Minimum Wage in Arizona

As of January 1, 2015, the ICA (Industrial Commission of Arizona) has determined that Arizona’s hourly minimum wage was set at $8.05, a 1.89 percent increase (or $0.15) over the 2014 level ($7.90).

Every year, the minimum wage can be increased in line with the inflation rate and is based on the cost of living as indicated by the Consumer Price Index, or CPI. As there has been hardly any inflation during 2015, the ICA has decided that the 2016 minimum wage level didn’t need to be increased to compensate for increased cost of living. In Arizona, there are 24.000 minimum wage workers. The ICA is the state’s body for administrating and enforcing Arizona’s minimum wage.

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Kavik River Camp Alaska – Unforgettable Outdoor Activities

Kavik River Camp is located just north of Fairbanks and it is a unique camp that in the old days was an exploration camp that now serves guests in the ecotourism business.

The camp includes wide open spaces and offers an extensive high arctic flora and fauna. This is a great place for watching foxes, wolves, arctic squirrels, raptors, moose, and ermine. Incidentally, all caribou herds are migrating through the valley as well.

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Richest People in Colorado

Colorado has some of the richest people in the country! Take a look at the map and see their names.

  • Charles Ergen: satellite TV $16.4 B
  • Philip Anschutz: investments $10.9 B
  • John Malone: cable television $7.2 B
  • Pat Stryker: medical equipment $2.3 B


Great Songs About the Amazing State of Alabama

Here are some well-known songs about Alabama:

    • ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd

  • ‘Alabama’ – the Louvin Brothers
  • ‘Stars Fell On Alabama’ – Jimmy Buffet
  • ‘My home Is In Alabama’ – Alabama
  • ‘Bama Breeze’ – Jimmy Buffet
  • ‘Alabama Song’ – Allison Moorer
  • ‘Alabam’ – Cowboy Copas
  • ‘Alabama Waltz’ – Hank Williams
  • ‘Alabama Wild Man’ – Jerry Reed
  • ‘Alabama Lullaby’ – The Delmore Brothers
  • ‘Alabama Stomp’ – Red Nichols
  • ‘Alabama Man’ – Earl Scott
  • ‘Alabama The Heart Of Dixie’ – Sherry Bryce
  • ‘Heart Of Dixie’ – Darrell McCall
  • ‘Stars In Alabama’ – Jamey Johnson
  • ‘Alabama’ – Neil Young
  • ’Alabama Pines’ – Jason Isbell

Alabama is the beautiful state that’s known for its great pine forests, wonderful food, and most of all, southern hospitality. Alabama is the Heart of Dixie, and the state bird is the Yellowhammer. The state’s maindustrial sector is agriculture ( more than half of Alabama is still rural), but also high-tech industries like satellite and rocket production and development play a prominent role. Alabama is full of contradictions, but maybe that’s what makes it so fascinating.

Alabama is renown for its contributions to country, blues, rock, jazz, and bluegrass music, so let’s take a look at some songs about Alabama. Rosa Parks’ refusal to give up her seat to a white passenger in December 1955 became topical in the American Civil Rights Movement and many artists wrote songs in support of civil rights for everybody, but Neil Young’s songs ‘Southern Man’ (1970) and ‘Alabama’ (1972) really struck a nerve. In 1973, Lynyrd Skynyrd responded with their epic song ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ which became a hit in 1974. The world famous song highlights many of Alabama’s virtues.

There are maybe more songs about Alabama than about any other state. Famous is ‘Alabama’ by the Louvin Brothers and also Jason Isbell’ ‘Alabama Pines’ is among many people’s favorites. The band Alabama praises the state in ‘My Home is In Alabama’, Jimmy Buffet demonstrates his love for Mobile in ‘Bama Breeze’, John Prine’s ‘Angel From Montgomery’ is well-known, and Randy Newman’s ‘Birmingham’ became a world-wide hit.

Gospel and Soul
Alabama has produced some of America’s greatest artists, and among them is the gospel group ‘The Blind Boys of Alabama’. They are from Talladega and ever since World War II they have performed gospel music. Well-known are the group’s songs ‘I’ll Find A Way (To Carry It All)’, and ‘Way Down In The Hole’.  Another great name is Athens’ Alabama Shakes, famous for its soul songs like ‘Shoegaze’ and ‘Hold On’. Famous stars from Alabama also include Martha Reeves (Eufaula) with soul classics like ‘Nowhere To Run’ and ‘Dancing In The Streets’, Percy Sledge (Leighton) with his world hit song ‘When A Man Loves A Women’, Lionel Richie (Tuskegee) & the Commodores with songs like ‘Brick House’, and Wilson Pickett (Prattville) with soul hits like ‘In The Midnight Hour’ and ‘Mustang Sally’.

Folk and Bluegrass
Bluegrass and Folk music will always have popular recognition, just listen to ‘Five Minutes Of Fame’ by Act of Congress (Birmingham) and you’ll understand why. The Foggy Hollow Band (Webster’s Chapel) is known for ‘Lonesome Pines’, a traditional turn of the 20th century song, and Calhoun’s Valley Road Bluegrass Band became even more popular as they recorded a bluegrass version of ‘They Baptized Jesse Taylor’. Birmingham’s famous star Emmylou Harris is known for many performances and recordings including ‘Gold Watch and Chain’.

Blues and Jazz
Tuscaloosa’s Dinah Washington is recognized for all her jazz and R&B singing like in ‘What A Diff’rence A Day Makes’ and another great legendary Alabama blues artist is Big Mama Thornton (Ariton) with songs like ‘Ball And Chain’ and ‘Hound Dog’. There are many blues music lovers who respect W.C. Handy (Florence) as the ‘Father of Blues’, just listen to songs like ‘St. Louis Blues’ and ‘Yellow Dog Blues’ from the early 1910’s and you will understand why.

Southern Rock
Alabama is also the state of ‘Southern Rock’. In Northwest Alabama, in Sheffield, you can find the world-famous Muscle Shoals Sound Studio, one of the world’s best known music studios throughout history. Artists who recorded here include The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, The Staple Singers, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Paul Simon, Elton John, Bob Dylan, Boz Scaggs, Dr. Hook, Willie Nelson, and Glenn Frey. One of the greatest southern rock bands was definitely Mobile’s Wet Willie, known for songs like ‘Dixie Rock, ‘Keep On Smilin’, and ‘Shout Bama Lama’.

50 Iconic Tourist Attractions in All 50 American States

Alabama – Selma Bridge
Selma Bridge is the site where in 1965 the infamous conflict of Bloody Sunday occurred. Demonstrators for civil rights were attacked by an armed policeman when they wanted to march to Alabama’s state capital Montgomery. Selma Bridge became a designated National Historic Landmark in 2013.

Alaska – Alaska Range and Denali National Park & Preserve
The Alaska Range boasts America’s highest mountain peaks, and the area is a very popular destination for sightseers and climbers. The area recently came in the news because President Obama decided that the name Mount McKinley National Park (opened in 1917) would officially be changed into Denali National Park & Reserve.

Arizona – The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon is regarded one of the wonders of the world. Most of the area is a National Park consisting of vast natural formations of layered red rock. The Grand Canyon is over 275 miles long and averages a mile deep, and some 10 miles across, and is Arizona’s most prized and famous landmark.

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Nevada Facts

Every year, the state of Nevada receives enough tourists that it easily can outnumber the population of a couple of states.

Some only come here for the gambling (Nevada is home to the world’s most popular entertainment and gambling center, Las Vegas) but many also come to enjoy the state’s vast and beautiful plains, deserts, or mountains. Nevada is also a sheep and cattle raising state, and practically all grains that are grown here are for feeding livestock. But there’s more. Many come to visit Hoover Dam, on the Colorado River, or Lake Mead, one of the largest artificial lakes in the world. Until 1775, no European had visited the desert lands and during the 1990’s, Las Vegas’ splendor took on even more impressive proportions, offering more opportunities for newcomers and resulting in pleasant new suburbs.

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Quick Facts about Nevada

  •  Nevada has two of the world’s most famous entertainment centers.
  •  The state the Union solvent during the Civil War.
  • Nevada is one of the world’s greatest turquoise suppliers.
  •  It is one of the world’s rare opals centers.
  •  Nevada has the largest open pit copper mine in the world.
  •  It had America’s first large-scale reclamation program.
  •  Nevada is claiming the first use of skis in America.

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Richest People in Nevada

Nevada brief history

Silvestre Velez de Escalante was a Spanish Franciscan missionary and explorer, who, together with Francisco Domínguez, was visiting the region in 1775 to set up Franciscan New Mexico missions.

We know that they visited the Nevada area in 1775, but it wasn’t until 1826 that records of European exploration show up, with Peter Skene Ogden’s explorations.

Famous Indian basket maker Dat-So-La-Lee, who received world-wide recognition for his great artistry, was born in Nevada around 1826, and Walker Lake and Walker Pass received their names for Joseph Walker who, with his 1833 expedition, discovered a route along the Humboldt River across present-day Nevada.

His return to California was via Walker Pass, named after him by John C. Fremont, a U.S. American military officer and explorer. John Fremont provided later better records on Nevada when he visited the region in his 1843-1844 expedition together with famed Kit Carson.

In the year 1846, a party lead by pioneers George Donner and James Reed was blocked by heavy snow at what is now Donner Pass, as they set out for California. Of the entire group of 87, only around half survived and reached California. Thousands of settlers crossed the country in 1849, and by the end of 1850, more than 60,000 of them had passed through the pass on mule or horseback, in covered wagons, or even on foot.

In 1859, one of America’s most important mining discoveries was made. The Comstock Lode was actually the first big silver discovery in the U.S. and almost entirely brought an end to the California Gold Rush. The ‘Comstock’, named for one of the prospectors, is a huge lode of silver ore that was located under a Mount Davidson slope in Nevada’s Virginia Range.

The mines were to yield over $500 million worth of silver and gold ore in the first decades, and in 1863, Virginia City had turned into one of the West’s most important centers. The town boasted four banks, luxurious homes, six churches, over one hundred saloons, an opera house, and had the only elevator between the west coast and Chicago.

In the days of the Civil War, Nevada’s silver wealth was crucial to keep the North solvent, and Nevada became a state in the Union in 1864, on October 31st. New minerals were found in 1864 at Eureka, and in 1869 at Hamilton, but the huge wealth at Virginia’s Comstock Lode had dwindled, and what was left of Virginia City by 1880 was nothing more than a sleepy village.

The transcontinental railroad was completed in 1869, and Nevada caught the world’s attention in 1897 when the heavyweight boxing championship was held in Carson City. New mineral finds occurred at Goldfield and Tonopah and the cities boomed for a short while, but it wasn’t long before Goldfield became a ghost town while Tonopah went on to become the town it is today, located mid-way between Reno and Las Vegas.

Nevada made gambling legal in 1931, and this decision laid the foundation for the state’s future reputation. In 1936, construction of the Hoover Dam was completed, and in 1951 the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission had set up the Nevada Proving Ground. By the end of the 1970’s, a group of Nevada ranchers was launching the ‘Sagebrush Rebellion’ with the goal of reducing federal control of Nevada ranch lands.

New Mexico Facts

Novelist D H. Lawrence wrote:

….I believe that visiting New Mexico was by far the most impressive experience in the outside world I ever had. This definitely has changed me for ever….

….The very moment I was seeing the brilliant, proud morning shining high over the deserts of  Santa Fe, there was something that made my soul stand still….

….I have never experience something of greater beauty than New Mexico, and it seems every day itself is tremendous out there…

The ‘Seven Cities of Gold’, oh so fabled, were never discovered by early explorers in New Mexico, but the find of the prehistoric Pueblo peoples’ cities reached mythical proportions. The state has much more to offer due to its ancient history, but these communities were in fact America’s oldest ‘cooperative apartments’.

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New Mexico, governed from America’s oldest capital, is also the state where America’s atomic age became reality.

Every year, this great land of sunshine welcomes millions of visitors from all over the world to marvel at the beautiful deserts or cultural assets, to experience the state’s grand opera, to travel on the nation’s oldest highway, to marvel at the one-of-a-kind sights of Taos Pueblo, or to come to one of the Indian festivals that are held all across the state.

New Mexico’s remarkable attraction for artists, authors, and musicians have been evident for a long period of time.

Quick Facts about New Mexico

– New Mexico has the oldest U.S. capital city, Santa Fe.
– The state flower, the Yucca, it America’s only commercially valuable one.
– The state leads the nation in potash production.
– Leads the nation in the production of dry ice from carbon dioxide wells.
– New Mexico is the birthplace of American livestock industry.

The Pueblo People belong to prehistoric America’s most studied and most remarkable people. The Pueblo people established interesting communities of stone masonry and the Pueblo ‘Skyscrapers’ are famous for contributing distinctively to interesting architecture across the world. The Pueblo developed high-standing weaving skills, created complex irrigation systems, and were the first to domesticate turkeys.

The Pueblo were fabricating tools, and the jewelry they produced features the finest silverwork with turquoise elements. The Pueblo people’s golden age seems to be around 950 to 1200 A.D., and the state of New Mexico boasts numerous fascinating ruins dating from their hay days.

Francisco Vasquez de Coronado’s great expedition first visited the region of what is now New Mexico in 1540, and Juan de Oñate y Salazar, a Spanish conquistador and explorer established San Juan at the pueblo of Yugcuingge on July 11th, 1598.

This was New Mexico’s first European permanent settlement. Santa Fe was established in 1610 by Pedro de Peralta, who also functioned as New Mexico Governor in the period 1610 – 1613. At that time the area was a province of New Spain.

The Franciscan Fathers had set up more than 40 missions by 1626, and had already converted more than 34,000 Indian to their religion, but the Spanish were treating the Indians so harshly that they started to revolt against the tyranny, led by Tewa medicine man Pope.

The Indians captured Santa Fe in 1680, and ruled the city until 1692, when it was recaptured by new Spanish Governor Don Diego de Vagas. Albuquerque was established in 1706, and the town was named for the Duke of Albuquerque from Badajoz, Spain.

William Becknell pioneered the Santa Fe Trail, bringing in the first wagon loads full of merchandise into Santa Fe in 1822. By pioneering the Santa Fe Trail, he enabled that all sorts of goods could be brought in from the Northeast, and trade with other states started to take off. Union military forces were bringing the New Mexico territory under U.S. control in the 1846 Mexican War.

The Plains Indians and the settlers carried on their warfare for almost 50 years, but when in 1886 Geronimo, the famed Indian leader, surrendered, the hostilities ended. In 1862, at the time of the Civil War, Santa Fe was captured by Confederate troops, but Henry Sibley, a U.S. general, gained control of the capital city again on April 8th of that year. In 1912, on January 6th, New Mexico became the 47th U.S. state.

More than 17.000 New Mexicans took part in World War I, and over 500 had lost their lives. In 1945, on July 16th, Alamogordo was the site where the first atomic test explosion took place, and the atomic age was born.

During the years 1940 – 1982, New Mexico’s population increased by nearly 300 percent, but that has since slowed down, though still today, Albuquerque is considered among the nation’s best places to live.

Hawaii Facts

It is not known when exactly Polynesian people set foot on the beautiful Hawaii islands for the first time, and probably we’ll never know, but what we do know is that it must have occurred after the start of the Christian era.

Linguistic and cultural records and research are also clearly indicating that the first Hawaii Polynesians must have been coming from the ‘Marquesas Islands’, just north of Tahiti.

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During the period 1200 – 1400 the sheer number of Tahiti immigrants were overwhelming the initial residents of the region, who were probably shorter and smaller than the Polynesian immigrants. Herein may also lay the basis for the ‘Menehune Legends’. In later days, these little creatures were pictured by the Polynesian emigrants as elves.

Captain James Cook, the famed Pacific explorer, was visiting the region of the Hawaiian islands during his 1778 discovery voyage (his 3rd), and this meant that the island’s long lasting isolation was over. After Cook had visited the Hawaiian islands, King Kamehameha II visited the various islands, and he succeeded in his efforts to bring the islands together under one kingdom.

In that same period, the area had become very important for the increasing east-west trade, especially in fur, and later also functioned as the center for the whaling industry in the Pacific region. In 1820, a ship of American Christian Missionaries, the brig Thaddeus of Boston, arrived in the region and they were allowed by King Kamehameha II to establish a church on the islands.

The Hawaiian islands changed rapidly, though, as both education and commerce played an increasingly important role, and the old traditional Hawaiian lifestyle and culture began to disappear. The islands underwent an onslaught of new western people, and new diseases (that the previously isolated Hawaiian people were extremely susceptible to), eliminated a huge number of them.

Economic activities and new money came to the island because of the whaling industry and of course all the whaling ships needed provisions as well. In those days there were times that over 500 whaling vessels were docked in the ports of Hawaii, principally Honolulu and Lahaina.

Commercial sugar cane production started around 1835, and this activity gradually became of greater economic importance, particularly when the mighty whaling fleets declined.

The native Hawaiian population wasn’t so thrilled by the idea of plantation work, so consequently, imported labor forces from Asia (the Philippines in particular), and some other parts of the world started to pick up. Herein lies the origin of the widely varied population of the modern day Hawaiian islands.

Many European nations were continuously looking to add the Hawaiian islands to their expanding empires, so American businessmen and Hawaiian sugar planters started to look for U.S. annexation of Hawaii. Of course this would additionally give them the chance to enter the American sugar market without having to pay tariff duties, so after a while, in 1875, there came a treaty of reciprocity which brought new and long-awaited prosperity to the Hawaiian islands, and much American wealth was brought into the islands for new investments.

The increasing influence of Americans businessmen was causing resentment and unrest, resulting in the 1889 uprising of native Hawaiians because the Americans has a few years earlier forced a new constitution on King Kalakaua. This Hawaii rebellion was forcefully suppressed.

In 1893 the American-led ‘Committee of Safety’ declared the Hawaii monarchy ended, resulting in the 1894 foundation of the Republic of Hawaii. In 1898, on August 12th, an annexation treaty was negotiated with the United States, and a sovereignty transfer was made and eventual statehood was promised as well. In 1900, Hawaii officially became a United States territory.

The Hawaiian growth began to speed up even more after it became part of the U.S. and the American Navy started to set up its impressive Pacific regional headquarters at Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor, and also the U.S. Army started to build an enormous garrison at Hawaii’s Schofield Barracks.

All these activities resulted in a pretty impressive increase in tourism, cattle ranching, and the development of pineapple and other crop growth. All these activities started to take on greater importance in economy of the islands.

The World War II attack on Honolulu’s Pearl Harbor resulted in America getting involved in the war, and consequently, Hawaii and its people played a prominent role in the world-wide conflict.

The post WW II era brought quite a few significant changes and the descendants of the earlier plantation workers started to rise to prominent positions in labor, business, and government, and after President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill into law on March 18, 1959, Hawaii became the 50th state of the Union on August 21st, 1959.

North Carolina Facts

Local writer Sam Irvin, Jr., wrote:

….In my unbiased, honest judgment, the Good Lord will be placing the Garden of Eden within North Carolina’s borders when He will restore it to Earth. He will definitely do so as in North Carolina He will need to make so few changes to achieve perfection….

North Carolina is the state what some call ‘the single most significant event in mankind’s history’, when the Wright Brothers were flying for the first time. The state is also the site where one of our nation’s greatest mysteries occurred, the strange disappearance of the settlement of Roanoke Island.


North Carolina has Grandfather Mountain, a state park near Linville that offers unmatched scenery and stunning ecological diversity, and the state it is the ‘longest’ state along the eastern portions of America. In North Carolina, the Appalachians are reaching their highest peaks and the state’s seaboard is of a one-of-kind beauty.

Between the ocean and the mountains lies a very productive land which is not only important for agricultural produce but also provides manufacturing output of historic proportions.

Quick Facts about North Carolina

– The world’s first flight.
– From the shores of Cape Hatteras, the first radio SOS was sent.
– First School of Forestry in America.
– Leading in the production of fine furniture.
– First U.S. state in tobacco cultivation.
– Leading U.S. cigarette producer.

North Carolina brief history

In 1540, Hernando de Soto with his large expedition, reached the region’s western mountains but they found nothing of value, so they departed. In 1584, after he received rights to the area that we know as North Carolina, Sir  Walter Raleigh decided to send Captains Arthur Barlowe and Philip Amadas to explore the region, and later, in 1585, he sent seven ships that came ashore at Roanoke Island to establish a settlement, but this failed.

The Roanoke settlement was restored in 1587 under Governor John White, who later went back to England to return with more help for the new colony. When he came back to America in 1590, what White found is still one of the greatest American mysteries. The colony was abandoned, there was no trace at all, except for a few cryptic carvings. Nothing was ever heard or learned about what had happened to the settlers.

Charles II  granted the region of the Carolinas to a group of eight ‘”Lords Proprietors’ in 1663, and a year later, in 1664, Albemarle County was established. As they were very unhappy with their lot, a number of Albemarle County settlers set up a rebellion in 1677. The movement was initiated and led by a colonist named John Culpepper, but the ‘Culpepper’s Rebellion’ was short-lived.

The Carolina coast was the playground of pirates, and notorious pirate Blackbeard (whose real name was Edward Teach) got killed in a huge battle in the year 1718. Later, in 1729, the King of England bought the “Lords Proprietors” out. to restore law and order.

By the year 1765, more than 120,000 colonists had settled in the royal colony, but trouble was ahead. A group called the Regulators, was opposing the British rule’s injustice, but they got defeated at the Battle of Alamance. In 1771, the movement eventually collapsed, but the Alamance battle is still by some called “the very first battle of the American Revolution.”

In 1780, Lord Cornwallis, a Britain, was marching southward to occupy Charlotte and the year after (1781) he was fighting the battle of Guilford Court House. In 1789, on November 21st, North Carolina was allowed to the Union as the 12th state. Raleigh was the new Capital where the new state legislature convened first in 1794.

The federal government started to relocate the Cherokee Indians from their great ancestral lands to new locations out West. This ‘Trail of Tears’ caused many Cherokee (some 4,000) to die, but quite a few could escape and went into the mountains. Cherokee leader Tsafi, including practically his entire family, were brutally murdered, but eventually the remaining Cherokee could acquire a reservation where their direct descendants are continuing to live.

The 1861 capture of Fort Hatteras and Fort Clark was actually the first great victory of the Union’s troops during the Civil War. In 1865, on May 6th,  the last Confederate North Carolina troops surrendered and put down their arms. There is no state that suffered more losses than North Carolina.

Later in the 19th century North Carolina’s economy started to revive. In 1884, the state had a leading role in the production of cigarettes, there came more and more cotton mills, and around 1900 North Carolina was leading the nation in fine furniture production. The state is also the site where the Wright Brothers lifted their plane for the first time at Kitty Hawk in 1903, on December 17th.