A country of central and northwest North America with coastlines on the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. It includes the noncontiguous states of Alaska and Hawaii and various island territories in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean.
The nation soon began to expand westward. Growing tensions over the issue of Black slavery divided the country along geographic lines, sparking the secession of the South and the Civil War (1861-1865). The remainder of the 19th century was marked by increased westward expansion, industrialization, and the influx of millions of immigrants. Washington, D.C., is the capital and New York the largest city. Population: 260,651,000.
In December of 1946, reputed gangster, Bugsy Siegal built the original Flamingo resort in the barren desert wastelands of Nevada. He dreamed of creating a whole new resort city in the desert. Unfortunately, Bugsy was found shot to death in Hollywood in 1947, so he never got to see his dream fulfilled. Today, his desert gambling oasis is a thriving city with more than one million inhabitants and over 28 million visitors a year.
Las Vegas is located in the southwestern corner of Nevada near the borders of California and Arizona. It is situated in a broad flat desert valley surrounded by barren arid mountains. It receives only about 2 inches (5 cm) of rain per year. The city is nevertheless an oasis of green grass, flowers and palm trees all subsisting on imported water.
New York City The "Big Apple"
New York City is located on the eastern coast of the United States about 1000 miles north of Florida and 200 miles South of Boston.
It is situated at the mouth of the Hudson River, and is divided into five districts called boroughs. Long Island stretches almost 100 miles to the east of New York City and the state of New Jersey lies just across the Hudson River to the west.
The "Big Apple", as the city is often called, is the largest city in the US with over 7 million residents. It is filled with a diverse mixture of inhabitants including immigrants from many countries.
Some of its many neighborhoods, such as Chinatown, Little Italy, and Spanish Harlem reflect the rich ethnic heritages of the resident's original homelands.
California - The Golden State
California is located on the western coast of the United States. It extends along the Pacific Ocean from the Mexican border in the south for nearly 900 miles (1400 km) to its northern border with the state of Oregon. The state is approximately 200 miles (300 km) wide from its western beaches to its eastern deserts bordering the states of Nevada and Arizona.
The coastline of California extends from the soft sandy tropical beaches of San Diego near the Mexican border to the rugged northern coasts near Oregon. In the southern part of the state, warm Pacific waters and that famous California surf attract many tourists to its palm shaded beaches.
The coastal mountains stretch along the western fringe of the entire state. These low volcanic peaks form a protective barrier shielding the inner lands from the full force of the Pacific Ocean weather. In some places, the ridges are a few miles inland with flat coastal steps where cities like Los Angeles and San Diego are built.
Florida, the "Sunshine State", is located on a large peninsula at the southern extremity of the eastern coast of the United States. It is just over 1000 miles south of New York City. This flat sandy spit of land is approximately 100 miles wide by 400 miles long. It is blessed with a very hospitable semi-tropical climate and has over a thousand miles of ocean shoreline with many hundreds of miles of white sand beaches.
Florida is the retirement home for many senior citizens of the US. After finishing their work careers, many retired folks move to Florida to enjoy the warm climate and to take advantage of all of the recreational opportunities. Some of them maintain summer homes in the northern states near their grandchildren and annually migrate to Florida for the winter months. The Florida natives call them "Snow Birds".
Florida is the favorite winter vacation retreat for millions of Americans from the frigid northern states and Canadian provinces. It is also a popular vacation destination for many foreign visitors. In the summer months, many families with children on school holidays brave the tropical heat of Florida to visit the Disney World entertainment complex.
Tourism is a very big industry in Florida especially during the winter months. Besides beaches and warm sunshine, the state offers year-around golfing, fishing, tennis and other outdoor sports. Farming is the other big industry. Florida supplies most of the eastern US with oranges, citrus fruits and winter vegetables.