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Miami, Florida

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Miami is a major city located in the southeast corner of the U.S. state of Florida. Miami and the surrounding metropolitan area sits between the Miami River, Biscayne Bay, the Everglades and the Atlantic Ocean. It is the second largest city in Florida and the county seat (and largest city) of Miami-Dade County. It is also the largest city in the South Florida metropolitan area, which is comprised of Miami-Dade County, Broward County, and Palm Beach County making up the largest metropolitan area in the Southeastern United States.

Miami was officially incorporated as a city on July 28, 1896 with a population of just over 300. Today, the city of Miami has a population of 362,470 according to the 2000 census, while the larger metropolitan area has a population over 5 million. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 379,724 1.

Miami-Dade County is comprised of thirty-four other incorporated municipalities, including Miami Beach, Aventura, Bal Harbour, Bay Harbor Island, Biscayne Park, Coral Gables, Cutler Ridge, Doral, El Portal,Florida City, Golden Beach, Hialeah, Hialeah Gardens, Homestead, Indian Creek, Islandia, Key Biscayne, Medley, Miami Gardens, Miami Lakes, Miami Shores, Miami Springs, North Bay Village, North Miami, North Miami Beach, Opa-Locka, Palmetto Bay, Pinecrest, South Miami, Sunny Isles, Surfside, Sweetwater, Virginia Gardens, and West Miami.

Some of the larger unincorporated areas include Fairlawn, Flagami, Kendall, and Westchester; the largest of which is Kendall.

Miami's explosive population growth in recent years been driven by internal migration from other parts of the country as well as by immigration. Greater Miami is regarded as a cultural melting pot, heavily influenced both by its very large population of ethnic Latin Americans and Caribbean islanders (many of them Spanish- or Haitian Creole-speaking).

The region's importance as an international financial and cultural center has elevated Miami to the status of world city; because of its cultural and linguistic ties to North, South, Central America, and the Caribbean it is sometimes called "the capital of the Americas."

Two vessels of the U.S. Navy have been named USS Miami in honor of the city.

Early history
No one really knows the origin of the name "Miami". One possibility is that it comes from a Native American word for "sweet water". The area was a concentration of water because the Miami River is essentially a funnel for water from the Everglades to the Atlantic Ocean. Another theory is that the name comes from Lake Mayaimi (now called Lake Okeechobee) which means "big water." There is no evidence that there was any connection between the Miami indian tribes and the southeastern United States, let alone in south Florida.

Native Americans are known to have settled in the Miami region for about 10,000 years. Its most noteworthy early inhabitants were the Tequesta people, who controlled an empire covering most of South Florida.

Although Ponce de Leon attempted to settle the area in the early 1500s, his men could not defend the territory against the natives, so they kept to the more sparsely populated north. For most of the colonial period, the Miami area was only briefly visited by traveling Europeans when it was visited at all.

Although often incorrectly taught in textbooks that Florida was named after its abundance of flowers, the name actually came from the holiday near the date of its discovery. Ponce de Leon discovered Florida on Easter Sunday, March 27, 1513, which is called by Spaniards Pascua Florida, "Holy Day of Flowers."

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American settlement
Pedro Menendez de Aviles and his men visited the Tequesta settlement in 1566. Spanish settlers built a mission at the mouth of the Miami River by 1567. They built a fort in 1743. Many Spanish colonists, along with residents of other lands, established homes and farms along the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.

People came from the Bahamas to South Florida and the Keys to hunt for treasure from the ships that crashed onto the treacherous Great Florida reef. Some accepted Spanish land offers along the Miami River. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived, along with a group of runaway slaves.

In the 1830s, Richard Fitzpatrick bought land on the Miami River from the Bahamians. He operated a successful plantation where he cultivated sugar cane, bananas, corn, and tropical fruit. Fort Dallas was located on Fitzpatrick’s Plantation on the north bank of the river.

The area became a war zone during the Second Seminole War. Most non-Indian residents were soldiers stationed at Fort Dallas. It was the most devastating Indian war in American history. It caused almost a total loss of population in the Miami area.

After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, Fitzpatrick’s nephew, William English, reestablished the plantation in Miami. He charted the “Village of Miami” on the south bank of the Miami River and sold several plots of land.

The Third Seminole War (1855-1858) was not as destructive as the second one. Even so, it slowed down the settlement of southeast Florida. At the end of the war, a few of the soldiers stayed. Some of the Seminole remained in the Everglades. However as late as the 1890s, only a handful of families made their homes in Miami.

In 1891, a wealthy Cleveland woman named Julia Tuttle purchased an enormous citrus plantation in the area. She initially pressured railroad magnate Henry Flagler to expand his rail line, the Florida East Coast Railroad southward to the area, but he initially declined the offer.

In 1894, however, Florida was struck by a terrible winter that destroyed virtually all of the citrus crop in the northern half of the state. Fortunately, unlike the rest of the state, Miami was unaffected, and Tuttle's citrus became the only citrus on the market that year. She wrote to Flagler again, persuading him to visit the area and see it for himself: he did so, and concluded at the end of his first day that the area was ripe for expansion.

Initially, most residents wanted to name the city "Flagler". Henry Flagler was adamant that new city would not be named after himself. So on July 28, 1896, the City of Miami was incorporated with 344 citizens (243 of which were identified as white and 181 as black).

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Early growth
Miami's growth up to World War II was astronomical:

During the early 1920s, the authorities in Miami allowed gambling and were very lax in regulating Prohibition, and so thousands of people migrated from the northern United States to the Miami region, creating a construction boom and building a skyline of high-rise buildings where none had existed before. Some early developments were razed ten years after their initial construction to make way for even larger buildings.

This speculation boom started to waver because of building construction delays caused by bulk of building materials overloading the transport system into the area. Sometimes a ship bringing these supplies in ran aground, blocking the port. These delays gave investors a chance to think again. Finally this transport choke-up got so bad that Miami's mayor declared an embargo on all incoming goods except food. This economic bubble was already collapsing when the catastrophic Great Miami Hurricane in 1926 ended this what was left of this boom. The Great Depression followed.

In the mid-1930s, the Art Deco district of Miami Beach was developed.

During World War II, the U.S. government constructed many training, supply, and communications facilities around Miami, taking advantage of its strategic location at the southeastern corner of the country. Many servicemen and women returned to Miami after the war, pushing the population up to half a million by 1950.

Immigrant influx
Following the 1959 revolution that unseated Fulgencio Batista and brought Fidel Castro to power, Cuban exiles began traveling to Florida en masse. In 1965 alone, 100,000 Cubans packed into the twice-daily "freedom flights" between Havana and Miami. Many of the exiles who escaped were middle class to upper class people who had all of their possessions taken from them, and they arrived in the U.S. with very little. The city, for the most part, welcomed the Cuban exiles. Most of the exiles settled into the Riverside neighborhood, which began to take on the new name of "Little Havana." This area emerged as a predominantly Spanish-speaking community, and Spanish speakers elsewhere in the city could conduct most of their daily business in their native tongue.

In the 1960s and 1970s, the Attorney General’s authority was used to grant special permission (called “parole”) to allow Cubans to enter the country. However, parole only allows an individual permission to enter the country, not to stay permanently. In the case of Cubans, this dilemma was resolved by the Cuban Adjustment Act of 1966. The Act provides that the immigration status of any Cuban who arrived since 1959 and has been physically present in the United States for at least a year “may be adjusted by the Attorney General…to that of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence” (green card holder). The individual must be admissible to the United States (i.e., not disqualified on criminal or other grounds).

Later, the Mariel Boatlift of 1980 brought 150,000 Cubans to Miami in a single flotilla, the largest in civilian history. Unlike the previous exodus of the 1960's, most of the Cuban refugees arriving were poor. Castro used the boatlift as a way of purging his country of many criminals and the mentally ill. During this time, many of the middle class non-Hispanic whites in the community emmigrated out of the city, often referred to as "white flight." In 1960, Miami was 90% white; by 1990 it was only about 10% white.

In the 1980s, Miami started to see an increase in immigrants from other nations such as Haiti. As the Haitian population grew, the area known today as Little Haiti emerged, centered around Northeast Second Avenue and 54th Street. In the 1990s, the presence of Haitians was acknowledged with Haitian Creole language signs in public places and ballots during voting.

Another major Cuban exodus occurred in 1994. To prevent it from becoming another Mariel Boatlift, the Clinton Administration announced a significant change in U.S. policy. In a controversial action, the administration announced that Cubans interdicted at sea would not be brought to the United States but instead would be taken by the Coast Guard to U.S. military installations at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba (or to Panama). During an eight-month period beginning in the summer of 1994, over 30,000 Cubans and more than 20,000 Haitians were interdicted and sent to live in camps outside the United States.

On September 9, 1994, the United States and Cuba agreed to “normalize” migration between the two countries. The agreement codified the new U.S. policy of placing Cuban refugees in safe havens outside the United States, while obtaining a commitment from Cuba to discourage Cubans from sailing to America. In addition, the United States committed to admitting a minimum of 20,000 Cuban immigrants per year. That number is in addition to the admission of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

On May 2, 1995, a second agreement with the Castro government paved the way for the admission to the United States of the Cubans housed at Guantanamo, who were counted primarily against the first year of the 20,000 annual admissions committed to by the Clinton Administration. It also established a new policy of directly repatriating Cubans interdicted at sea to Cuba. In the agreement, the Cuban government pledged not to retaliate against those who are repatriated.

These agreements with the Cuban government led to what has been called the Wet Foot-Dry Foot Policy, whereby Cubans who make it to shore can stay in the United States – likely becoming eligible to adjust to permanent residence under the Cuban Adjustment Act. However, those who do not make it to dry land ultimately are repatriated unless they can demonstrate a well-founded fear of persecution if returned to Cuba. However, because it was stated that Cubans were escaping for political reasons, this policy did not apply to Haitians, who the government claimed were seeking asylum for economic reasons.

Since then, the Latin and Caribbean-friendly atmosphere in Miami has made it a popular destination for tourists and immigrants from all over the world, and the third-biggest immigration port in the country after New York City and Los Angeles. In addition, large immigrant communities have settled in Miami from around the globe, including Europe, Africa, and Asia. The majority of Miami's European immigrant communities are recent immigrants, many living in the city seasonally, with a high disposable income. For example, Miami's Italian-born community numbers only around 45,000, but it is the wealthiest Italian American community in the United States.

Today there are sizable legal and illegal populations of Argentinians, Bahamians, Barbadians, Brazilians, Colombians, Cubans, Dominicans, Dutch, Ecuadorians, French, Haitians, Jamaicans, Israelis, Italians, Mexicans, Nicaraguans, Peruvians, , Russians, Salvadorians, South Africans, Turks, and Venezuelans throughout the metropolitan area. While commonly thought of as mainly a city of Hispanic and Caribbean immigrants, the Miami area is home to the largest Finnish, French, and South African immigrant communities in the United States; as well as one of the largest Israeli, Russian, and Turkish communities.

Miami Vice

In the 1980s, Miami became the United States' largest transshipment point for cocaine from Colombia, Bolivia, and Peru. Again, geography played a major role: Miami was the closest U.S. port to the point of origin, so it was the most logical destination for smugglers.

The drug industry brought billions of dollars into Miami, which were quickly funneled through dummy businesses and into the local economy. Luxury car dealerships, five-star hotels, condominium developments, swanky nightclubs, and other signs of prosperity began rising all over the city. As the money arrived, so did a violent crime wave that lasted through the early 1990s and that has only begun to die down in the 21st century. A classic fictional example of this is the 1983 gangster film, Scarface.

The popular television program Miami Vice, which dealt with counter-narcotics agents in an idyllic upper-class rendition of Miami, spread the city's image as America's most glamorous tropical paradise. This image began to draw the entertainment industry to Miami, and the city remains a hub of fashion, filmmaking, and music.

In the 1990s, various crises struck South Florida: drug wars, tourist shootings, Hurricane Andrew, the Elián González uproar, and, most recently, the controversial 2003 FTAA negotiations

Miami is the 46th most populous city in the U.S., just behind Minneapolis and Omaha. As of the census of 2000, there are 362,470 people, 134,198 households, and 83,336 families residing in the city. The population density is 3,923.5/km² (10,160.9/mi²), making Miami one of the most densely populated cities in the country. There are 148,388 housing units at an average density of 1,606.2/km² (4,159.7/mi²). The racial makeup of the city is 66.62% White, 22.31% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.66% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 5.42% from other races, and 4.74% from two or more races. 65.76% of the population are Latino of any race. The ethnic makeup of the city is 34.1% Cuban, 22.3% African American, 5.6% Nicaraguan, 5.0% Haitian, and 3.3% Honduran. The majority of Miami residents were born outside the United States (59%).

There are 134,198 households out of which 26.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% are married couples living together, 18.7% have a female head of household with no husband present, and 37.9% are non-families. 30.4% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.5% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.61 and the average family size is 3.25.

In the city the population is spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 8.8% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 22.1% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 38 years. For every 100 females there are 98.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 97.3 males.

The median income for a household in the city is $23,483, and the median income for a family is $27,225. Males have a median income of $24,090 versus $20,115 for females. The per capita income for the city is $15,128. 28.5% of the population and 23.5% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 38.2% of those under the age of 18 and 29.3% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.

The city ranks second-to-last in people over 18 with a high school diploma, with 23% of the population not having that degree.

A wide variety of languages are commonly spoken throughout the city. The City of Miami has three official languages - English, Spanish, and Haitian Creole. Other languages that are spoken throughout the city include Afrikaans, Brazilian Portuguese, French, German, Hebrew, Italian, and Russian. Miami has one of the largest populations in the U.S. (74%) of people who speak another language other than English at home.

Attractions

Bayside Marketplace
Coconut Grove
Everglades National Park [2]
Fairchild Tropical Gardens
Fairchild Tropical Garden
Hibiscus Island, Palm Island and others
Historical Museum of South Florida
Little Havana
Lowe Art Museum [3]
Miami Metro Zoo [4]
Miami Art Museum [5]
Miami Seaquarium [6]
Monkey Jungle [7]
Museum of Contemporary Art (MoCa) [8]
Parrot Jungle Island [9]
University of Miami [10]
Vizcaya-Miami Art Museum
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens [11]

Sports

The Miami Heat is the only major league team that plays its games in Miami. The Miami Dolphins and the Florida Marlins both play their games in the suburb of Miami Gardens. The Orange Bowl, a member of the Bowl Championship Series, hosts their college football championship games at Dolphins Stadium. The stadium has also hosted the Super Bowl.

The Florida Panthers NHL team plays in neighboring Broward County, Florida at the Office Depot Center in the city of Sunrise.

Miami is also the home of the Orange Bowl Stadium, the home site for all University of Miami Hurricane football games.

A number of defunct teams were located in Miami, including the Miami Federals (USFL), Miami Floridians (ABA), Miami Gatos (NASL), Miami Screaming Eagles (WHL), Miami Seahawks (AAFC), Miami Sol (WNBA), Miami Toros (NASL), Miami Tribe (PSFL), and the Miami Tropics (SFL). The Miami Fusion, a defunct Major League Soccer team played at Lockhart Stadium in Broward County.

Movies and TV

The Miami International Film Festival is a week-long event held each February.

The video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes place in a fictional city inspired by Miami, including some of the same architecture and geography. There were also people and gangsters in the game who speak Haitian Creole and Spanish.

Miami is a center for Latin television and film production. As a result, many Spanish-language programs are filmed in the many television production studios, predominantly in Hialeah and South Miami. This includes gameshows, variety shows, news programs, and telenovelas. The most famous are the Saturday night variety show Sábado Gigante and the daytime talk show Christina.

Various movies have been filmed or take place in Miami. They include:

2 Fast 2 Furious
Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
Ali
All About the Benjamins
Any Given Sunday
Bad Boys
Big Trouble
Black Sunday
The Birdcage
CSI: Miami
Dave's World
Deep Throat
Empty Nest
Flipper
The Golden Girls
Good Morning, Miami
The Jackie Gleason Show (1960s incarnation)
Making Mr. Right
Miami Rhapsody
Miami Vice
Nip/Tuck
Out Of Time
Porky's
Red Eye
Revenge of the Nerds II: Nerds in Paradise
Scarface
There's Something About Mary

Posted by airwolf09 05:59 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

North Charleston, South Carolina

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North Charleston is a city located in South Carolina. As of the 2005 census, the city had a total population of 87,641.

Posted by airwolf09 06:56 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Charleston, South Carolina

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Charleston is a city in the counties of Berkeley and Charleston in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The city was founded as Charlestown or Charles Towne, Carolina in 1670, and moved to its present location in 1690. Up until 1800, Charleston was the fifth largest city in North America, behind Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, and Quebec City. It adopted its present name in 1783. Also known as The Holy City, or Chucktown, Charleston brims with the culturally unique, such as the joggling board.

As of 2005, the Census Bureau estimated the population of the city proper as 114,883, a 13,8% growth over the population as of the 2000 census. The metropolitan area of Charleston and North Charleston had a population of about 600,434, 72nd largest in the country.

The city of Charleston is located roughly at the mid-point of South Carolina's coastline, at the junction of the Ashley and Cooper Rivers. Charleston's name is derived from Charles Town, named after King Charles II of England.

Charleston is the location of Fort Moultrie, which was instrumental in delivering a critical defeat to the British in the American Revolutionary War, and Fort Sumter, the reputed site of the "first shot" of the American Civil War.

Early history of Charleston
After Charles II of England was restored to the English throne, he granted the chartered Carolina territory to eight of his loyal friends, known as the Lords Proprietor, in 1663. It took seven years before the Lords could arrange for settlement, the first being that of Charles Town. The community was established by English settlers in 1670 across the Ashley River from the city's current location. It was soon chosen by Anthony Ashley-Cooper, one of the Lords Proprietor, to become a "great port towne," a destiny which the city fulfilled. By 1680, the settlement had grown, joined by others from England, Barbados, and Virginia, and relocated to its current peninsular location. The capital of the Carolina colony, Charleston was the center for further expansion and the southernmost point of English settlement during the late 1600s.

The settlement was often subject to attack from sea and from land. Periodic assaults from Spain and France, who still contested England's claims to the region, were combined with resistance from Native Americans as well as pirate raids. Charleston's colonists erected a fortification wall around the small settlement to aid in its defense. The only building to remain from the Walled City is the Powder Magazine, where the city's supply of gun powder was stored.

A 1680 plan for the new settlement, the Grand Modell, laid out "the model of an exact regular town," and the future for the growing community. Land surrounding the intersection of Meeting and Broad Streets was set aside for a Civic Square. Over time it became known as the Four Corners of the Law, referring to the various arms of governmental and religious law presiding over the square and the growing city. St. Michael's Episcopal, Charleston's oldest and most noted church, was built on the southeast corner in 1752. The following year the Capitol of the colony was erected across the square. Because of its prominent position within the city and its elegant architecture, the building signaled to Charleston's citizens and visitors its importance within the British colonies. Provincial court met on the ground floor, the Commons House of Assembly and the Royal Governor's Council Chamber met on the second floor.

While the earliest settlers primarily came from England, colonial Charleston was also home to a mixture of ethnic and religious groups. In colonial times, Boston, Massachusetts and Charleston were sister cities, and people of means spent summers in Boston and winters in Charleston. There was a great deal of trade with Bermuda and the Caribbean, and some people came to live in Charleston from these areas. French, Scottish, Irish and Germans migrated to the developing seacoast town, representing numerous Protestant denominations, as well as Catholicism and Judaism. Sephardic Jews migrated to the city in such numbers that Charleston became one of the largest Jewish communities in North America. The Jewish Coming Street Cemetery, first established in 1762, attests to their long-standing presence in the community. The first Anglican church, St. Philip's Episcopal, was built in 1682, although later destroyed by fire and relocated to its current location. Slaves also comprised a major portion of the population, and were active in the city's religious community. Free black Charlestonians and slaves helped establish the Old Bethel United Methodist Church in 1797, and the congregation of the Emanuel A.M.E. Church stems from a religious group organized solely by African Americans, free and slave, in 1791. The first American museum opened to the public on January 12, 1773 in Charleston.

By the mid-18th century Charleston had become a bustling trade center, and the wealthiest and largest city south of Philadelphia. By 1770 it was the fourth largest port in the colonies, after only Boston, New York, and Philadelphia, with a population of 11,000, slightly more than half of that slaves. Rice and indigo had been successfully cultivated by gentleman planters in the surrounding coastal lowcountry. Those and naval stores were exported in an extremely profitable shipping industry. It was the cultural and economic center of the South.

From the mid-18th century a large amount of immigration was taking place in the upcountry of the Carolinas, some of it coming from abroad through Charleston, but also much of it a southward movement from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania, until the upstate population was larger than the coastal population. The upstaters were not as polished in many ways, and had different interests, setting the stage for several generations of conflicts between upstate and the Charleston elite.

After the United States Declaration of Independence
As the relationship between the colonists and England deteriorated, Charleston became a focal point in the ensuing Revolution. In protest of the Tea Act of 1773, which embodied the concept of taxation without representation, Charlestonians confiscated tea and stored it in the Exchange and Custom House. Representatives from all over the colony came to the Exchange in 1774 to elect delegates to the Continental Congress, the group responsible for drafting the Declaration of Independence; and South Carolina declared its independence from the crown on the steps of the Exchange. Soon, the church steeples of Charleston, especially St. Michael's, became targets for British war ships causing rebel forces to paint the steeples black to blend with the night sky. A siege on the city in 1776 was successfully defended by William Moultrie from Sullivan's Island, but by 1780 Charleston came under British control for two and a half years. After the British retreated in December 1782, the city's name was officially changed to Charleston. By 1788, Carolinians were meeting at the Capitol building for the Constitutional Ratification Convention, and while there was support for the Federal Government, division arose over the location of the new State Capital. A suspicious fire broke out in the Capitol building during the Convention, after which the delegates removed to the Exchange and decreed Columbia the new State Capital. By 1792, the Capitol had been rebuilt and became the Charleston County Courthouse. Upon its completion, the city possessed all the public buildings necessary to be transformed from a colonial capital to the center of the antebellum South. But the grandeur and number of buildings erected in the following century reflect the optimism, pride, and civic destiny that many Charlestonians felt for their community.

As Charleston grew, so did the community's cultural and social opportunities, especially for the elite merchants and planters. The first theater building in America was built in Charleston in 1736, but was later replaced by the 19th-century Planter's Hotel where wealthy planters stayed during Charleston's horse-racing season (now the Dock Street Theatre). Benevolent societies were formed by several different ethnic groups: the South Carolina Society, founded by French Huguenots in 1737; the German Friendly Society, founded in 1766; and the Hibernian Society, founded by Irish immigrants in 1801. The Charleston Library Society was established in 1748 by some wealthy Charlestonians who wished to keep up with the scientific and philosophical issues of the day. This group also helped establish the College of Charleston in 1770, the oldest college in South Carolina and the 13th oldest in the United States.

Charleston became more prosperous in the plantation-dominated economy of the post-Revolutionary years. The invention of the cotton gin in 1793 revolutionized this crop's production, and it quickly became South Carolina's major export. Cotton plantations relied heavily on slave labor. Slaves were also the primary labor force within the city, working as domestics, artisans, market workers or laborers. Many black Charlestonians spoke Gullah, a dialect based on African American structures which combined African, Portuguese, and English words. By 1820 Charleston's population had grown to 23,000, with a black majority. When a massive slave revolt planned by Denmark Vesey, a free black, was discovered in 1822, such hysteria ensued amidst white Charlestonians and Carolinians that the activities of free blacks and slaves were severely restricted. Hundreds of blacks, free and slave, and some white supporters involved in the planned uprising were held in the Old Jail. It also was the impetus for the construction of a new State Arsenal in Charleston. Recently, research published by historian Michael P. Johnson of Johns Hopkins University has cast doubt on the veracity of the accounts detailing Vesey's aborted slave revolt.

As Charleston's government, society and industry grew, commercial institutions were established to support the community's aspirations. The Bank of South Carolina, the second oldest building constructed as a bank in the nation, was established here in 1798. Branches of the First and Second Bank of the United States were also located in Charleston in 1800 and 1817. While the First Bank was converted to City Hall by 1818, the Second Bank proved to be a vital part of the community as it was the only bank in the city equipped to handle the international transactions so crucial to the export trade. By 1840, the Market Hall and Sheds, where fresh meat and produce were brought daily, became the commercial hub of the city. The slave trade also depended on the port of Charleston, where ships could be unloaded and the slaves sold at markets.

In the first half of the 19th century, South Carolinians became more devoted to the idea that state's rights were superior to the Federal government's authority. Buildings such as the Marine Hospital ignited controversy over the degree in which the Federal government should be involved in South Carolina's government, society, and commerce. During this period over 90 percent of Federal funding was generated from import duties, collected by custom houses such as the one in Charleston. In 1832 South Carolina passed an ordinance of nullification, a procedure in which a state could in effect repeal a Federal law, directed against the most recent tariff acts. Soon Federal soldiers were dispensed to Charleston's forts and began to collect tariffs by force. A compromise was reached by which the tariffs would be gradually reduced, but the underlying argument over state's rights would continue to escalate in the coming decades. Charleston remained one of the busiest port cities in the country, and the construction of a new, larger United States Custom House began in 1849, but its construction was interrupted by the events of the Civil War.

Prior to the 1860 election, the National Democratic Convention convened in Charleston. Hibernian Hall served as the headquarters for the delegates supporting Stephen A. Douglas, who it was hoped would bridge the gap between the northern and southern delegates on the issue of extending slavery to the territories. The convention disintegrated when delegates were unable to summon a two-thirds majority for any candidate. This divisiveness resulted in a split in the Democratic party, and the election of Abraham Lincoln, the Republican candidate.

American Civil War

On December 20, 1860, the South Carolina legislature was the first state to vote for secession from the Union. They asserted that one of the causes was the election to the presidency of a man "whose opinions and purposes are hostile to slavery."

On January 9, 1861, Citadel cadets fired the first shots of the American Civil War when they opened fire on a Union ship entering Charleston's harbor. On April 12, 1861, shore batteries under the command of General Pierre G. T. Beauregard opened fire on the Union-held Fort Sumter in the harbor. After a 34-hour bombardment, Major Robert Anderson surrendered the fort. Cadets from the Citadel, South Carolina's liberal arts military college, continued to aid the Confederate army by helping drill recruits, manufacture ammunition, protect arms depots, and guard Union prisoners. The city under siege took control of Fort Sumter, became the center for blockade running, and was the site of the first submarine warfare in 1863. In 1865, Union troops moved into the city, and took control of many sites, such as the United States Arsenal which the Confederate army had seized at the outbreak of the war.

After the eventual and destructive defeat of the Confederacy, Federal forces remained in Charleston during the city's reconstruction. The war had shattered the prosperity of the antebellum city. Freed slaves were faced with poverty and discrimination. Industries slowly brought the city and its inhabitants back to a renewed vitality and growth in population. As the city's commerce improved, Charlestonians also worked to restore their community institutions. In 1867 Charleston's first free secondary school for blacks was established, the Avery Institute. General William T. Sherman lent his support to the conversion of the United States Arsenal into the Porter Military Academy, an educational facility for former soldiers and boys left orphaned or destitute by the war. Porter Military Academy later joined with Gaud School and is now a well-known K-12 prep school, [Porter-Gaud School]. The William Enston Home, a planned community for the city's aged and infirm, was built in 1889. An elaborate public building, the United States Post Office and Courthouse, was completed in 1896 and signaled renewed life in the heart of the city.

A 125 mile-an-hour hurricane hit Charleston August 25, 1885, destroying or damaging 90 percent of the homes and causing an estimated $2 million in damages.

In 1886 Charleston was nearly destroyed by a major earthquake that was felt as far away as Boston and Bermuda. It damaged 2,000 buildings and caused $6 million worth of damage, while in the whole city the buildings were only valued at approximately $24 million.

However, though there have been many fires, hurricanes, tornadoes, several wars, and urban renewal in the 20th century, many of Charleston's historic buildings remain intact

Charlestonian dialect
Charleston's unique (though vanishing) dialect has long been noted in the South and elsewhere, for the singular attributes it possesses. Alone among the various regional Southern dialects, Charlestonian speakers inglide long mid vowels and one hears elements often associated with speech in Canada, such as the raising for /ay/ and /aw/. Some attribute these unique features of Charleston's speech to its early settlement by French Huguenots and Sephardic Jews, both of which played influential parts in Charleston's development and history.

Two important works which shed light on Charleston's early dialect are "Charleston Provincialisms" and "The Huguenot Element in Charleston's Provincialisms," both written by Sylvester Primer. Further scholarship is needed on the influence of Sephardic Jews to the speech patterns of Charleston.

The Old Exchange Building in downtown Charleston was finished in 1771. It was to be The Royal Exchange & Customs House. It is one of the oldest buildings in the nation. This building has had many historic events happen in its walls. It has a dungeon which has held signers of the Declaration of Independence and many other South Carolina Patriots. It has also housed events for George Washington in 1791, The U.S. Constitution ratification in 1788, and tea stolen from trade ships just prior the revolution and then was sold for the revolutionary cause by Charlestown patriots. This building has also been a U.S.post office, the first Confederate post office, and used by the U.S. Coast Guard. After being saved by the state D.A.R., the Old Exchange exists as a public museum and is a major tourist destination which gives tours daily and hosts other grand events. It was succeeded in its official capacity by the Greek revival style US Customs House on East Bay Street between North and South Market Streets.

Modern day Charleston

Charlestonians today fondly refer to their city as The Holy City, and describe it as the site where the "Ashley and Cooper Rivers merge to form Charleston Harbor which turns into the Atlantic Ocean."

America's most-published etiquette expert, Marjabelle Young Stewart, has recognized the city ever since 1995 as the "best-mannered" city in the U.S, a claim lent credence by the fact that it has the only Livability Court in the country.

Charleston is a tourist mecca, with streets lined with grand live oaks draped with Spanish moss. Along the waterfront are many beautiful and historic pastel-colored homes. It's also a busy port, though the majority of the larger container ships are now docking at the Wando Terminal in Mount Pleasant. The Wando River and the Cooper River meet at the Southern point of Daniel Island. The new Arthur Ravenel, Jr. bridge across the Cooper River opened on July 16, 2005. It is the largest cable-stayed bridge in the Americas, (External link: [1]). It replaces The Silas N. Pearman Bridge built in 1966 and The Grace Memorial Bridge built in 1929. These were the largest Continuous-Truss Type Bridges in the World. Demolition of these two bridges began in August, immediately following the opening of the Ravenel Bridge, and will be completed by the summer of 2006.

Charleston annually hosts Spoleto Festival USA[2], as well as the Southeastern Wildlife Exposition[3], the Family Circle Tennis Cup[4], and the Cooper River Bridge Run[5]. Nature lovers may visit the South Carolina Aquarium, the Audubon Swamp Garden, or Cypress Gardens[6]. History buffs can visit the Old Exchange Building, Fort Moultrie, Fort Sumter, Patriot's Point (home to the USS Yorktown), or any of the several beautiful former slave plantations such as Boone Hall Plantation, Magnolia Plantation, and Middleton Place.

Hurricane Hugo hit Charleston in 1989, damaging three-quarters of the homes in Charleston's historic district. The hurricane caused over $2.8 billion in damage.

In 2004, SPAWAR (US Navy Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command) became the largest employer in the Charleston metropolitan area. Until 2004, the Medical University of South Carolina was the largest employer.

Charleston is served by Charleston International Airport. Charleston's port is also the second-largest container port in the nation.

Sister city (twin city)
Spoleto, Umbria, Italy
Savannah, Georgia is sometimes colloquially referred to as a sister city
Boston, Massachusetts - Former

Metropolitan area sports
Charleston Battery - Soccer
Charleston Lowgators 2000-2004 - Basketball
Charleston RiverDogs - Baseball
South Carolina Stingrays - Ice Hockey
Charleston Swamp Foxes 2001-2003 - Arena Football

TV and Movies
Palmetto Pointe
The Notebook - 2004
The Patriot - 2000
Gone with the Wind - 1939

Notable Charlestonians
Stephen Colbert (b. 1964) (comedian, correspondent for The Daily Show)
Robert Furchgott (b. 1916) (chemist)
Christopher Gadsden (1724-1805) (revolutionary leader)
James Gadsden (1788-1858) (diplomat)
Fritz Hollings (b. 1922) (US Senator)
Benjamin Huger (1805-1877) (Confederate general)
Ernest Everett Just (1883-1941) (biologist)
Sallie Krawcheck (b. 1964) (CFO of Citigroup)
Henry Laurens (1724-1792) (revolutionary leader)
William Porcher Miles (1822-1899) (lawmaker, designer of one of the Confederate flags)
Robert Mills (1781-1855) (architect)
Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1746-1825) (revolutionary leader)
Joel Poinsett (1779-1851) (politician, diplomat, and botanist)
Joseph P. Riley, Jr. (born 1943) (Mayor of Charleston since 1975)
William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870) (novelist, author of The Sword and the Distaff)
Thomas Sully (1783-1872) (painter)
Melanie Thornton (1967-2001 Plane Crash) R&B/Pop/Dance Singer (former La Bouche)
William Charles Wells (1757-1817) (physician)
Judah P. Benjamin ( U.S. Senator and Treasurer of the Confederacy)
Thomas Gibson (b. 1962 ) (actor)

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Palm Beach, Florida

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Palm Beach is a town located in Palm Beach County, Florida, 65 miles north of Miami. The Intracoastal Waterway separates it from the neighboring cities of West Palm Beach and Lake Worth.

The town was incorporated on April 17, 1911. As of 2000, it had a year-round population of 10,468, with an estimated seasonal population of 30,000. As of 2004, the year-round population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 9,860.

Palm Beach's residents are affluent, with a median household income of $94,562 and a median family income of $137,867. The town's affluence, and its "abundance of pleasures" and "strong community-oriented sensibility" were cited when it was selected in June 2003 as America's "Best Place to Live" by Robb Report magazine.

The city is served by Palm Beach International Airport.

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West Palm Beach, Florida

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West Palm Beach is a city located in Palm Beach County, Florida, USA. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 82,103. According to the U.S. Census Bureau's 2004 estimates, the city had a population of 95,344. It is the county seat of Palm Beach County.

The city was founded by Henry Flagler in 1894, as a community to house the servants working in the two grand hotels on the neighboring island of Palm Beach, across Lake Worth. During the 1920s, the city boomed and was a rival to Miami, leaving it with many historic structures and neighborhoods. The city quickly declined thereafter, however, due to hurricanes, the Great Depression and rampant suburbanization. In the past 10 years, however, the city had undergone a tremendous renaissance as newcomers have rediscovered the city's historic areas and a resurgent downtown entertainment and shopping district. Due to Florida's stringent annexation laws, the city's boundaries remain roughly at their 1920s position, giving the city a population much smaller than the large metropolitan area of nearly 1.2 million people that surrounds it.

In 2000, the city was the focal point of a controversy regarding voting irregularities that some claim may have affected the outcome of the 2000 Presidential Election.

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Guayllabamba, Pichincha

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Small town 40 Km outside Quito - Ecuador. The Quito Zoo is located at Guayllabamba. The town is known for the avacados and the chirimoya fruit growing. The cultivated fruits from Guayllabamba are distribute around the region. Then name of the town might be spell also as Guaillabamba or Guayabamba. Guayllabamba is the Quechua for green plain.

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Tumbaco, Pichincha

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Tumbaco is a small town about 18 km's outside Quito. The warm climate makes the town a perfect get away from the big metropolis of Quito. The town is growing exponentially and it has become the hot place for real estate.

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Starke, Florida

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Starke is a city located in Bradford County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 5,593. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 5,769. It is the county seat of Bradford County.

Posted by airwolf09 09:52 Archived in Ecuador Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

Malibu, California

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Malibu is a city located in Western Los Angeles County, California. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 12,575.

The City of Malibu is a 27-mile strip of pacific coastline, beachfront community famous for its warm, sandy beaches and for being the home of countless movie stars and others associated with the Southern California motion picture and recording industries. Most Malibu residents live within a few hundred yards of Pacific Coast Highway (Calif. Route 1) which traverses the city; the city is also bounded (more or less) by Topanga and Pacific Palisades to the east, the Santa Monica Mountains to the north, the Pacific Ocean to the south, and Ventura County to the north and west. Its other beaches include Malibu State Beach and Topanga State Beach; its parks include Malibu Creek State Park and the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. A popular bumper sticker reads, "Malibu: A Way of Life." Another slogan is "Where the mountains meet the sea".

Malibu was a part of the territory of the Chumash tribe of Native American Indians. It was named "Humaliwo" or "the surf sounds loudly."

Spanish explorer Juan Cabrillo is believed to have moored at Malibu Lagoon, at the mouth of Malibu Creek, to obtain fresh water in 1542. Spanish presence returned with the California mission system, and the area was part of a 13,000 acre (120 km²) land grant in 1802. That ranch passed intact to Frederick Hastings Rindge in 1891. He and his widow, Rhoda May Rindge, guarded their privacy zealously by hiring guards to evict all trespassers and fighting a lengthy court battle to prevent the building of a Southern Pacific railroad line. Few roads even entered the area before 1929, when the state won another court case and built what is now known as the Pacific Coast Highway. By then May Rindge was forced to subdivide her property and begin selling and leasing lots. The Rindge house, known as the Adamson House, is now part of Malibu Creek State Park and is situated between Malibu Lagoon and Surfrider Beach, beside the Malibu Pier that was originally built for the family yacht. The Malibu Colony was one of the first areas settled, and is on the opposite shore of the lagoon.

In 1926, in an effort to avoid selling land to stave off insolvency, Rhoda May Rindge created a small ceramic tile factory. At its height, the Malibu Potteries employed over 100 workers, and produced decorative tiles which furnish many Los Angeles-area public buildings and Beverly Hills residences. The factory, located one-half mile east of the pier, was ravaged by a fire in 1931. Although the factory partially reopened in 1932, it could not recover from the effects of the Great Depression and a steep downturn in Southern California construction projects. A distinct hybrid of Moorish and Arts and Crafts designs, Malibu tile is considered highly collectible. Fine examples of the tiles may be seen at the Adamson House and Serra Retreat, a fifty-room mansion that was started in the 1920s as the main Rindge home on a hill overlooking the lagoon. The unfinished building was sold to the Franciscan Order in 1942 and is operated as a retreat facility. It burned in the 1970 fire and was rebuilt using many of the original tiles.

In 1991 Malibu, long an unincorporated area of Los Angeles County, achieved cityhood in order to allow for exercise of local control. Prior to incorporation the local residents had fought proposed developments including a freeway, a nuclear power plant, and several sewerline plans. Actor Martin Sheen once served on the Malibu City Council.

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Keystone Heights, Florida

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Keystone Heights is a city located in Clay County, Florida. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 1,349. As of 2004, the population recorded by the U.S. Census Bureau is 1,392.

Named after the state of Pennsylvania, the "Keystone State".

Posted by airwolf09 10:18 Archived in USA Tagged round_the_world Comments (0)

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