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Interesting Facts About the United States of America

Last week I began to think about the United States of America and some of the interesting facts about this great country in which I’ve been fortunate to live and work. Fifty states make up the country and all of them are very unique in their own right. Admitted to the Union at various times, they became a part of a republic that has been a showcase for freedom in a world that also has a number of dictators and tyrants.
America’s form of government has been called a republic and a democracy as well. There is a difference but many folks use the names of the two forms of government interchangeably. Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary defines “republic” as “a government having a chief of state who is not a monarch and who in modern times is usually a president.” From the information I have found, a republic is more of a representative form of government in that power is vested in people who are elected to various offices. On the other hand according to that source a “democracy” is defined as “a government by the people ruled especially by the majority.” In other words, the distinction seems to be that in a democracy, the power is more direct to the citizens.
In the Pledge to the Flag, we pledge to “the Flag of the United States and to the Republic for which it stands.”
Anyway, I believe America is the greatest country in the world and I am proud to be an American. But my country is certainly not without faults. Also the American Civil War was a tragedy that tested whether the Union could be preserved. It was.
I was recently looking at the order in which the states were admitted to the Union. I noted that Delaware was the first state to be admitted to the Union. Of course the original 13 colonies were members of the United States from the date of the Declaration of Independence. But their admittance in order of their ratification of the Declaration of Independence is different.
Using the latter rationale, the date of Delaware’s admittance was December 7, 1787.
Pennsylvania was admitted December 12 of that same year.
Tennessee was admitted to the Union June 1, 1796. A good way to remember that is that it was 20 years after the signing of the Declaration of Independence. It was formed from western land donated to the U. S. by North Carolina. When Arizona was admitted on February 14, 1912 it was the last of the 48 states. Since my birth two other states were admitted: Alaska and Hawaii— Alaska on January 3, 1959 and Hawaii on August 21, 1959.