, and the States) is a federal
comprising fifty states
and a federal district
. The country is situated mostly in central North America
, where its forty-eight contiguous states
and Washington, D.C.
, the capital district, lie between the Pacific
and Atlantic Ocean
s, bordered by Canada
to the north and Mexico
to the south. The state of Alaska
is in the northwest of the continent, with Canada to the east and Russia
to the west across the Bering Strait
1492 Christopher Columbus's expedition makes landfall in the Caribbean, specifically in The Bahamas. The explorer believes he has reached South Asia
1542 Navigator João Rodrigues Cabrilho of Portugal arrives at what is now San Diego, California, United States.
1606 The ''Susan Constant'', the ''Godspeed'', and the ''Discovery'' depart England carrying settlers who found, at Jamestown, Virginia, the first of the thirteen colonies that became the United States.
1636 A vote of the Great and General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony establishes the first college in what would become the United States, today known as Harvard University.
1642 Georgeana, Massachusetts (now known as York, Maine), becomes the first incorporated city in the United States.
1733 The first Masonic Grand Lodge in the future United States is constituted in Massachusetts.
1752 Pennsylvania Hospital, the first hospital in the United States, is opened by Benjamin Franklin.
1759 Battle of the Plains of Abraham: British defeat French near Quebec City in the Seven Years' War, known in the United States as the French and Indian War.
1770 Boston Massacre: Five Americans, including a black man named Crispus Attucks, and a boy, are killed by British troops in an event that would contribute to the outbreak of the American Revolutionary War five years later.
1776 South Carolina becomes the first American colony to declare its independence from Great Britain and set up its own government.
"America - where even the son of a President can grow up to be President."
The American elite does not have any real image of peace — other than as an uneasy interlude existing precariously by virtue of the balance of mutual fright. The only seriously accepted plan for peace is the full loaded pistol. In short, war or a high state of war-preparedness is felt to be the normal and seemingly permanent condition of the United States.
"Ours is the only country deliberately founded on a good idea."
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country."
"If you take advantage of everything America has to offer, there’s nothing you can’t accomplish."
"Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American. America is the only idealistic nation in the world. "
"This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave."
"When an American says that he loves his country, he means not only that he loves the New England hills, the prairies glistening in the sun, the wide and rising plains, the great mountains, and the sea. He means that he loves an inner air, an inner light in which freedom lives and in which a man can draw the breath of self-respect."