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The United States of America is a federal republic of 50 states, a capital district, and a number of other territories. It is located mostly in central North America. The U.S. has three land borders, two with Canada and one with Mexico, and has seaboraders with Cuba, Bahamas, Dominican Repbulic, Bermuda and Russia is otherwise bounded by the Pacific Ocean, the Bering Sea, the Arctic Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Of the 50 states, only Alaska and Hawaii are not contiguous with any other state. The U.S. also has a collection of districts, territories, and possessions in the Caribbean Sea and Pacific Ocean. Each state has a high level of autonomy according to the system of federalism. The U.S. traces its national origin to the declaration by 13 British colonies in 1776 that they were free and independent states. They were recognized as such by the Treaty of Paris in 1783. Since then, the nation has grown to become a global superpower and exerts a high level of economic, political, military, and cultural influence.
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  • ... that the 51st Defense Battalion, formed during World War II, was the first African-American unit in the United States Marine Corps?
  • ... that Bert Longfellow took on a one-man crusade which halved the drowning rate in the United States?
  • ... that when Oregon journalist Larry Smyth was asked who he thought would win presidential elections, he invariably replied "the man who gets the most votes"?
  • ... that for generations, black parents in the United States have felt compelled to instruct their children about how to de-escalate encounters with the police?
  • ... that John Wayne Bobbitt Uncut was the bestselling pornographic film of 1994 and had the most rentals that year in the United States?
  • ... that, according to its owner, KLEF in Anchorage, Alaska, was one of just three remaining commercially operated classical-music radio stations in the United States, as of 2013?
  • ... that Kurt Szafranski, who was responsible for the success of the Berliner Illustrirte Zeitung in Germany, emigrated to the United States in 1935 where he co-founded the Black Star photo agency?
  • ... that seventeen-year-old Julie Hayden was killed by members of the White Man's League days after starting a position teaching Black children, and became "the poster child of southern violence"?

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Harry S. Truman
Harry S. Truman (May 8, 1884 – December 26, 1972) was the thirty-third President of the United States (1945–1953). As vice president, he succeeded to the office upon the death of Franklin D. Roosevelt.

During World War I he served as an artillery officer. After the war he became part of the political machine of Tom Pendergast and was elected a county judge in Missouri and eventually a United States Senator. In 1945, Roosevelt replaced Henry A. Wallace as vice president with Truman for Roosevelt's fourth term.

As president, Truman faced challenge after challenge in domestic affairs. The tumultuous reconversion of the economy of the United States was marked by severe shortages, numerous strikes, and the passage of the Taft-Hartley Act over his veto. He confounded all predictions to win re-election in 1948, largely due to his famous Whistle Stop Tour of rural America. After his re-election he was able to pass only one of the proposals in his Fair Deal program. He used executive orders to begin desegregation of the U.S. armed forces and to launch a system of loyalty checks to remove thousands of communist sympathizers from government office, even though he strongly opposed mandatory loyalty oaths for governmental employees, a stance that led to charges that his administration was soft on communism. Truman's presidency was also eventful in foreign affairs, with the end of World War II and his decision to use nuclear weapons in combat, the founding of the United Nations, the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe, the Truman Doctrine to contain communism, the beginning of the Cold War, the creation of NATO, and the Korean War. Corruption in Truman's administration reached the cabinet and senior White House staff. Republicans made corruption a central issue in the 1952 campaign.

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Reese Witherspoon
Laura Jeanne Reese Witherspoon (born March 22, 1976) better known as Reese Witherspoon, is an American actress and film producer. Witherspoon landed her first feature role as the female lead in the film The Man in the Moon in 1991; later that year she made her television acting debut, in the cable movie Wildflower. In 1996, Witherspoon appeared in Freeway and followed that appearance with roles in three major 1998 films: Overnight Delivery, Pleasantville, and Twilight. The following year, Witherspoon appeared in the critically acclaimed Election, which earned her a Golden Globe nomination.

Witherspoon married actor and Cruel Intentions co-star Ryan Phillippe in 1999; they have two children, Ava and Deacon. The couple separated at the end of 2006 and divorced in October 2007. Witherspoon owns a production company, Type A Films, and she is actively involved in children's and women's advocacy organizations. She serves on the board of the Children's Defense Fund (CDF), and was named Global Ambassador of Avon Products in 2007, serving as honorary chair of the charitable Avon Foundation.

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Top left: Georgetown University; top right: U.S. Capitol; middle: Washington Monument; bottom left: African American Civil War Memorial; bottom right: Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception
Washington, D.C. is the capital of the United States founded on July 16, 1790. The U.S. Constitution allows for the creation of a special district to serve as the permanent national capital. The District is therefore not a part of any U.S. state and is instead directly overseen by the federal government. Within the District, a new capital city was founded in 1791 and named in honor of George Washington.

The centers of all three branches of the U.S. federal government are located in the District, as are many of the nation's monuments and museums. Washington, D.C., is governed by a mayor and a 13-member city council. However, the United States Congress has supreme authority over the city and may overturn local laws. Residents of the District therefore have less self-governance than residents of the states.

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President John F. Kennedy.
Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.
John F. Kennedy, Inaugural address, January 20, 1961
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The cuisine of the antebellum United States characterizes American eating and cooking habits from about 1776 to 1861. During this period different regions of the United States adapted to their surroundings and cultural backgrounds to create specific regional cuisines, modernization of technology led to changes in food consumption, and evolution of taverns into hotels led to the beginnings of an American temperance movement. By the beginning of the Civil War, the United States cuisine and food culture could define itself separately from that of the rest of the world. (Full article...)

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Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones


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