The United States of America is the third largest country in the world based on population, around 330,000,000, and land area. The U.S. borders both the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans and is bordered by Canada and Mexico.

It has a varied topography. The eastern regions consist of hills and low mountains while the central interior is a vast plain (called the Great Plains region) and the west has high rugged mountain ranges (some of which are volcanic in the Pacific Northwest). Alaska also features rugged mountains as well as river valleys. Hawaii's landscape varies but is dominated by volcanic topography.

The nation is made up of 50 states, along with the federal district of Washington D.C.. This district, which includes the capital city, is located between Maryland and Virginia, but does not legally belong to either one, functioning as its own separate entity.

The Library of Congress provides historical information and fun facts about each state in the United States, including when it became a state, its nickname, and its capital. If you need information on state programs and services, browse your state government website.

The country has an extensive system of highways including the Interstate System. The Interstate System has been called the Greatest Public Works Project in History. From the day President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956, the Interstate System has been a part of our culture as construction projects, as transportation in our daily lives, and as an integral part of the American way of life.

Every citizen has been touched by it, if not directly as motorists, then indirectly because every item we buy has been on the Interstate System at some point. President Eisenhower considered it one of the most important achievements of his two terms in office, and historians agree. Click here for the history of the Interstate Highway System. The Historic American Roads is fun to look through.

The United States also has the world's largest economy and is one of the most influential nations in the world. The U.S. has the largest and most technologically advanced economy in the world. It mainly consists of the industrial and service sectors.

The main industries include petroleum, steel, motor vehicles, aerospace, telecommunications, chemicals, electronics, food processing, consumer goods, lumber, and mining. Agricultural production, though only a small part of the economy, includes wheat, corn, other grains, fruits, vegetables, cotton, beef, pork, poultry, dairy products, fish and forest products.

There is no "official" language at the federal level for the United States. Although the most commonly used language is English, more than 300 languages are spoken or signed by the population. Some individual states list English as their official language.

The continental U.S. (including Alaska) spans five time zones. American Samoa, Hawaii, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands are located in additional time zones.

Daylight Saving Time is a widely used system in the United States that adjusts the official local time forward one hour during spring and summer months. Clocks are moved ahead one hour on the second Sunday in March at 2 a.m. (local time). Clocks are moved back one hour on the first Sunday in November at 2 a.m. (local time).

Some people remember which way to move their clocks by using the phrase, "spring forward, fall back." Daylight Saving Time is not observed in Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and most of Arizona.

American's Parks - While the most familiar of America's parks are the State Parks and the National Parks, America's parks operate under a variety of names including; state forests, natural areas, national forests, national grasslands, landmarks, monuments, historic sites, geologic sites, recreation trails, memorial sites, preserves, wayside areas, heritage parks, resource centers, scenic rivers, agricultural areas, state forest nurserys, metro parks, fishing piers, fish hatcherys, wildlife areas, plus several other names that use slight variations or combinations of the aforementioned.

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