Category USA

The Indians of the Great Plains


In the Black Hills of South Dakota there are two huge monuments carved from moun­tains. One is the Mount Rushmore National Monument. It shows the faces of four Amer­ican presidents: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt. The other is the Crazy Horse Mon­ument. In progress since 1947, it will show the famous Sioux Indian leader on horseback. These two monuments are tributes to heroes of two cultures that clashed on the American continent. Some of the major clashes between these cultures occurred not far from the Black Hills of South Dakota.

Little Big Horn

In an 1868 treaty, the U. S. government said the Black Hills area belonged to the Indians. The Black Hills had long been sacred to the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes.

In 1874, General George Custer violated the treaty by leading his troops into the Black Hills. On his return, Custer claimed the Black Hills were filled with gold. White settlers be­gan pouring into the area. Despite the treaty, the army did little to stop them. Instead, it moved against the Indians who tried to stop the settlers.

The Sioux and the Cheyenne, tradition­ally enemies, decided it was time to join forces. They joined together under the leadership of Crazy Horse.

Custer, convinced that victory would be easy, took his men in search of the Indians. He found them at the Little Big Horn River in Montana, where they lay waiting for him in ambush. Yelling the war cry "It is a good day to die!" Crazy Horse charged. Within min­utes, Custer and 250 of his men were dead.

The Destruction of the Buffalo

The struggle between the Indian tribes of the Great Plains and the U. S. army took place from 1860 to 1890. The Indians were defeated, but not just by the army.

Many Indians died from disease. Whites brought "new" diseases to which the Indians had no resistance. A smallpox epidemic in 1837, for example, almost destroyed entire tribes.

The Plains Indians were nomadic hunt­ers: They traveled over large areas and hunted buffalo. The Indians used almost every part of the buffalo. The bones were made into tools; skins became robes and tepees; and fat was used for fuel. Buffalo meat, of course, was an important food. In the early nineteenth cen­
tury, about 70 million buffalo roamed the plains.

Whites killed buffalo for their skin and for sport. They killed them in large numbers. One buffalo hunter killed 120 buffalo in just forty minutes! In 1889 there were only 550 buffalo left.

By destroying the buffalo, and changing the environment of the Great Plains, white settlers nearly destroyed the Indian way of life.

Wine Country


Wine Grapes


California earns more from grapes than from any other crop. Many of the grapes grown are grapes for wine. There are now vineyards and wineries the length of California—down to San Diego, in the very south. But the tradi­
tional and most important area for wine lies to the north of San Francisco, in Napa and Sonoma counties.

The wine-making tradition goes back to the 1780s, when Spanish monks planted vine-


Northern California is home to many small wineries

yards. One of the oldest commercial wineries was started in the 1850s by Count Agoston Haraszthy, a Hungarian who brought to Son­oma many European grape varieties. By the 1880s California wine was winning medals in international competitions. The wine indus­try flourished until 1920, when the Eigh­teenth Amendment to the U. S. Constitution was passed.

The Eighteenth Amendment prohibited the making or drinking of alcohol. This amendment caused many problems and was finally repealed in 1933. By that time, the Cal­ifornia wine industry had almost been de­stroyed. The 1960s, however, were the begin­ning of a wine boom. Growers whose vineyards
had survived "Prohibition" were joined by new growers with new techniques. Often these growers came from professions as different as acting or engineering, attracted by their in­terest in wine and their desire to live in a beautiful place.

Interest in wine and natural beauty also draw many visitors to Napa and Sonoma counties. The area, with its gentle hills cov­ered with vineyards, often reminds people of Mediterranean Europe. Many wineries and fine small restaurants are in old stone buildings. Most wineries give visitors tours and free tast­ings.

Process of Elimination

The Eighteenth Amendment to the Consti­tution was repealed by passage of the Twenty – first Amendment. Can you get rid of the "Eighteenth Amendment" here by eliminat­ing all its letters? You can eliminate letters by making a word out of them Words may contain letters from the two words (e. g., "tent" may be made by using a "t" from each word). You cannot use additional let­ters, though, and once you have eliminated a letter, you cannot use it again in a new word.

EIGHTEENTH AMENDMENT Example: dig, amen, tent, theme, then

The American People

The United States has the third-largest pop­ulation in the world (after China and India). In 1990, population in the United States passed the 250,000,000 mark. Who are the American people?

The most distinctive characteristic of the United States is its people. As nineteenth-cen­tury poet Walt Whitman said, the United States "is not merely a nation but a nation of na­tions." People from around the world have come to the United States and influenced its history’ and culture.

The Native Americans The first people on the American continent came from Asia. They came across the Bering Strait from Siberia to Alaska at various times when the sea level dropped. The first migra­tion might have been as early as 40,000 years ago. Once in America, these people migrated
east across North America and south through Central and South America. When Columbus arrived in the fifteenth century, there were perhaps 10 million people in North America alone. They had developed many different kinds of societies. These were the people that Columbus called "Indians," in-the mistaken belief that he had reached the East Indies.

The story of the westward growth of the United States was also the story of the destruc­tion of the Native Americans, or Indians. To­day there are about 1.5 million Indians in the United States. Western states —especially Cal­ifornia. Oklahoma, Arizona, and New Mex­ico—haw the largest Indian populations. About one-third of the Native Americans live on reservations, land that was set aside for them. Most of the others live in cities. Poverty and unemployment are major problems, es­pecially on the reservations.






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Harlem Nightlife in the 1930s


In 1900, when the city extended the subway all the way uptown to Harlem, new housing was built there. For once, though, there wasn’t a big need for housing in Manhattan, and the new buildings stayed empty. Then a black man
approached the building owners with an idea: Why not rent to the black families, who wanted to move from the rundown housing they lived in downtown? It was in this way that Harlem became a largely black neighborhood.

The news soon spread that in Harlem blacks had better opportunities for housing and education. Many blacks came to Harlem from the south of the United States and even from the islands of the Caribbean.

The 1920s were Harlem’s great years, es­pecially in the arts. Top jazz musicians were heard regularly—Duke Ellington, Cab Callo­way, Fletcher Henderson, Art Tatum, Fats Waller, and many others. Authors like Fangs – ton Hughes and Zora Neale Hurston began to write specifically about their experience as blacks.

Hariem had a very active club scene. Whites from downtown came to Harlem and partied until the early hours of the morning. Ironically, some of these clubs, including the famous Cotton Club, didn’t allow blacks as customers. But people who lived in Harlem had parties of their own. At these parties, 50 cents bought lots of food and all-night piano playing. The music was probably better than anywhere else, as famous musicians came and "challenged" each other.

The depression of the 1930s hit Harlem hard. With a bad economy and ongoing dis­crimination, many blacks were unable to earn a living. The neighborhood became poorer,


The Apollo Theater today

and many middle-class blacks left. Harlem has never really recovered. Yet it has kept its spe­cial feel and remains a center for black cul­ture. You can see this if you go on a tour of Harlem.

A tour might take you to churches where you can hear gospel music, to restaurants that serve soul food (food cooked in the way of blacks of the South), and to Harlem night­clubs to hear jazz. A club event you shouldn’t miss is the Apollo Theater’s Talent Night: Here, amateurs take their chances performing be­fore an audience that is known for its enthu­siastic applause and its equally enthusiastic boos!

Подпись: NEW YORK — The city's crime rate has increased this year, official statistics show. The increase includes violent crimes. Several recent murders involved innocent bystanders—people who just happened to be "in the way" when shots were fired. Drugs and the ease with which sophisticated guns can be obtained appear to be factors contributing to the increase in violent crime. The mayor's office has announced plans to hire and train more police officers. When questioned by reporters, many New Yorkers said they would move elsewhere if they could. Other New Yorkers though, were steadfastly loyal to the city. They pointed out that the problems go beyond New York City. "For all its problems," one man said, "New York has so much to offer—concerts, plays, you name it. And besides, New York is my home."

Discussion Points

Read the article and discuss the questions.

• Has crime increased in the cities of your country? What do you think should be done to fight crime?

• Some New Yorkers want to stay in New York; others want to leave. What is your opinion? Would you want to live in New York? Why or why not?

Write and Talk

You have some friends who are stopping in New York for 24 hours on their way to San Francisco. Since you are more familiar with New York, they ask you what they should do there. Write a one-day itinerary for your friends Trade itineraries with a partner. Take turns roleplaying the person going to New York and the person giving advice. Discuss and explain the itinerary you have prepared.

Ancient Cultures of the Southwest

Подпись: Betatakin: a "cliff palace" dwelling {©JerryJacka 1991)

There are other "ghost towns" in the South­west—far older and more mysterious. These towns are huge dwellings that were built by Indians around 900-1200 A. D. and then sud­denly abandoned.

The reason why they were abandoned is not known. Probably the climate changed, be­coming even drier than it had been. This would have been a disaster since the Indians de­pended on farming. Or perhaps other Indians invaded from the north. In any case, when the Spaniards arrived in the 1500s the Indians of the area were living in smaller, simpler vil­lages.

Because of the dry air of the Southwest, the ancient buildings have been preserved. You can visit many of them.

In the fascinating Navajo National Mon­ument area (see page 113) you can visit Beta – takin. This "cliff palace," as it is called, is a 135-room structure built against the back wall of a canyon. Construction took place from about 1250 to 1290, and yet by 1300 Betatakin was abandoned.