SOME INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT NORTH AMERICA
WHAT MAKES UP NORTH AMERICA?This continent is home to three very large countries - CANADA, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND MEXICO - and 20 smaller countries. It stretches all the way from the Arctic Circle to Central America (the narrow strip of land that joins South America) includes Greenland and the long chain of Caribbean islands.
1.FAST FACTS ABOUT NORTH AMERICA:
- TOTAL LAND AREA ; 9,442,000 SQ MILES
- BIGGEST COUNTRY : CANADA - 3,848,655 SQ MILES
- SMALLEST COUNTRY : St KITTS AND NEVIS - 104 SQ MILES
- HIGHEST MOUNTAIN : MOUNT McKINLEY, ALASKA - 20,322 FT
- LONGEST RIVER : MISSISSIPPI/MISSOURI - 3,740 MILES
- BIGGEST LAKE : LAKE SUPERIOR, USA/CANADA - 31,820 SQ MILES
- MOST POPULATED CITY - MEXICO CITY - 20,450,000 PEOPLE
Mexico City stands on the site of the AZTEC CITY of TENOCHTITLAN, built in 1325 on an island in Lake Texcoco - that makes it 300 years older than New York City.
- TALLEST BUILDING - CN TOWER,TORONTO - 1,815 FT
2.MOST POPULATED COUNTRIES IN NORTH AMERICA:
1. UNITED STATES OF AMERICA - 315 MILLION PEOPLE.
2. MEXICO - 113 MILLION PEOPLE.
3. CANADA - 35.2 MILLION PEOPLE.
- Canada's national emblem is the MAPLE LEAF - for enough, as more than 85 %^ of the world's supply of maple sugar comes from Canadian Maple trees.
- Canada has two official languages so road signs must be written in English & French. The first European settlers in Canada were French, followed by the British. In Quebec, Canada's largest province, French is the only official language.
4. GUATEMALA - 14 MILLION PEOPLE.
- Guatemala's unit of currency, the quetzal, is named for a bird. With its brilliant golden-green feathers and long tail, the forest-dwelling quetzal was sacred to the Aztecs and Mayas.
5. CUBA - 11.4 MILLION PEOPLE
3.ANCIENT ORIGIN OF NORTH AMERICANS:
- Humans first arrived in North America about 20,000 years ago. They entered Alaska from Asia and spread throughout North America to become the ancestors of today's Native Americans.
- There are about 3 million Native Americans living in the USA and CANADA.
- The Native Americans of Mexico and Guatemala are descended from the ancient AZTEC & MAYA people, conquered by the Spanish 500 years ago.
- Many Caribbean people are descendants of African slaves forced to work on sugar plantations.
4.BRIEF HISTORY OF NORTH AMERICA:
1000 - LEIF ERIKSON, a viking explorer, visits the coast of Canada
1492 - CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS lands on Hispaniola and Cuba
1519 - The Spanish conquer Mexico and Central America
1620 - Pilgrim Father's found Plymouth colony, New England
1776 - US declares independence from Britain
1821 - Mexico gains independence from Spain
1865 - USA abolishes slavery
1867 - Dominion of Canada created
1914 - Panama Canal opens,. It cuts across the country of Panama, linking the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
1960 - Caribbean islands win independence from Britain
5.MOST POPULAR SPORTS IN N.AMERICA:
- AMERICAN FOOTBALL - nearly half of American households watch the Super bowl championship on TV.
- BASKET BALL
- NASCAR - stock car auto racing
- ICE HOCKEY - It's national obsession in Canada, where the modern game was invented
6. NAME THE HURRICANE:
- The US National Hurricane Center has six lists of names to identify the hurricanes that batter the CARIBBEAN ISLANDS and the Gulf of Mexico from July to November each year.
- The lists are alphabetical and alternate male and female names.
- If a hurricane causes heavy destruction its name is retired.
- In 2005, HURRICANE KATRINA flattened New Orleans. When the list of names from that year comes up again 2011, Katia will replace Katrina. Other changes will be Don for Dennis, Rina for Rita, Sean for Stan, and Whitney for Wilma.