Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain with about three-quarters of grain products made of wheat flour and many dishes use indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers. These homegrown foods are part of a shared national menu on one of America's most popular holidays, Thanksgiving, when some Americans make traditional foods to celebrate the occasion.
The president is the commander-in-chief of the country's armed forces and appoints its leaders, the Secretary of Defense and the Joint Chiefs of Staff. The United States Department of Defense administers the armed forces, including the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Space Force. The Coast Guard is run by the Department of Homeland Security in peacetime and by the Department of the Navy during times of war. In 2008, the armed forces had 1.4 million personnel on active duty. The Reserves and National Guard brought the total number of troops to 2.3 million. The Department of Defense also employed about 700,000 civilians, not including contractors.More Info
In the visual arts, the Hudson River School was a mid-19th-century movement in the tradition of European naturalism. The 1913 Armory Show in New York City, an exhibition of European modernist art, shocked the public and transformed the U.S. art scene. Georgia O'Keeffe, Marsden Hartley, and others experimented with new, individualistic styles. Major artistic movements such as the abstract expressionism of Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning and the pop art of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein developed largely in the United States. The tide of modernism and then postmodernism has brought fame to American architects such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Philip Johnson, and Frank Gehry. Americans have long been important in the modern artistic medium of photography, with major photographers including Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Edward Weston, and Ansel Adams.More Info
There were about 578,424 sheltered and unsheltered homeless persons in the US in January 2014, with almost two-thirds staying in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program. In 2011, 16.7 million children lived in food-insecure households, about 35% more than 2007 levels, though only 1.1% of U.S. children, or 845,000, saw reduced food intake or disrupted eating patterns at some point during the year, and most cases were not chronic. As of June 2018, 40 million people, roughly 12.7% of the U.S. population, were living in poverty, with 18.5 million of those living in deep poverty (a family income below one-half of the poverty threshold) and over five million live "in 'Third World' conditions." In 2016, 13.3 million children were living in poverty, which made up 32.6% of the impoverished population. In 2017, the U.S. state or territory with the lowest poverty rate was New Hampshire (7.6%), and the one with the highest was American Samoa (65%).More Info
American forces in Iraq were withdrawn in large numbers in 2009 and 2010, and the war in the region was declared formally over in December 2011. But months earlier, Operation Neptune Spear led to the death of the leader of Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. In the presidential election of 2016, Republican Donald Trump was elected as the 45th president of the United States. On January 20, 2020, the first case of COVID-19 in the United States was confirmed. As of August 2020, the United States has over 4.5 million COVID-19 cases and over 150,000 deaths. The United States is, by far, the country with the most cases of COVID-19 since April 11, 2020.More Info
In 2009, the private sector was estimated to constitute 86.4% of the economy. While its economy has reached a postindustrial level of development, the United States remains an industrial power. Consumer spending comprised 68% of the U.S. economy in 2015. In August 2010, the American labor force consisted of 154.1 million people (50%). With 21.2 million people, government is the leading field of employment. The largest private employment sector is health care and social assistance, with 16.4 million people. It has a smaller welfare state and redistributes less income through government action than most European nations.More Info
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