Roger Williams and a group of religious followers founded the town of Providence in what is today known as Rhode Island after their banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Williams believed in the importance of liberty of conscience, which became an important principle in the founding of Rhode Island and ultimately in the founding of the United States. Officially called "The State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations," Rhode Island is one of the six New England states and one of the original 13 states of the Union, entering in 1790. It is the smallest state in area in the country. Rhode Island's flower is the violet, and the capital is Providence. The name "Rhode Island" is credited to Italian navigator Giovanni Verrazano who compared the nearby island Block Island to Rhodes in Greece. Later Williams thought that Verrazano had been referring to island where they had settled and began calling the island Rhode Island.
Roadside stops, strange statues, larger than life items, gimmicky signs, quirky architecture -- popping up along America's roads and highways, often bring drivers to a screeching halt, a quick turn around, or, at the very least, an expletive -- "what in hell was that?"
Every now and then, unsuspecting folks see something along a road trip that is just so odd that they just can't believe their eyes. Must have a second look -- must have a photograph -- must have a photograph with "me" in it. Really, is that Stonehenge in the middle of Texas? What the heck is hanging from that tree? So, why do I keep seeing huge statues of a blue ox? Why are there dinosaurs everywhere?
Beginning in the days of Henry Ford's Model-T's, travelers began to whiz by faster and faster, overlooking the many vendors and shops trying to peddle their wares. Solution -- build big signs, statues, and other advertising gimmicks luring people to stop. Artists were lured to build along the highways, so that passersby could see their creations. Some, however, just want to build things, not really caring if people stopped to look; hence, the Winchester House in California or a bottle house in Nevada
Most often though, these oddities are built to attract attention, whether it is draw people into a store or bring attention to themselves, their city, or a cause. In any event, these oddities make the drive across America bunches of fun.
A spirit being in western Puebloan religious beliefs, Kachinas are a central theme within a number of cultures including the Hopi and the Tewa Village on the Hopi Reservation in Arizona; and the Zuni, Acoma and Laguna Pueblos in New Mexico. Also called katchina, katcina, or katsina, these spirits, or personifications of things in the natural world, may represent anything from rain to crops, to various animals, stars, beloved ancestors, and even other Indian tribes. The word kachina derives from Hopi term kachi, which means "spirit father, life, or spirit."
There are more than 400 different kachinas in Hopi and Pueblo culture which vary from one pueblo community to another. Kachinas are expressed in three different ways -- the spiritual or supernatural deities; the masked dancers who represent kachinas at religious ceremonies; and kachina dolls or carvings.
Primarily living on a 1.5 million acre reservation in northeastern Arizona, the Hopi (peaceful ones) people have the longest authenticated history of occupation of a single area by any Native American tribe in the United States. Thought to have migrated north out of Mexico around 500 B.C., the Hopi have always lived in the Four Corners area of the United States.
The largest of the New England states in area, Maine, in 1820, was the 23rd state to join the Union. Its name comes from an ancient French province of the same name. The most sparsely populated state east of the Mississippi River, it's appropriately called the "Pine Tree State," as 90 percent of its land is forest. Not surprisingly, most of Maine's economy is related to timber and the production of paper and paper products although the millions of tourists who flock each summer to "Vacationland" are a significant source of revenue. The capital is Augusta; the state flower is the white pine cone and tassel.
Oklahoma City & County
Oklahoma County marked its beginnings right along with the Oklahoma Territory. It was one of the first seven counties organized under the Organic Act passed by Congress on May 2, 1890. It was designated County Number 2 until voters renamed it Oklahoma County.
Located in the State's geographic center, Oklahoma County has a population of more than 700,000 residents located in an area of 720 square miles.
In the early days of Oklahoma County, all County business was transacted in a building located at California and Robinson Streets, now no longer in existence.
On November 4, 1904, Oklahoma County began the construction of the first Oklahoma County Courthouse at 520 West Main Street with a bond issue of $100,000. The building was used as the courthouse until 1937 when county government moved to the building at 321 Park Avenue, which currently serves as the main courthouse. In those days, however, the building housed all county offices and the courts.
Oklahoma County includes the cities of Oklahoma City, the county seat, Arcadia, Bethany, Choctaw, Del City, Edmond, Forest Park, Harrah, Jones, Lake Aluma, Luther, Midwest City, Newalla, Nichols Hills, Nicoma Park, Smith Village, Spencer, The Village, Valley Brook, Warr Acres, and Woodlawn Park.
The American Revolution (1775–1783), also called the American War of Independence, began as a war between Great Britain and the Thirteen Colonies, but gradually grew into a world war between Britain on one side and the newly formed United States, France, Netherlands and Spain on the other. The main result was an American victory and European recognition of the independence of the United States.
Renowned for its natural resources with more than 300 miles of Atlantic coastline and the highest mountain peaks east of the Rocky Mountains, North Carolina is known for its scenic beauty, moderate climate and a culture that is rich in history.
Spanish explorers were the first Europeans to make a permanent settlement in the area when Juan Pardo and his men built Fort San Juan in 1567 near the present-day city of Morganton. But, the fort was short lived.
English colonists, sent by Sir Walter Raleigh, unsuccessfully attempted to settle Roanoke Island in 1585 and 1587. Finally, in 1653, the first permanent settlements were established by English colonists from Virginia near the Roanoke and Chowan Rivers.
In 1718, after losing his ship and appealing to the governor of North Carolina who promised safe-haven and a pardon, the notorious pirate, Blackbeard was killed in an ambush by British soldiers.
North Carolina became one of the English Thirteen Colonies and with the territory of South Carolina was originally known as the Province of Carolina. The northern and southern parts of the original province separated in 1729.
During the American Revolution, there was relatively little fighting within the state, but many North Carolinians saw action elsewhere. Later, when the Civil War erupted, the state joined the Confederacy despite considerable pro-Union, antislavery sentiment.
Among the popular destinations in the Tar Heel State, visitors flock to the
Great Smoky Mountains, Blue Ridge National Parkway, Cape Hatteras and Cape Lookout National Seashores, the Wright Brothers National Memorial at Kitty Hawk, and more.
Signs of the Times
Signs, signs, everywhere a signs ... In the beginning, American roadside advertising was generally local with area merchants painting their own signs and gluing posts on walls and fences to notify those traveling by of a product or service up ahead. By 1850 advertising first began to be see on street railways and the earliest billboards sprang up in 1867. Outdoor advertising typically has witty slogans, distinctive visuals, and bright colors to draw the eye of the traveler and leave them thinking about the advertisement after they have driven past it. Popular on businesses is the neon sign, which was first demonstrated in a modern form in December, 1910. Used worldwide, they are extremely popular in the United States, especially from about 1920–1960. Gallery displays, old signs, new signs, signs that don't exist anymore, ones that are colorful, fading, bright, tattered, and everthing in between.
The President of the United States of America (POTUS) is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces. Article II of the U.S. Constitution vests the executive power of the United States in the president and charges him with the execution of federal law, alongside the responsibility of appointing federal executive, diplomatic, regulatory, and judicial officers, and concluding treaties with foreign powers, with the advice and consent of the Senate.