Portal:North America

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Introduction

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent entirely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost all within the Western Hemisphere; it is also considered by some to be a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, and to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometers (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of the earth's land area and about 4.8% of its total surface. North America is the third largest continent by area, following Asia and Africa, and the fourth by population after Asia, Africa, and Europe. In 2013, its population was estimated at nearly 579 million people in 23 independent states, or about 7.5% of the world's population, if nearby islands (most notably the Caribbean) are included.

Countries and territories

Territories, dependencies, and subnational entities of a country not located primarily in North America are italicized.

Featured article

2002 Dime
The dime is a coin worth ten cents, or one tenth of a United States dollar. The dime is the smallest in diameter and the thinnest of all U.S. coins currently minted for circulation. The 32nd President, Franklin D. Roosevelt, is featured on the obverse of the current design, while a torch, oak branch, and olive branch covering the motto E pluribus unum are featured on the reverse. The dime's value is labeled as "one dime," since the term 'dime' also applies to a unit of currency worth 10 cents or 1/10 of a dollar.

Mintage of the dime was commissioned by the Coinage Act of 1792, and production began in 1796. A feminine head representing Liberty was used on the front of the coin, and an eagle on the back. These motifs were used for three different designs through 1837. From 1837 to 1891, "Seated Liberty" dimes were issued, which featured Liberty seated next to a shield. In 1892, a feminine head of Liberty returned to the dime, and it was known as a "Barber dime". The backs of both of the latter two designs featured the words "ONE DIME" enclosed in various wreaths. In 1916, the head of a winged-capped Liberty was put on the dime and is commonly known by the misnomer of "Mercury dime"; the back featured a fasces. The most recent design change was in 1946.

The term dime comes from old French "di(s)me", meaning "tithe" or "tenth part," from the Latin decima [pars]. This term appeared on early pattern coins, but was not used on any dimes until 1837.

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coastline of Greenland
Credit: NASA
In English usage, a fjord is a narrow inlet of the sea between cliffs or steep slopes, which results from marine inundation of a glaciated valley. Fjords are found in locations where current or past glaciation extended below current sea level. The fractal coastline of eastern Greenland, seen here, has many fjords. At the bottom is the longest fjord in the world, Scoresby Sund.

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Selected biography

Washington's Coffee ad from the New York Tribune, June 22, 1919
George Constant Louis Washington (May 1871 – March 29, 1946) was an American inventor and businessman of Anglo-Belgian origin. He is best remembered for his invention of an early instant coffee process and for the company he founded to mass-produce it, the G. Washington Coffee Company.

An emigrant from his native Belgium, he arrived in the New York area in 1897 and dabbled in several technical fields before hitting upon instant coffee manufacture during a sojourn in Central America in 1906 or 1907. He began selling his coffee in 1909 and founded a company to manufacture it in 1910. Based in New York and New Jersey, his company prospered and became an important military supplier during World War I. The company's products were also advertised in New York newspapers and on the radio. The success of his company made Washington wealthy, and he lived in a mansion in Brooklyn and then moved to a country estate in New Jersey in 1927. In that same year, he lost a dispute with the tax authorities. Washington was married and had three children.

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Theodore Roosevelt Minnesota State Fair, 3 September 1901
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