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Themes Famous People National Parks
Actors/Actresses and Directors Nobel Prize Winners
Genealogy
Anglo-Saxons and Danes Heritage and Nature Places of Interest
Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty Historic Events Prime Ministers
Artists and Architects Inventors and Scientists Royal Consorts and Heirs
Composers Maps and Documents World Heritage Sites
Explorers and Adventurers Monarchs Writers and Poets

United States of America

Inhabited by American Indians for at least 20,000 years and reached by the Vikings around 1000 AD, the land was "claimed" by John Cabot for his patron, Henry VII of England, when he landed in 1497.

Henry VII
The Vikings



It was not until the second half of the 16th century that the first permanent European settlers arrived with a Spanish settlement developing at St Augustine, Florida as early as 1565. During the following century the land became a destination for disaffected religious groups and other emigrants who settled all along the east coast, including in 1607 at Jamestown, Virginia.



Until the American War of Independence the land was used as a penal colony for transporting convicts. As the 18th century progressed into the 19th more and more emigrants arrived from Europe and they began pushing westwards in ever increasing numbers leading to the decimation of the native population.

The American War of Independence


Actors/Actresses and Directors
The Yorkshire-born film actor Charles Laughton died in Los Angeles, California in 1962. On moving to Hollywood he achieved fame early, winning an Academy Award for the 1933 film The Private Life of Henry VIII. He went on to star in such classics as the 1935 version of Mutiny on the Bounty and Stanley Kubrick's Spartacus in 1960. His 1955 directorial debut The Night of the Hunter was also a critical success. In 1950 he became a U.S. citizen.

Charles Laughton



Stan Laurel, the English half to Laurel and Hardy, died in Santa Monica, California in 1965. He emigrated to the United States in 1910 on the same ship as Charlie Chaplin, for whom he had acted in England as an understudy. The partnership with Oliver Hardy began in 1926 and their 1932 short film The Music Box won an Academy Award. Full length feature films followed and their style was so successful that they survived the passing of silent movies.



The English film director Sir Alfred Hitchcock died in Los Angeles, California in 1980. After making his early films in Britain he moved to Hollywood in 1939 where his 1940 film Rebecca won an Academy Award for Best Picture. He went on to make some of cinema's greatest thrillers including Rear Window, North by Northwest and Psycho with many of Hollywood's leading actors and actresses.

Sir Alfred Hitchcock



Born in Bristol in England Hollywood actor Cary Grant died in Davenport, Iowa in 1986. He arrived in the USA in 1920 and after working in theatre moved to Hollywood where he made his film debut in 1932. He appeared in many classic comedies opposite Hollywood's leading actresses, also working with Sir Alfred Hitchcock in some of his most successful films. In 1970 he was awarded an honorary Academy Award.



The London-born comedian Bob Hope died at Toluca Lake, California in 2003 a few months after his 100th birthday.



Artists and Architects

The painterJames Whistler was born in 1834 in Lowell, Massachusetts. After studying in Paris he moved to London in 1859 where he was to spend the rest of his life. He died there in 1903 and is buried in Chiswick.

James Whistler



Explorers and Adventurers
In 1779 - whilst on his third world voyage - Captain James Cook was killed on Kealakekua Beach in Hawaii by natives. He had left England in 1776 with the aim of finding a route from the Pacific around the north coast of Alaska and Canada.

Captain James Cook
Captain James Cook
The Captain Cook Society



Matthew Webb died in 1883 attempting to be the first person to swim across the rapids of the Niagara River just below the Niagara Falls on the US-Canadian border. He had been born in Dawley in Shropshire in 1848 and in 1875 had become the first person to swim the English Channel when he swam from Dover to Cap Gris Nez in France.



Famous People
The preacher George Whitefield died near Boston, Massachusetts in 1770. It was while studying at Oxford that he had become involved with John Wesley and his brother Charles, who in 1729 had set up a religious group called the "Oxford Methodists". This would be the beginnings of Methodism which Whitefield and the Wesley brothers later founded. Originally a movement within the Church of England, the Methodists were eventually forced to separate and form their own church. Whitefield toured the United States many times to preach and it was on his eighth trip that he died.

George Whitefield
Methodism



Nancy Astor was born in Danville, Virginia in 1879. In 1919 she became the first woman to sit in the House of Commons when she became MP for the city of Plymouth in Devon.

Nancy Astor



Born in Scotland in 1835 Andrew Carnegie emigrated to America with his family in 1848. He was to become one of the richest people in history through iron and steel after which he spent the rest of his life donating money to philanthropic projects. He returned to live in Scotland in 1901, taking up residence at Skibo Castle, Sutherland but died in 1919 in Lenox, Massachusetts.



Historic Events


Achievements
Born in Scotland in 1847 Alexander Graham Bell moved to America where in 1875 he made the very first telephone transmission. He patented the telephone the following year a few hours before his rival, the American Elisha Gray. In 1882 Bell became a US citizen.



Landings and Departures
The first European to land in North America since the Vikings was the Italian-born navigator John Cabot in 1497. He had set out from England in search fo a route to Asia - via the Northwest Passage round Canada - but instead discovered North America and on landing claimed the land for his patron, Henry VII of England.




Inventors and Scientists
The English-born chemist Joseph Priestley died in 1840 in Northumberland, Pennsylvania. As a clergyman in Leeds in Yorkshire he had begun studying chemistry in the 1760s an interest which would make him a pioneer in the field and one of the discoverers of oxygen. His scientific views often clashed with his religious role and his writings led to many seeing him as an atheist, triggering controversy on several occasions. After a mob attacked his house he decided to move to London and then in 1794 emigrated to the USA, where he lived in a more tolerant climate.

Joseph Priestley



Nobel Prize Winners


Chemistry
The English chemist Sir Derek H.R. Barton died at College Station, Texas in 1998. In 1969 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the Norwegian Odd Hassel.



Born in London in 1912 the American chemist Herbert C. Brown emigrated with his family to the USA in 1914. He died in Lafayette, Indiana in 2004. In 1979 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Chemistry with the German Georg Wittig for their work on organic synthesis.



Literature
The winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1948 T.S. Eliot, who wrote the poem The Waste Land, was born as Thomas Stearns Eliot in St Louis, Missouri in 1888. He settled in London in 1915 and became a British citizen in 1927.

T.S. Eliot T.S. Eliot
Academy of American Poets: T.S. Eliot


This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but a whimper.

The Hollow Men (1925)

The last temptation is the greatest treason:
To do the right deed for the wrong reason.

Murder in the Cathedral (1935)



Physics
The English mathematician and physicist P.A.M. Dirac died in Tallahassee, Florida in 1984. In 1933 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Physics with the Austrian Erwin Schrödinger for their work in quantum theory. He is buried in Tallahassee.

P.A.M. Dirac



Physiology or Medicine
The English molecular biologist Francis H.C. Crick, who had lived in the USA since 1977, died in San Diego, California in 2004. In 1962 he had shared the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine with the New Zealand-born Maurice Wilkins and the American James D. Watson for their ground breaking research into DNA which lead to the discovery of its double helix structure. Wilkins also died in 2004.

Francis H.C. Crick Francis H.C. Crick Maurice Wilkins




Royal Consorts and Heirs

House of Windsor
In 1892 Wallis Simpson, future wife of Edward VIII, was born as Bessie Wallis Warfield at Blue Ridge Summit in Pennsylvania. Edward abdicated in 1936 in order to marry her.

Wallis Simpson Edward VIII




World Heritage Sites


Alaska

In 1979 the Wrangell-St Elias and Glacier Bay National Parks were designated a World Heritage Site by the UNESCO. Together with the Canadian Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in British Columbia and the Kluane National Park in the Yukon, the site forms one of the largest protected areas in the world.



Arizona

In 1979 the Grand Canyon National Park was designated a World Heritage Site. The Grand Canyon, through which the Colorado River runs, is 1,500 metres deep.



California

The Redwood National Park is the home of the sequoia redwood, the tallest trees in the world, and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1980.



In 1984 the Yosemite National Park was designated a World Heritage Site.



Colorado
In 1978 the Mesa Verde was designated a World Heritage Site. The site contains many remnants of Pueblo Indian dwellings dating back to the 6th century.



Florida

The Everglades National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1979.



Hawaii
The Hawaii Volcanoes National Park contains with Mauna Loa and Kilauea, two of the most active volcanoes in the world, and was designated a World Heritage Site in 1987.



The islands and atolls of Papahanaumokuakea were designated a World Heritage Site in 2010.



Idaho

In 1978 Yellowstone National Park was designated a World Heritage Site, 1% of its area lies in Idaho. It contains two-thirds of all the geysers in the world.



Illinois
In 1982 Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site was designated a World Heritage Site. The site was settled from 800-1400 and contains Monks Mound, at thirty metres high the largest prehistoric earthwork in the Americas.



Kentucky

With 560 kilometres of surveyed underground passages, the Mammoth Cave National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1981.



Louisiana

The Monumental Earthworks of Poverty Point were designated a World Heritage Site in 2014.



Montana

In 1978 Yellowstone National Park was designated a World Heritage Site, 3% of its area lies in Montana. It contains two-thirds of all the geysers in the world.



Lying on the border to Canada, the Glacier National Park was combined with Waterton Lakes National Park in Alberta to create the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. This was designated a World Heritage Site in 1995.



New Mexico
In 1987 Chaco Culture National Historic Park was designated a World Heritage Site. The site illustrates the culture of the Pueblo Indians who settled here from 850-1250.



The Pueblo Indian adobe settlement of Pueblo de Taos was designated a World Heritage Site in 1992.



The cave system of the Carlsbad Caverns National Park was designated a World Heritage Site in 1995.



New York

Presented in 1886 to the United States by France to celebrate the centenary of its independence, the Statue of Liberty stands in New York Harbour and has been for millions of immigrants their first view of America. It was designated a World Heritage Site in 1984.



North Carolina

In 1983 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was designated a World Heritage Site. The site stretches into Tennessee.



Pennsylvania

In 1979 Independence Hall in Philadelphia was designated a World Heritage Site. The building saw the historic signings of both the Declaration of Independence in 1776 and the Constitution of the United States in 1787.



Puerto Rico

In 1983 La Fortaleza and the San Juan Historic Site on Puerto Rico was designated a World Heritage Site.



Tennessee

In 1983 the Great Smoky Mountains National Park was designated a World Heritage Site. The site stretches into North Carolina.



Texas

The San Antonio Missions were designated a World Heritage Site in 2015.



Virginia
In 1987 Monticello and the University of Virginia at Charlottesville were designated a World Heritage Site. Monticello was the plantation home of Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States. He designed it as he did the core buildings of the University of Virginia.



Washington

In 1981 the Olympic National Park was designated a World Heritage Site.



Wyoming

In 1978 Yellowstone National Park was designated a World Heritage Site, 96% of its area lies in Wyoming. It contains two-thirds of all the geysers in the world.




Writers and Poets

For T.S. Eliot see Nobel Prize Winners



The Norfolk-born political writer Thomas Paine died on his farm at New Rochelle, New York in 1809. He had written many controversial books including The Rights of Man and The Age of Reason which had caused him to fall foul of the ruling classes in England, France and the U.S.

Thomas Paine
Thomas Paine


It is necessary to the happiness of man that he be mentally faithful to himself. Infidelity does not consist in believing, or in disbelieving, it consists in professing to believe what one does not believe.
The Age of Reason (1794)



The author Henry James was born in New York City, New York in 1843. He lived in England from 1876 until his death in London in 1916 and was buried in the land of his birth in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Henry James


Live all you can; it's a mistake not to. It doesn't so much matter what you do in particular, so long as you have your life. If you haven't had that, what have you had?
The Ambassadors (1903)



The English-born novelist Frances Hodgson Burnett died in Plandome, New York in 1924. She had emigrated with her family to America in 1865 where she wrote many books including The Secret Garden.



In 1935, five years after his death in France, the ashes of D.H. Lawrence were interred on a property in Taos, New Mexico where he had spent time in the 1920s.

D.H. Lawrence
Academy of American Poets: D.H. Lawrence


Don't you find it a beautiful clean thought, a world empty of people, just uninterrupted grass, and a hare sitting up?
Women in Love (1920)



The poet Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts in 1932. In 1959 she settled in Devon, having married the poet Ted Hughes in 1956. They had met in England at Cambridge where they had both studied.



Is there no way out of the mind?
Apprehensions (1971)



In 1932 the English suspense writer Edgar Wallace died in Hollywood, California whilst working on the screenplay to King Kong. He was buried in Little Marlow in Buckinghamshire.



The Welsh poet Dylan Thomas died whilst on a visit to New York City, New York in 1953. He was buried in Laugharne, Carmarthenshire his home since 1938.

Dylan Thomas Dylan Thomas


Light breaks where no sun shines;
Where no sea runs, the waters of the heart
Push in their tides.
Light breaks where no sun shines (1934)

Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green.
Fern Hill (1946)


Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night (1952)



The English author of Brave New World Aldous Huxley emigrated to the USA in 1937 settling in California. He died in Los Angeles on the 22nd November 1963, the same day as the American President John F. Kennedy and the author C.S. Lewis. He was buried at Compton in Surrey.

Aldous Huxley Aldous Huxley


"I say," Helmholtz exclaimed solicitously, " you do look ill, John!"
"Did you eat something that didn't agree with you?" asked Bernard.
The Savage nodded. "I ate civilization."
Brave New World (1932)


One of the principal functions of a friend is to suffer (in a milder and symbolic form) the punishments that we should like, but are unable, to inflict upon our enemies.
Brave New World (1932)


The end cannot justify the means, for the simple and obvious reason that the means employed determine the nature of the ends produced.
Ends and Means (1937)




The English-born Christopher Isherwood, chronicler of life in 1930s Berlin, emigrated to the USA with W.H. Auden in 1939, both writers becoming U.S. citizens in 1946. Isherwood died in Santa Monica, California in 1986.

Christopher Isherwood with W.H. Auden and Stephen Spender



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