Thursday, December 27, 2012

Washington DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, etc.

For the final post of this series, I will take a look at those areas of the United States that are not states.  C in DC made it very clear when I started this - that I better not forget DC.  I pointed out that it's not a state (yet) as none of these others are.  There's some chance that DC and Puerto Rico may make statehood someday.

I hope you've enjoyed this series.  I'm taking 2013 off from the weekly series but will be back with a new one in 2014.

Washington, District of Columbia
The District has more people than the state of Wyoming, but fewer than the state of Vermont, the 49th most populous state in the Union.  It is, of course, the nation's capital and the primary "industry" is the United States government, which in part governs the district in financial matters.

The site was chosen by George Washington (and named in his honor) - the city was laid out by Pierre Charles L'Enfant.  I have the sketch of a book in the Brave Astronaut brain about the road scheme (why certain state roads are where they are and the naming convention of the "letter" streets) that I might get around to writing someday.
Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico was "discovered" by Christopher Columbus and stayed in Spanish hands for several centuries.  Ceded to the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War, it has been a territory of the United States since the beginning of the 20th Century.
United States Virgin Islands
The United States Virgin Islands are comprised primarily of three main islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John.  The islands were formerly known as the Danish West Indies, and were ceded to the United States in 1916.
American Samoa
This territory in the Pacific Ocean, part of the Cook Islands chain has been a protectorate of the United States since the days just prior to World War I.
Northern Mariana Islands

Like Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana are a commonwealth.  It is located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines.
  • Area - 179.01 sq mi
  • Population (2010 census) - 53,833
  • Capital - Saipan (the entire island is incorporated as a municipality)
  • gov.mp - the Official Website of the Northern Mariana, Governor Benigno Fitial (R)
  • The Northern Mariana Tourism site - My Marianas
  • Wikipedia 
  • CIA Factbook for the Northern Mariana
Guam
Guam is the 32nd largest island of the United States.  Like most of the US territories, it became part of the United States as a result of the treaty ending the Spanish American War.

It gets the majority of its income from tourism, primarily from Japanese tourists.  Its second major source of revenue is from the United States military, which has a large presence on the island.

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