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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 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.
Libertybell alone small.jpg More about the United States, its history and diversity

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Edward Teller in 1958 as Director of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Edward Teller (Hungarian: Teller Ede, January 15, 1908 – September 9, 2003) was a Hungarian-born American theoretical physicist, known colloquially as "the father of the hydrogen bomb," even though he did not care for the title. Teller emigrated to the United States in the 1930s, and was an early member of the Manhattan Project charged with developing the first atomic bombs.

In his later years he became especially known for his advocacy of controversial technological solutions to both military and civilian problems, including a plan to excavate an artificial harbor in Alaska using thermonuclear explosives. He was a vigorous advocate of Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative, perhaps overselling the feasibility of the program. Over the course of his life, Teller was known both for his scientific ability and his difficult interpersonal relations and volatile personality, and is considered one of the inspirations for the character Dr. Strangelove in the 1964 movie of the same name.

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Judy Garland (June 10, 1922 – June 22, 1969) was an American actress and singer. Through a career that spanned 45 of her 47 years, Garland attained international stardom as an actress in musical and dramatic roles, as a recording artist and on the concert stage. Respected for her versatility, she received a Juvenile Academy Award, won a Golden Globe Award, received the Cecil B. DeMille Award for her work in films, as well as Grammy Awards and a Special Tony Award.

Despite her professional triumphs, Garland battled personal problems throughout her life. Insecure about her appearance, her feelings were compounded by film executives who told her she was unattractive and manipulated her on-screen physical appearance. Garland was plagued by financial instability, often owing hundreds of thousands of dollars in back taxes. She married five times, with her first four marriages ending in divorce. Garland died of an accidental drug overdose at the age of 47, leaving children Liza Minnelli, Lorna Luft and Joey Luft.

In 1997, Garland was posthumously awarded a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Several of her recordings have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 1999, the American Film Institute placed her among the ten greatest female stars in the history of American cinema.

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Skyline of Ann Arbor, Michigan
Ann Arbor is the seventh largest city in the U.S. state of Michigan, with a population of 114,024 as of the 2000 census, of which 36,892 (32%) are college or graduate students.

The city's economy is currently dominated by education, high tech, and biotechnology. Average home prices and property taxes are well above the state and national medians. The city is also known for its political liberalism and its large number of restaurants and performance venues.

Ann Arbor was founded in January 1824 by John Allen and Elisha Rumsey, both of whom were land speculators. There are various accounts concerning the origin of the settlement's name; one states that Allen and Rumsey decided to name it "Annarbour" for their spouses, both named Ann, and for the stands of burr oak in the 640 acres (260 ha) of land they had purchased for $800 from the federal government. The regional Native Americans named the settlement Kaw-goosh-kaw-nick, after the sound of Allen's saw mill.

The Ann Arbor Land Company, a group of speculators, set aside 40 acres (16 ha) of undeveloped land and offered it to the State of Michigan as the site of the state capital, but lost the bid to Lansing. In 1837, the property was accepted instead as the site of the University of Michigan, forever linking Ann Arbor and its history with the university.

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Abraham Lincoln
Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.
Abraham Lincoln, Gettysburg Address, November 19, 1863

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Oysters Rockefeller at Galatoires.jpg
Oysters Rockefeller consists of oysters on the half-shell that have been topped with a rich sauce of butter, parsley and other green herbs, and bread crumbs, then baked or broiled. Lemon wedges are the typical garnish. (Full article...)

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View of the Midtown Manhattan skyline, looking north from the Empire State Building.
Credit: Diliff
View of the Midtown Manhattan skyline, looking north from the Empire State Building.

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Command Sergeant Major Michele S. Jones


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