Thursday, August 23, 2012

America: The Promised Land

America is the home of five left-handed presidents namely: The present President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former President George H. W. Bush Sr., former President Reagan, and former President Gerald Ford.

English: Tomb of Martin Luther King, Jr. & Coretta Scott King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
America is considered as the land of milk and honey. Others believed it as the promised land. The United States of America is also called the United States, the U.S., the USA, America, and the States – it is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states.
Additional Interesting Facts About America
In the US, the clock times change twice a year. During winter months, clocks are set on standard time, but during the summer months – when days are longer, clocks are set moved ahead one hour. This is done to create more hours of day-light in the evenings. Because winter days are shorter, clocks are moved back one hour. The time changes are official at 2:00am. To remember time changes, some people use the phrase: Spring forward, fall back.
America is divided into four time zones namely:
  • Eastern (eastern states)
  • Central (midwest and central states)
  • Mountain (southwest and west states)
  • and Pacific (west coast states).
In America unspoken signals by others may not mean what you think. Various gestures are automatic and vary from culture to culture. For example – burping after meal in America is something that one needs to excuse himself or herself for doing. While in other countries, burping may be seen as a compliment to the cook.
History behind the US Holidays
  • January 1 – New Year’s Day. Starting with the night before (New Year’s Eve on December 31st), this is a celebration to welcome the new year.
January (3rd Monday of the month) is Martin Luther King Day. This is a holiday in memory of the birthday of Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968), an African-American civil rightsleader who received the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize.
  • February (3rd Monday of the month) – President’s Day. This is a holiday honoring past US presidents. The month was chosen because of the February birthdays of two famous presidents: George Washington – the US President and Commander-in-Chief of the Revolutionary Armies who won independence; and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th US president who held office during the US Civil War and was known for abolishing slavery.
February 14 – Valentine’s Day. Although this is not an official holiday, this has become a day to celebrate love and romance. Valentines or token of love (cards, candy and other gifts) are exchanged.
  • May (last Monday of the month) – Memorial Day. This is a commemoration of all those who died during a war involving the United States of America.
July 4 – Independence Day. On July 4, 1776. the Declaration of Independence was signed. With this document, thirteen colonies declared their independence from England and became the first thirteen states of the United States. Fireworks displays mark this holiday.
  • September (1st Monday of the month) – Labor Day. This is a holiday honoring thecontributions and efforts of laborers.
November (last Thursday of the month) – Thanksgiving Day. This is a day of giving thanks for everything. It is usually celebrated by eating a big turkey dinner with family and friends. This feast was initiated by the Pilgrims (the first settlers in the thirteen colonies of the US) and the Native Americans – who are already lived on the land.
  • December 25th - Christmas is also a long standing official federal holiday. Although it is a Christian holiday, many Jews and non-religious people have adapted to the holiday with Chanukah and a winter solstice celebration.
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