panama is that there was a fishing village that bore the name "Panamá", which purportedly meant "an abundance of fish", when the Spanish colonizers first landed in the area. The exact location of the village is unspecified; the legend is corroborated by Captain Antonio Tello de Guzmán's diary entries, who reports landing at an unnamed village while exploring the Pacific coast of Panama in 1515. In 1517, Don Gaspar de Espinosa, a Spanish lieutenant, decided to settle a post in the same location Guzmán described. In 1519, Pedrarias Dávila decided to establish the Spanish Empire's Pacific port at the site; the new settlement replaced Santa María La Antigua del Darién, which had lost its function within the Crown's global plan after the Spanish exploitation of the riches in the Pacific began. The official definition and origin of the name as promoted by Panama's Ministry of Education is the "abundance of fish and butterflies"; this is the usual description given in social studies textbooks.
At the time of the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century, the known inhabitants of Panama included the Cuevas and the Coclé tribes. These people have nearly disappeared; the Isthmus of Panama was formed about three million years ago when the land bridge between North and South America became complete, plants and animals crossed it in both directions. The existence of the isthmus affected the dispersal of people and technology throughout the American continent from the appearance of the first hunters and collectors to the era of villages and cities; the earliest discovered artifacts of indigenous peoples in Panama include Paleo-Indian projectile points. Central Panama was home to some of the first pottery-making in the Americas, for example the cultures at Monagrillo, which date back to 2500–1700 BC; these evolved into significant populations best known through their spectacular burials at the Monagrillo archaeological site, their beautiful Gran Coclé style polychrome pottery. The monumental monolithic sculptures at the Barriles site are important traces of these ancient isthmian cultures.
Before Europeans arrived Panama was settled by Chibchan and Cueva peoples. The largest group were the Cueva; the size of the indigenous population of the isthmus at the time of European colonization is uncertain. Estimates range as high as two million people, but more recent studies place that number closer to 200,000. Archaeological finds and testimonials by early European explorers describe diverse native isthmian groups exhibiting cultural variety and suggesting people developed by regular regional routes of commerce; when Panama was colonized, the indigenous peoples fled into nearby islands. Scholars believe that infectious disease was the primary cause of the population decline of American natives; the indigenous peoples had no acquired immunity to diseases, chronic in Eurasian populations for centuries. Rodrigo de Bastidas sailed westward from Venezuela in 1501 in search of gold, became the first European to explore the isthmus of Panama. A year Christopher Columbus visited the isthmus, established a short-lived settlement in the Darien.
Vasco Núñez de Balboa's tortuous
United States Seventh Fleet
The Seventh Fleet is a numbered fleet of the United States Navy. It is headquartered at U. S. Fleet Activities Yokosuka, in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, it is part of the United States Pacific Fleet. At present, it is the largest of the forward-deployed U. S. fleets, with 60 to 70 ships, 300 aircraft and 40,000 Navy and Marine Corps personnel. Its principal responsibilities are to provide joint command in natural disaster or military operations and operational command of all naval forces in the region; the Seventh Fleet was formed on 15 March 1943 in Brisbane, during the World War II, under the command of Admiral Arthur S. "Chips" Carpender. It served in the South West Pacific Area under General Douglas MacArthur; the Seventh Fleet commander served as commander of Allied naval forces in the SWPA. Most of the ships of the Royal Australian Navy were part of the fleet from 1943 to 1945 as part of Task Force 74; the Seventh Fleet—under Admiral Thomas C. Kinkaid—formed a large part of the Allied forces at the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the largest naval battle in history, in October 1944.
The Seventh Fleet fought in two of the Battle Leyte Gulf′s main actions, the Battle of Surigao Strait and the Battle off Samar. After the end of the war, the 7th Fleet moved its headquarters to China; as laid out in Operation Plan 13–45 of 26 August 1945, Kinkaid established five major task forces to manage operations in the Western Pacific: Task Force 71, the North China Force with 75 ships. After the war, on 1 January 1947, the Fleet's name was changed to Naval Forces Western Pacific. In late 1948, the Fleet moved its principal base of operations to the Philippines, where the Navy, following the war, had developed new facilities at Subic Bay and an airfield at Sangley Point. Peacetime operations of the Seventh Fleet were under the control of Commander in Chief Pacific Fleet, Admiral Arthur W. Radford, but standing orders provided that, when operating in Japanese waters or in the event of an emergency, control would pass to Commander, Naval Forces Far East, a component of General Douglas MacArthur's occupation force.
On 19 August 1949 the force was designated as United States Seventh Task Fleet. On 11 February 1950, just prior to the outbreak of the Korean War, the force assumed the name United States Seventh Fleet, which it holds today. Seventh Fleet units participated in all major operations of the Vietnamese Wars; the first Navy jet aircraft used in combat was launched from a Task Force 77 aircraft carrier on 3 July 1950. The landings at Inchon, Korea were conducted by Seventh Fleet amphibious ships; the battleships Iowa, New Jersey and Wisconsin all served as flagships for Commander, U. S. Seventh Fleet during the Korean War. During the Korean War, the Seventh Fleet consisted of Task Force 70, a maritime patrol force provided by Fleet Air Wing One and Fleet Air Wing Six, Task Force 72, the Formosa Patrol, Task Force 77, Task Force 79, a service support squadron. Over the next decade the Seventh Fleet responded to numerous crisis situations including contingency operations conducted in Laos in 1959 and Thailand in 1962.
During September 1959, in the autumn of 1960, again in January 1961, the Seventh Fleet deployed multiship carrier task forces into the South China Sea. Although the Pathet Lao and North Vietnamese supporting forces withdrew in each crisis, in the spring of 1961 their offensive appeared on the verge of overwhelming the pro-American Royal Lao Army. Once again the fleet moved into Southeast Asian waters. By the end of April 1961, most of the Seventh Fleet was deployed off the Indochinese Peninsula preparing to initiate operations into Laos; the force consisted of the Coral Sea and Midway carrier battle groups, antisubmarine support carrier Kearsarge, one helicopter carrier, three groups of amphibious ships, two submarines, three Marine battalion landing teams. At the same time, shorebased air patrol squadrons and another three Marine battalion landing teams stood ready in Okinawa and the Philippines to support the afloat force. Although the administration of President John F. Kennedy had decided against American intervention to rescue the Laotian government, Communist forces halted their advance and agreed to negotiations.
The contending Laotian factions concluded a cease-fire on 8 May 1961. In June 1963 the Seventh Fleet held'Flagpole'63,' a joint naval exercise with the Republic of Korea. Seventh Fleet represented the first official entrance of the United States into the Vietnam War, with the Gulf of Tonkin incident. Between 1950 and 1970, the U. S. Seventh Fleet was known by the tongue-in-cheek nickname "Tonkin Gulf Yacht Club" since most of the fleet's operations were conducted from the Tonkin Gulf at the time. On 12 February 1965, USS Salisbury Sound became the first U. S. Navy ship to conduct operations inside Vietnam coastal waters. Salisbury Sound set up a seadrome in Da Nang Bay and conducted seaplane patrols in support of Operation Flaming Dart, the bombing of North Vietnamese army camps. Operating from Yankee Station off the north coast of Vietnam and the aptly-named Dixie Station off the south coast of Vietnam in the South China Sea,Seventh Fleet was organized into a series of task forces, often