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Recent Posts

Take a Drive on America’s Main Street: Route 66

Take a Drive on America’s Main Street: Route 66

Today, for most travelers on U.S. Route 66, the goal is the journey itself, not any particular destination. The highway was established in 1926, when it was advertised as “the shortest, best and most scenic route from Chicago through St. Louis to Los Angeles.” The route’s founder, Cyrus Avery, believed [...]

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Food talk is big among those who live in America’s melting pot

Food talk is big among those who live in America’s melting pot

Maybe American-English speakers think with their stomachs, because they often express themselves in the language of cooking. Good friends who like the same things are “like two peas in a pod.” Any bad situation that gets worse moves “out of the frying pan and into the fire.” Something really easy [...]

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Follow this pop-music map of America

Follow this pop-music map of America

  Sometimes it’s not what you sing about, but where. American songwriters have often used well-known locations as a shorthand — know the place and you know the cultural message. Some of these associations are known worldwide; others need a little deciphering outside the U.S. New York: “Empire State of [...]

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Who are Americans? It’s complicated, especially in terms of race

Who are Americans? It’s complicated, especially in terms of race

“Where are you from?” The question, seemingly simple, is anything but clear in the United States. It could be asking where you were born, where you grew up, where you now live or where your ancestors lived. And in a country built by immigrants, answering the question has proven difficult. [...]

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Columbus Day

Columbus Day

Columbus Day is the U.S. federal holiday commemorating explorer Christopher Columbus’ landing in the New World on October 12, 1492. It also celebrates the cultural heritage of Italian Americans, since many scholars believe Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy. Columbus Day has been an annual holiday in the United States [...]

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The Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne

The Mardasson Memorial in Bastogne

The Mardasson Memorial is a tribute from the Belgian population as a whole to the American nation. Its construction came about thanks to an initiative of the Belgian American Association set up in 1945 and consisting of various Belgian dignitaries who wished to perpetuate the memory of those brave Americans [...]

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U.S. Route 66: A Journey for Travelers Seeking ‘Americana’

U.S. Route 66: A Journey for Travelers Seeking ‘Americana’

As the Disney-Pixar movie Cars explains, there was once a thoroughfare through the southwestern United States that weaved from Chicago to Los Angeles through small towns, prairie and open desert. For most travelers, Route 66 was simply the best route west to California, one immortalized in John Steinbeck’s The Grapes [...]

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Oh, Say Can You Sing?

Oh, Say Can You Sing?

Although “The Star-Spangled Banner” is performed before every baseball game and at many other public events, it’s notoriously hard to sing. But in its history, the song has allowed the performers who can sing it to create memorable and unique interpretations of the United States’ most prominent musical symbol. When [...]

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Celebrating Black History Month

Celebrating Black History Month

On February 26, 2014, Black History Month was celebrated with a lively panel discussion at the Ambassador’s residence. The purpose of Black History Month is to celebrate the heritage and culture of African Americans and their contributions to U.S. society.  This year’s event is special as it marks the 50th [...]

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Celebrating the Achievements of Martin Luther King Jr.

Celebrating the Achievements of Martin Luther King Jr.

Americans on each third Monday of January honor the life and achievements of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., (1929–1968), the 1964 Nobel Peace laureate and the individual most associated with the triumphs of the African-American civil rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s. As a political organizer, supremely skilled [...]

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