THE DISCOVERY OF AMERICA
In fourteen hundred and ninety-two
Columbus sailed the ocean blue...
Let's sing together this old song
About the voyage that took him long,
About the sailors, those strong brave men.
Let's sing and remember them all again!
In our days everybody knows who discovered America. It was Christopher Columbus. He wanted to prove that the world is round. Today we know it. But in the 15th century, however, most people believed the world was flat. People laughed at people who thinked that the world was in the shape of a globe.
Christopher Columbus was born in Italy, but he lieved in Spain for a long time. He was a seaman and made many voyages. He asked money to explore the seas, and prove it. Portugal, Italy and England refused to support such a venture, but Columbus went. After sailing 6400 kilometres, he reached the land. This happened in 1492. Columbus thought that it must be India but it was not. It was Central America. People called that land “the New Wold”.
Native Americans came from Asia. Over 20000 years ago they travelled across the land between Siberia and Alaska. Native Americans met the English colonists who were sailing to the place of the modern America on board the ship “Mayflower”. Native Americans were very friendly and helped them a lot. In those days Native Americans lived in small earth houses or in the wooden houses. They ate grass, nuts and fruit. They grew their own food. People were fishermen or went hunting. They believed in many gods: they thought that the gods are in trees, stones, eater and fire. They thought that the gods could help them hunting, farming and fishing. They had special ceremonies with dances and music before they went do anything. Now, there are a lot of people who had the ansectors. They maybe lived in the ancient tribes of these Native Americans.
The population of the USA is more then 236 million people. Most of the people live in towns. The largest cities are New York are Boston, Chicago, Philadelhia, Detroit, San Francisco. The capital of the USA is Washington. It’s a very small town. The official language of the country is English.
Washington is the capital of the United States. It is named in honour of the first President, George Washington. The town Washington is situated on the Potomac River in the District of Columbia. The district is a piece of land, which does not belong to any one state but to all the states. The district is named in honor of Columbus, the discoverer of America. Washington was founded in 1791 for serving as the capital of the United States of America. George Washington chose the place located midway to keep at close touch as possible between the states. Washington is quite new, as it did not exist for two hundred years. The population of the city is nearly million people. It is not a very large city, but it is very important as the capital of the USA. There is a law in Washington against building structures higher than the Capitol; therefore, it presents a different appearance from New York with its skyscrapers.
Washington has many historical places. The largest and tallest is the Capitol, where the Congress meets. It is a very beautiful building with white marble columns. Not far from the Capitol is the Library of Congress. It holds five million books.
The White House, the residence of the president is the oldest public structure in the capital and one of the most beautiful. It was built in 1799. It is a two storied white building. It is said that in 1812 when England was at war with America the British entered the city and some of the buildings, including the Capitol and the house of the president were set on fire. Two years later in order to hide the marks of the fire, the brown stone walls of the president's home were painted white and it has been the White House ever since.
Not far from the Capitol is the Washington monument, which looks like a very big pencil. It rises 160 metres and it is empty inside. A special lift brings visitors to the top in 70 seconds,from where they can enjoy a view of the city.
The Jefferson Memorial was built in memory of the third President of the USA Thomas Jefferson, who was also the author of the Declaration of Independence. The Memorial is surrounded by cherry trees.
The Lincoln Memorial is devoted to the memory of the sixteenth President of the USA, the author of the Emancipation Proclamation, which gave freedom to Negro slaves in America.
The American symbols are “The Stars and Stripes”, The Statue of Liberty, The eagle, Uncle Sam.
“The Stars and Stripes” is a flag of America. There are three colors on the flag of the United Dtates – red, white and blue. There are fifty states in the USA and there are thirteen colonies. As there are fifty states in the USA, there are fifty stars on the American flag. Each star is for each state. And there are thirteen stripes because of the thirteen colonies. The stripes are red and white: six white stripes and seven red stripes. People display the American flag in the streets of New York. People who have their own houses display it only during the day, at the evening Americans fold it.
The another American symbol is the Statue of Liberty. France gave it to America as a symbol of a friendship in 1884. The Statue is situated on the Liberty Island. When people arrive in Ney York by sea, they can see the Statue of Liberty.
The third American symbol is an eagle. It became the official national symbol in 1782. The eagle have an olive branch and arrows. The olive branch is a symbol of peace and arrows is a symbol of strength. We can see the eagle on the back of a dollar bill.
There exists one cartoon symbol of the American government. It is Uncle Sam. He has appeared in magazines, newspapers and on posters. In 1812 a man named Samuel Wilson sold meat to the American gouvernment for its soldiers. Everyone called him Uncle Sam. The first letters of Uncle Sam “US” were the same as the first letters of the United States. Very soon cartoons of Uncle Sam as the American gouvernment first began to appear.
Thereby the USA has an official song, too. It is “The Star – Spangled Banner”.
New York is the city of islands. The most known are Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island. New York is a port city. It is very hard working city too as there are many banks, offices and factories. The most expensive part of New York is Manhattan. This island is famous for its skyscrapes. Broadway is a famous street in New York. It is famous for its theatres and you can see wonderful shows there.
There are many museums and art galleries in New York. The Metropolitain Museum or the “MET” is the most famous museum in New York. There are beautiful collections of pictures, furniture and other things there. Schoolchildren often visit the Bronx Zoo. It is the biggest Zoo of New York.
New York is a city ehich nevers stops and never sleeps. The streets are always busy as there are much traffic there.
In 1789, New York beame the first capital of the United States. But it remained the capital for only one year. The capital of the USA is Washington DC.
In America people celebrate a lot of holidays: New Year, Martin Luther King’s Birthday, St. Valentine’s Day, President’s Day, February 29th, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fool’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Flag Day, Independence Day, Labour Day, Columbus Day, Hallowe’en, Veteran’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas.
The New Year is on the 1st of January. On this day families get together and make promises for the New Year. They talk and eat the holiday food.
Martin Luther King’s Birthday is on the third Monday of January. Martin Luther King was an important black leader who wanted equal rights for black people. His work was very important. He was killed in 1968 and his birthday has become a public holiday since 1968.
St. Valentine’s Day in on February 14th. We don’t know much about St. Valentine, but people call him the saint of love. On this day people write their names on cards with hearts on them and give them on their classmates. People give cards, presents and flowers to their friends. Some of them don’t put their names at the end of their cards.
President’s Day is on the third Monday of February. On this day pupils read about George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and other American presidents. Washinghton was the first president of the USA. He was also a good soldier and a honest man.
February 29th is an extra day. Tradition says that on this day girls can ask boys to go to the movies or out to dinner or to marry her.
St. Patrick’s Day is on the 17th of March. St. Patrickwas an Irish saint, and St. Patrick’s Day is very popular in cities where there are many people from Ireland. People wear in green because green is an Irish colour. If you don’t wear in green other people can pinch you.
April Fool’s Day is on April the 1st. People make jokes on this day and have a lot of fun. When you have made a jokу at someone, you have to say: “April fool”. Nobody is sure when this tradition began. Some people believe it began in France in the 16th century.
Easter is in late March or early April. This is the day when Jesus came from the dead. On Easter people give eggs to each other and send cards. Some cities have parades with games and sports and a big Easter egg hunt.
Memorial Day is on the last Monday of May. This is a special day for people to remember those who died in wars. People remember their dead friends and pay visits on the graves. Sometimes they leave flowers there.
|The Underground In America||The Underground In America|
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