The United States of America (USA or U.S.A.), commonly referred to as the United States (US or U.S.), America, or simply the States, is a federal republic consisting of 50 states and a federal district. The 48 contiguous states and the federal district of Washington, D.C. are in central North America between Canada and Mexico. The state of Alaska is the northwestern part of North America, west of Canada and east of Russia which is across the Bering Strait in Asia, and the state of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-North Pacific. The country also has five populated and nine unpopulated territories in the Pacific and the Caribbean.
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Brief History/ Important Dates in History
1492- Christopher Columbus lands in Puerto Rico.
1513- Juan Ponce de Leon sets foot on the continental U.S.
1607- The first American settlers land and colonize in Jamestown, Virginia.
1775- The Battle of Lexington and Concord. This battle starts the Revolutionary War, and George Washington is appointed Commander in Chief of the Continental Army.
1776- The U.S. becomes an independent country after British General Charles Cornwallis surrenders to George Washington in Yorkstown, Virginia.
1789- The Constitution becomes the governing document of the newly formed United States of America.
1803- Thomas Jefferson purchases the Louisiana Territory from France. This territory included most of the land that now makes u [the Midwest United States.
1845- The U.S. acquires the territory of Texas from Mexico.
1861- Many of the Southern states secede from the Union, forming their own country: the Confederate States of America.
1863- Northern, or Union, forces defeat the Confederate army in the Battle of Gettysburg. 63,000 are killed. Additionally, President Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg address, which frees all slaves.
1865- Confederate forces surrender to the Union at Appomattox Court House in Virginia, bringing the Civil War to an end.
1867- Alaska is purchased from Russia.
1917- The U.S. declares war on Germany and officially enters the first world war.
1919- The Treaty of Versailles is signed at Paris Peace Conference, ending World War I.
1929- The Stock Market crashes, signaling the start of the Great Depression.
1940-1945- U.S. involved in World War II (officially enters in 1941).
1948- Presidential Election of 1948 where Truman defeats Dewey. Considered one of the greatest election upsets of all time, and secured the Democratic party as the majority party for the next two decades.
1949- The Soviet Union tests its first atomic bomb, Cold War in full effect.
1955- Rosa Parks refuses to give up her bus seat, inciting the Montgomery Bus Riots. The fight for Civil Rights begins the U.S.
1957- Soviets launch Sputnik; the "space race" begins.
1959- Alaska and Hawaii become the 49th and 50th states.
1961- Vietnam War begins with a landing in Saigon.
1963- The Assassination of John F. Kennedy.
1968- Civil Rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr. and presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy assassinated.
1973- Roe V. Wade Supreme Court case over-turns state laws on abortion.
1980- The U.S. boycotts the summer Olympics in Moscow to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.
1981- Sandra Day O'Connor becomes first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court.
1990-1991- The Gulf War.
2001- September 11th terrorist attack on The World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
2008- Barack Obama, the first American of African descent to be nominated by a major party to run for the office of President, is elected President of the United States in the 2008 presidential election.