6 U.S. Cities With the Cleanest Air

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

6 U.S. Cities With the Cleanest Air

The American Lung Association’s State of the Air Report reveals the U.S. cities with the cleanest air. According to data from 2015 to 2017, all of these cities had zero days when ozone and particle pollution reached unhealthy levels. If you want to enjoy some clean, crisp air on your next stateside vacation, consider one of these cities.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bangor, Maine

Bangor, Maine

Credit: Luboslav Tiles/ Shutterstock

The city of Bangor in south-central Maine ranks 23rd for cleanest U.S. cities for year-round particle pollution and also had no days with unhealthy levels of ozone or short-term pollution.

Bangor’s success, unfortunately, isn’t replicated throughout the state, which has one of the highest rates of asthma in the country — approximately 10% among adults and 11% among children. Experts suspect that a critical factor affecting the state’s pollution levels is contaminants sweeping into the region on ocean and air currents from upstream urban areas.

In Bangor, however, you can breathe freely. Work your lungs with a hike through nearby Acadia National Park or take a more leisurely stroll along the city’s Penobscot River Walkway.

Lincoln–Beatrice, Nebraska

Lincoln–Beatrice, Nebraska

Credit: Katherine Welles/ Shutterstock

Lincoln ties with Bangor at 23rd for year-round pollution with zero days of unhealthy ozone and short-term pollution.

If you find yourself in the Midwest, take advantage by visiting some of its many outdoor attractions. The Sunken Gardens, recognized by National Geographic as one of the 300 best gardens in North America, are full of vibrant year-round flora. Meanwhile, the Pioneers Park Nature Center boasts hiking trails with informative exhibits on the area’s ecology. You’ll also find information on the factors that contribute to the city’s fresh air.

If you’re in Beatrice, you’ll want to visit the pristine Homestead National Monument of America, where you can hike among the prairie grasses and browse the outdoor exhibits depicting the history of American homesteading.

Finally, the Lincoln–Lancaster County Health Department has monitors that provide air quality data to residents so those with respiratory conditions can stay safe and healthy.

Wilmington, North Carolina

Wilmington, North Carolina

Credit: Gary C. Tognoni/ Shutterstock

Wilmington, North Carolina, is another city to be congratulated for its air quality. Known as the Port City, Wilmington is recognized for everything from its nearby beaches to the country’s largest movie studios outside of California. The city is also home to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Diligence vessel.

Wilmington’s residents have benefited from statewide environmental initiatives such as the 2002 North Carolina Clean Smokestacks Act. The city’s air also got a boost when Duke Energy, the regional electricity provider, converted the energy source of its Wilmington–adjacent plant from coal to natural gas.

If you visit Wilmington, you’ll want to take advantage of its nearly two miles of Riverwalk along Cape Fear River. The pedestrian boardwalk also connects to the Sea Bikeway and East Coast Greenway.

Category IconGeneral
4pts

Daily trivia question

Today’s Trivia Question

How many states does the Mississippi River touch?

PLAY!Plane icon

Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville, Florida

Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville, Florida

Credit: TDKvisuals/ Shutterstock

Tied with Wilmington for the 13th lowest year-round pollution — and the same zero days of dangerous ozone or short-term pollution — is the metro area of Palm Bay–Melbourne–Titusville in central Florida.

The region is also known as the Space Coast, due to the presence of the John F. Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral. Anyone interested in the history of our solar system will enjoy visiting the Space Center with its interactive tours and exhibits. You’ll breathe easy knowing that all that rocket exhaust hasn’t overwhelmingly increased pollution in the region.

Meanwhile, enjoy more clean air at the renowned Cocoa Beach or browse the wildlife at Brevard Zoo. You can also explore the various downtown districts, each of with its own unique character and the same pollutant-free atmosphere.

Burlington, Vermont

Burlington, Vermont

Credit: Sean Pavone/ Shutterstock

With no days of unhealthy ozone or particle pollution levels, the metro area of Burlington–South Burlington ranks 12th overall for year-round particle pollution and is another American city with the cleanest air in the country. As the largest city in the state, Burlington is home to the University of Vermont and is rightfully considered one of the most beautiful college towns in the country.

In 2015, Burlington became the first American city to run entirely on renewable electricity, which has undoubtedly played a role in its clean air success. Along with biomass, solar, and wind power, its largest energy source is hydro, thanks to its use of dams and its location on Lake Champlain.

Burlington also has an ongoing “Great Streets Initiative,” a municipal project aimed at enhancing the city’s sustainability. From a new City Hall Park to improved bike lanes, the various changes make Burlington a vibrant place to visit and explore — with the added bonus of pollutant-free air.

Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii

Credit: Izabela23/ Shutterstock

Tied for the lowest year-round particle pollution, in addition to zero days of dangerous ozone or particle pollution levels, Honolulu has some of the cleanest air in the country. While the Hawaiian islands are known for their natural beauty, what is remarkable is that the state has managed to preserve its fresh and vibrant atmosphere even in its urban capital — and largest city — of approximately 350,000 people.

Despite its favorable ranking, however, Honolulu’s air quality has suffered dramatic swings thanks to the existence of “vog,” the island term for volcanic smog. When Kilauea erupted on the Big Island in 2018, winds spread the resulting sulfur dioxide to other islands in the archipelago, including Oahu, on which Honolulu is located. When vog levels are high, residents — and visitors — can experience symptoms ranging from eye/skin irritation to coughing, headaches, and fatigue.

However, when the winds are favorable, the islands do indeed have the best air in the country. The city’s outdoor attractions are also perfect for visitors who prize clean air and pristine environments. From outdoor gems like Waikiki Beach to the Honolulu Botanical Gardens, this beautiful Hawaiian city certainly offers plenty of value for all tourists.

3 Lesser-Known Hawaiian Destinations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

3 Lesser-Known Hawaiian Destinations

The 50th state is the Paradise of the Pacific, an exotic archipelago of eight major volcanic islands and dozens of atolls and islets. It’s a place with perfect turquoise waves breaking onto the shores of dazzling beaches, idyllic waterfalls, lush rainforests and cloud-breaking volcanoes. Give these destinations a try if you want to get away from the usual tourist haunts of Hawaii.

Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park, Oahu

Credit: Felix Nendzig/Shutterstock.com

Discover lush scenery and uninterrupted views without the crowds at Ahupuaʻa O Kahana State Park, an ancient land division located on Oahu’s windward side. It spreads across 5,300 acres between Kahana Bay and the 2,670-feet-tall Pu’u Pauao mountain, at the edge of the Ko’olau Range. Kahana, the park’s largest settlement, started life as a remote fishing and farming village. Numbers declined after the creation of the Kingdom of Hawaii and later due to the region’s use as a WWII training site. Today, 31 families reside inside the park and help to promote and preserve their culture.

Experience the park along its two public hiking trails. Kapa’ele’ele Trail is a 1.2 mile-long loop that cuts through a native forest canopy to the Keaniani Lookout. Here you can admire jaw-dropping views of Kahana Bay and Hailua Fishpond. Nakoa Trail is a 2.5-mile round-trip that brings you up close to koa, hala, and octopus trees. Several stream crossings add a touch of adventure to the hike. End your day by kicking back on the gorgeous golden sands of Kahana Bay Beach Park.

Hanapepe, Kauai

Credit: MichaelUtech/iStock

You’ll find it hard not to slow down in Hanapepe, a town characterized by its plantation-style buildings on Kauai’s south shore. Inhabited long before Charles Wilkes arrived on the United States Exploring Expedition in 1840, the town boomed in the 1880’s with an influx of sugar-farming immigrants. In the first half of the 20th century it became one of the island’s liveliest towns, largely due to the soldiers and sailors stationed here. Little has changed since then and the authentic facade was an inspiration for Kokaua Town, from Disney’s Lilo & Stitch movie series.

Spend your time here visiting the boutiques, cafes and galleries housed in well-preserved colorful buildings. Treat yourself to delicious ice cream at Lappert’s, Hawaii’s biggest ice cream chain. Views of the surrounding green countryside are exquisite from the rickety Hanapepe Swinging Bridge. About 2 miles from the center is Salt Pond Beach Park, whose shallow pools and crystalline waters are ideal for snorkeling. Bring a tent and spend the night camping beneath swaying palm trees.

Makawao, Maui

Credit: YinYang/iStock

Head inland on Maui to see a slice of Hawaiian paniolo (cowboy) heritage in Makawao. Paniolos, Californian cowboys brought to Hawaii by King Kamehameha III, first arrived to this enclave on the northwest slopes of Haleakala in the 1800s. Ever since, they’ve been cattle ranching in the sprawling fields of Upcountry Maui and clinging hard to their roots. Check out July’s Makawao Rodeo for bona fide bull bashes, calf roping, parades, and rodeo shows.

Beside the cowboys, Makawao has a thriving arts scene and artisans have set up workshops inside Western-style buildings. Browse the independent galleries and stop to watch glassblowers and wood sculptors plying their trade. If you are a budding artist, sign up for a class at the Hui No’eau Visual Arts Center. History buffs can learn about the town at Makawao Museum. Don’t miss out on an indulgent cream puff from the iconic T Komoda Store and Bakery.

10 Most Beautiful Buddhist Temples

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

10 Most Beautiful Buddhist Temples

Since its beginnings in India, Buddhism has spread around the globe. Today, you’ll find  followers anywhere in the world, along with the beautiful and unique temples dedicated to the Buddha. They range from fantastically ornate to wonderfully spartan. Each one is worth a visit, but some are absolutely breathtaking!

Visitors are usually warmly welcomed at Buddhist temples. However, it’s important to remember that these gorgeous spaces are places of worship and reverence. During your visit, dress modestly (covered shoulders and knees are a must), keep your volume low, and be respectful when taking photos. With these guidelines in mind, you’ll be ready to explore the 10 most beautiful Buddhist temples in the world.

Boudhanath, Nepal

Boudhanath, Nepal

Credit: toiletroom/Shutterstock

The dome, or stupa, of this temple is one of the largest in Asia. Paintings of a pair of eyes adorn each of the four sides of the pagoda, symbolizing that Buddha sees all and knows all. Built around A.D. 600, this temple is still one of the most popular attractions in Kathmandu. According to Lonely Planet, legend has it that a prince built the temple as penance for accidentally killing his father. Today, worshipers visit the temple at sunrise and sunset to offer prayers of thanksgiving. All visitors are welcome to join in.

Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii

Byodo-In Temple, Hawaii

credit: Kirkikis/iStock

The only American site to make this list, this temple sits on the island of Oahu in Hawaii. It’s also one of the newer temples on this list, built in 1968 as a tribute to the Japanese immigrants living on the island. So, the site’s architecture mimics that of Buddhist temples in Japan.

The Byodo-In temple has also been featured in several American television shows, including LostHawaii Five-O, and Magnum P.I. The site welcomes worshipers of all faiths and hosts many events throughout the year.

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

Man Mo Temple, Hong Kong

credit: miralex/iStock

Tucked just outside Hong Kong’s busy Central district, the Man Mo temple offers a quiet refuge for all visitors. It’s a surreal experience stepping inside the temple. Spiraling incense coils adorn the interior, hanging from the ceiling and numbering in the hundreds. The incense gives the temple a smokey, other-worldly ambiance. The coils are lit by worshipers as offerings to the Buddhist gods of literature and war.

Category IconGeography
3pts

Daily trivia question

Test Your Knowledge!

How many provinces does Canada have?

PLAY!Plane icon

Jokhang, Lhasa

Jokhang, Lhasa

credit: willyseto/iStock

The oldest parts of this temple date back to A.D. 652. According to one story, the Tibetan king Songtsan Gambo tossed his ring into the air and declared he would build a temple wherever it landed. After the ring landed in a lake, a shrine or stupa emerged from the waters.

Today, the temple is a sacred religious site for Tibetan monks. It has certainly survived its share of challenges. The temple was ransacked by Chinese Red Guards during Mao’s Cultural Revolution. Thereafter, it became a storage space and hotel before being re-sanctified as a temple more than a decade later. It caught on fire recently, and some speculated it was due to arson. However, thousands of worshipers continue to make a pilgrimage to the site every year.

Seiganto-ji, Japan

Seiganto-ji, Japan

credit: coward_lion/iStock

The name of this temple translates to “temple of crossing the blue shore.” Whatever one calls it, the Seiganto-ji temple is picture perfect. Its strikingly red structure sits near the Nachi Falls within the forests of the Wakayama Prefecture. The site itself has been a place of worship for more than 1,500 years; the original temple was reputedly built by a wandering Indian monk.

You can enter the site for free, but there is a small donation to enter the pagoda. It is, however, one of the easier temples to reach. The Seiganto-ji is just a quick bus ride from Shingu station. Be sure to check out these tips for traveling to Japan.

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat, Cambodia

credit: Sean Kruger/iStock

Angkor Wat is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in the world. It was even the filming location for Angelina Jolie’s 2001 Tomb Raider movie. Interestingly, it started as a Hindu temple before transitioning to a Buddhist place of worship. Like many of the other locations on this list, Angkor Wat isn’t just made up of one building. It’s a temple complex situated on more than 400 acres, making it one of the largest religious sites in the world. Angkor Wat is also a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar

credit: Zzvet/iStock

This site boasts thousands of temples. Built over a thousand years ago, the original 26-acre site contained over 4,000 temples. Today, more than 2,200 temples still exist at Bagan. The Telegraph calls the site “a gloriously unsullied destination.” The site is as famous for its hot air balloon rides as it is for its temples. Balloons take off at sunrise and provide a magnificent view of the area’s temples and landscape.

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Paro Taktsang, Bhutan

Credit: Sompol/Shutterstock

Paro Taktsang clings to the side of a mountain, perched on a cliff that looks almost too small to hold its structure. You can only reach this mysterious temple on foot via one of three different paths. Visitors decorate the paths with ribbons and bunting and treat the walk as a sacred path up to the temple. The treacherous terrain is why the temple burned down in 1998, however. Rescue vehicles weren’t able to reach the temple to put out the fire. Paro Taktsang has been rebuilt since then and is again open to visitors.

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

Wat Rong Khun, Thailand

credit: Pipop_Boosarakumwadi/iStock

Also known as the “White Temple,” this beautiful site has been open to the public since 1997. The building is constructed from immaculate white plaster, which symbolizes Buddha’s saintliness.

Since the builders also mixed bits of glass into the plaster, the entire structure sparkles in the sun. According to Slate, the mirrored surfaces are there to symbolize self-reflection. Built by an artist, it’s probably the most unusual Buddhist temple on this list.

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar

credit: pat138241/iStock

The third Myanmar temple to make the list, the Shwedagon Pagoda is one visitors to the country won’t want to miss. The temple stands over 110 meters tall, an imposing structure in its surroundings.

Its most striking feature, however, are the gold plates that cover its structure. Not only is it covered in gold, but many of the spires are also topped with diamonds. One diamond weighs in at a whopping 72-carats, according to the official temple website. The temple even houses strands of the Buddha’s hair. While it’s stunning to look at, it’s also a great location to learn more about the Buddhist religion.

5 Tallest Waterfalls in the World

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

5 Tallest Waterfalls in the World

Determining waterfall heights is not an easy feat, especially since accessing some of the highest ones is a challenge. Given that there is no universal standard, comparing the measurements is also difficult. If you’re wondering what waterfalls are the biggest, here are the most generally accepted five tallest waterfalls in the world.

Yumbilla Falls

Credit: Julius Knerr/Shutterstock

Yumbilla Falls is in the northern part of Peru and stands at 2,938 feet tall. It is a recent entry to the list, only earning recognition in 2007 when Peru’s National Geographic Institute published its report surveying the falls. There are over 20 other waterfalls in the same valley, including Gocta Waterfall, Chinata Waterfall and Pavilion Waterfall. Yumbilla Falls is smaller in regard to water flow compared to others, but it is the tallest and earns the distinction of currently being named the 5th tallest waterfall in the world.

Olo’upena Falls

Credit: WikimediaCommons

Olo’upena Falls is located in Hawaii, on the island of Molokai, and stands at 2,953 feet in height. They are located at the Haloku Cliffs, which are the same cliffs where Pu’uka’oku Falls start from. Pu’uka’oku Falls also rank in the top 10 of tallest waterfalls in the world. If you want to visit Olo’upena Falls, you’ll need to book an aerial excursion or a boat tour since there are no access trails to hike up or drive to the falls. The best time to visit is from November to March, which is the rainy season. During the dry season, there is not nearly as much water, which makes for small streams.

 

Tres Hermanas Falls

Tres Hermanas Falls

Credit: Brig69/Shutterstock

Tres Hermanas Falls, or the Three Sister Falls, is another entry from Peru. The waterfalls are located in the remote Ayacucho region inside Otishi National Park and stand at around 3,000 feet. The falls earned their name because of the three distinct steps. The first two tiers lead into a natural catch basin while the third tier is barely visible as it falls into the Cutivireni river. The falls are surrounded by massive tropical rainforest trees that can grow up to 100 feet tall. It’s also nearby to Pavirontsi Natural Bridge, said to be one of the largest natural bridges in the world. There are some remote and rough trails that lead to the falls, but you really need to book an aerial tour to best see Tres Hermanas Falls.

Category IconGeography
2pts

Daily trivia question

Today’s Trivia Question

What is the northernmost capital city?

PLAY!Plane icon

Tugela Falls

Tugela Falls

Credit: Matej Hudovernik/Shutterstock

Tugela Falls are located in the Drakensberg mountains of South Africa, inside the limits of the Royal Natal National Park. The source of the Tugela River is nearby, and the falls themselves are 3,110 feet tall. Some people believe Tugela Falls might actually be the tallest falls in the world. Unlike some waterfalls that fall in one sheet, Tugela Falls make five consecutive drops down. The falls aren’t constant year-round and are best seen after heavy rainfall. When it’s extremely cold, the upper section of the falls can freeze and form pillars of ice.

Angel Falls

Angel Falls

Credit: FSTOPLIGHT/iStock

Located in Venezuela, Angel Falls earns the honor as the highest waterfall in the world. It towers over the others at 3,230 feet in height and has an uninterrupted drop of 2,647 feet. Angel Falls are in Canaima National Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site within the state of Bolivar that borders Brazil and Guyana.

The falls were named after Jimmie Angel, who was the first person to fly over the falls. After he passed away in 1960, his ashes were spread over the falls. You’ll hear many people refer to the falls by their Spanish name, Salto del Ángel. In 2009, President Hugo Chávez renamed Angel Falls to Kerepakupai-Merú, an indigenous Pemon term for a waterfall of the deepest place.

7 Things You Never Knew About Daylight Saving Time

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

7 Things You Never Knew About Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time is the biannual event that gives us an extra hour of daylight during the summer evenings but inevitably interrupts our sleep schedule. We all know to “spring forward” our clocks in March and “fall back” in November — but what about the origins of this practice?

Read on to discover how daylight saving time was first adopted in the U.S. and how other countries utilize it.

Germany Was the First Country to Adopt Daylight Saving Time

Credit: serts/iStock

Germany started the daylight saving time trend on April 30, 1916, according to Date and Time, when they turned their clocks ahead by one hour in an attempt to save fuel during World War I. Losing an hour cut back on the amount of artificial light that was consumed. Many countries followed suit quickly but then reverted back to standard time after the war. Daylight saving time temporarily returned to most of Europe during World War II as well.

The U.S. Waited Until 1966 to Make Daylight Saving Time Official

Credit: f11photo/iStock

The United States also adopted daylight saving time during both world wars and allowed states to decide on their own to continue it after World War II, according to the History Channel. This caused confusion and the federal government decided that things should be standard throughout the country. Daylight saving time wasn’t actually put into law until 1966 with the passage of the Uniform Time Act, which also defined the current time zones, according to National Geographic.

Not All U.S. States Participate

Credit: Bill_Vorasate/iStock

The entire state of Hawaii does not have daylight saving time, because the amount of daylight throughout the year doesn’t vary much due to the state’s proximity to the equator, according to World Atlas. Along with Hawaii, most of Arizona does not practice daylight saving time due to its extremely hot temperatures during the summer. Residents would rather enjoy cool evenings when the sun is down. However, according to National Geographic, the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona does observe daylight saving time, causing it to have a one-hour time difference from the rest of the state for part of the year.

Daylight Saving Time Technically Begins at 2 A.M. EST in the U.S.

Credit: vladacanon/iStock

Although most of us set our clocks forward or back before going to sleep, the official time to make the change in the U.S. is at 2 a.m. EST on the selected date, according to Time and Date. The selected time of 2 a.m. was originally perceived as the easiest, least disruptive option because most people were thought to be asleep.

Countries Begin Daylight Saving Time on Different Dates

Credit: Fernando Gutierrez Ortega/Shutterstock

Currently, only 40% of countries use daylight saving time, according to Time and Date, and many do not begin and end on the same dates. For example, the U.S. begins on the second Sunday in March and ends on the first Sunday in November. In most parts of Mexico, it begins on the first Sunday in April and ends on the last Sunday in October. Check out a detailed chart of what countries observe daylight saving time and when.

Countries Near the Equator Don’t Need It

Credit: Starcevic/iStock

Countries near the equator, like Colombia and Uganda, experience almost the same amount of daylight hours no matter the season, so the need to maximize daylight isn’t necessary in those locations, according to the National Sleep Foundation. However, some countries near the equator do choose to participate anyway, like Chile and sections of Brazil.

More U.S. States Are Trying to Get Rid of Daylight Saving Time

Credit: sara_winter/iStock

Is your state next? Following Hawaii and Arizona, more U.S. states are asking to do away with daylight saving time. According to ABC News, Florida, Massachusetts, Maine and possibly New Hampshire are all on the list. Florida is the closest state to completing this process, passing the Sunshine Protection Act in 2018 — but Congress still needs to approve it, according to Spectrum News 13.

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

5 Biggest Chinatowns in the U.S.

If you don’t live near a big city, you might be unfamiliar with the term “Chinatown” and its significance in American history.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a Chinatown as: “A district of a large non-Chinese town or port in which the population is predominantly of Chinese origin.” So-called Chinatowns exist all around the world, though there are particularly large concentrations in North America, Europe, and Australia.

While Chinatowns had existed in other countries for hundreds of years before making their way to the U.S., the United States features a particularly high number of Chinatowns relative to its size. Here are a few of the biggest Chinatowns you’ll find in the states.

5. Honolulu, Hawaii

Credit: Pgiam / iStock

While the exact boundary (and thus, the exact population) of the Honolulu Chinatown isn’t precisely known, it deserves mention on this list for its historical role in Chinese-American culture.

One of the earlier Chinatown settlements, Chinese immigrants came to Hawaii to work the island’s rich sugar plantations. Many of these laborers stayed in the area to work as merchants, and eventually, the early boundaries of Hawaii’s first Chinatown began to form. Of course, the area wasn’t without hardship—the Honolulu Chinatown was rocked by a great fire in 1886, an outbreak of bubonic plague in 1899, and another huge blaze in 1900. But the area endured, and it stands today as the home of the largest Chinese population in Hawaii.

4. Seattle, Washington

Credit: 400tmax / iStock

Further north than most other U.S. Chinatowns, the Seattle Chinatown — more officially known as the Chinatown-International District of Seattle — is the biggest Chinese enclave in the American northwest. Home to a diverse range of Chinese, Japanese, Filipino, and Vietnamese populations, the area acts as a hub of Asian culture in the region and brings in substantial tourism throughout the year.

3. Chicago, Illinois

Credit: stevegeer / iStock

The second-oldest in the United States, the Chinatown neighborhood in south Chicago is certainly worth visiting. The bulk of the Chicago Chinatown population came from immigrants fleeing persecution on the West Coast; the establishment of the San Francisco Chinatown (as detailed below) made Chinese culture a staple in America, but the immigrants there faced extensive prejudice from U.S. nationals.

In an ironic twist, U.S. citizens viewed Chinese influence as a detriment to American culture, despite the fact that American culture (not even 100 years old at that point) had its foundation in African slave labor and Native American blood. Regardless, immigrants found some relief in their newly-formed Chinatown, where it stands today as one of the most populous Chinese enclaves in the country.

2. San Francisco, California

Credit: JamesYetMingAu-Photography / iStock

The San Francisco Chinatown is possibly the largest, and certainly the oldest, Chinese enclave in America. Its origins date back to the 1850s, when large influxes of Chinese immigrants made their way to the West Coast. These immigrants typically worked hard-labor jobs, such as mining or railroad construction, and struggled to integrate into American culture. As their populations grew, so too did their enterprise, with Chinese-owned shops, restaurants, and apartments filling the town. This gentrification led to the birth of the United States’ first Chinatown, a historic landmark that exists to this day.

1. Manhattan, New York

Credit: f11photo / iStock

The Manhattan Chinatown is one of the biggest in the world, with the New York City area featuring the biggest Chinese population outside of Asia. Indeed, there are so many Chinese people there that one Chinatown can’t hold everyone; to date, there are nine different Chinatown neighborhoods in New York City alone.

This particular Chinatown is considered a bastion of Chinese culture, both in the U.S. and abroad. The region is home to the Museum of Chinese in America and is a regular destination for new Chinese immigrants coming to the country. However, in true Manhattan fashion, rent prices are skyrocketing in the area, forcing out many of the poorer populations in favor of wealthier patrons who can afford the exorbitant prices.

Going Down to Chinatown

Credit: MongkolChuewong / iStock

This list is just a small sampling of the diverse Chinatowns that exist in America. The enclaves have long been thought of as cultural oddities to natives, but to Chinese immigrants, they’re welcome reminders of the comfort and culture they left behind. And while most Chinatowns these days have experienced surges in diversity compared to what they once had, there’s no taking away from the cultural impact they’ve had on our history.

Trending on

You may like

Sponsored Links by Taboola

BACK TO TOP

Hawaii: The History Behind the Youngest State in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRIP TRIVIA)

 

The History Behind the Youngest State in the U.S.

Hawaii, a group of eight volcanic islands almost 2,400 miles off the coast of San Francisco, California, is the youngest, most recent territory to become a part of the United States. It’s the 50th state to join the nation, and its statehood only became official in 1959.

While it may be relatively young as far as statehood is concerned, Hawaii has a rich cultural history that sets it apart from any other state in the nation.

Humans on Hawaii

Credit: akphotoc / Shutterstock.com

Human settlements on the Hawaiian Islands are estimated to date back to anywhere between 124 AD and 1120 AD and are first attributed to the Polynesian people. These Polynesian people established religious practices, class structures, rulers of various subdivisions on the islands, rules based on taboos governing social order, land division, and a number of different genealogical observations.

The Hawaiian Islands remained in relative isolation for the next 500 years until “discovery” by European explorers in the late 1700s.

Explorer James Cook Lands on the Hawaiian Islands

Credit: Georgios Kollidas / Shutterstock.com

Captain James Cook, a surveyor for the British Royal Navy, explored the seas in an attempt to find the fabled “southern continent” and the Northwest Passage in the late 1760s and early 1770s. Cook took three voyages to chart the unknown for the British Empire, and his third led him to the Hawaiian Islands. His infamous visit marked both the introduction of white Europeans to Hawaii and the end of his days as a ship’s captain.

Cook and his crew were welcomed by the native Hawaiians upon landing on the islands in early 1778. There, Cook resupplied and set off to explore the coast of North America and Alaska and returned to Hawaii later that same year. Cook’s expedition explored the coastal regions of Kauai, Maui, and Hawaii Island from early 1778 to early 1779.

Cook’s expedition came to an abrupt and violent end in February 1779. Hawaiian natives stole one of Cook’s longboats while he was anchored in Kealakekua Bay, and in retaliation, the captain attempted to kidnap the current aliʻi nui/king when negotiations for the return of the longboat went sour. Captain Cook and his crew fired on a mob of Hawaiian people and, in the ensuing struggle, Cook was stabbed and killed.

Hawaii from the 1790s to U.S. Annexation in 1898

Credit: Keiki / Shutterstock.com

The history of the Hawaiian Islands from James Cook’s visit to annexation by the United States government 100 years later is full of regional political struggles and rulers vying for power and control of the islands. This time period alone could fill volumes. Here are a few key highlights:

  • The House of Kamehameha was the reigning ruling family of the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1795 to 1874.
  • Sugar plantations changed the course of Hawaiian history when the first plantation was established in 1835.
  • Sugar tariffs between the United States and the Kingdom of Hawaii led to turmoil as sugar production expanded.
  • The United States began leasing Pearl Harbor in 1887, considering Hawaii to be vital for defense of the West Coast.
  • Rebellions, overthrows, and a coup saw Hawaii’s queen Liliʻuokalani dethroned, the Kingdom of Hawaii ended, and Hawaii annexed by the United States in 1898.

Hawaii Becomes the 50th State

Credit: Ppictures / Shutterstock.com

Hawaii was actually the Territory of Hawaii (not an official state) for more than 60 years before it joined the United States as the 50th state in the nation in 1959. Hawaii became the Territory of Hawaii after its annexation in 1898, and during the next few decades saw a territorial governor appointed by U.S. President William McKinley, sugar plantation expansion continue, and even the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act on March 18, 1959, opening the way for Hawaii to become the 50th state in the nation. The territory was officially admitted in August of the same year.

The Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement

Credit: Oleksii Kiskonih / iStock

Is Hawaii currently a state under the federal governance of the United States? Yes. Does everyone accept this? No.

Annexation and statehood are still a touchy subject for a number of native Hawaiians, and there are groups that support the idea that the Hawaiian Islands were and are a territory taken by force, involuntarily joined to the United States, and deserves to be self-governed as an independent nation.

The Hawaiian Sovereignty Movement is a grassroots campaign supported by a number of different sovereignty groups that aims to shape what sovereignty could look like for the islands.

Plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

A plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Hawaii. All nine people aboard died

(CNN)A small plane crashed while on a skydiving excursion in Oahu and erupted into flames, killing all nine people aboard, Hawaii authorities said.

The King Air twin-engine plane went down Friday evening near Dillingham Airfield with no apparent survivors, the Hawaii Department of Transportation tweeted.
It was on a skydiving excursion when it crashed, Honolulu Fire Department Chief Manuel P. Neves said.
When firefighters arrived, the plane was engulfed in flames and they worked to extinguish them.Witnesses saw the plane coming inbound before it went down onto a fence line, away from the runway, Neves said.
“This is the most tragic aircraft incident that we had. We had some helicopters with the military but this is a civilian plane that went down and with that many people on board,” Neves told CNN affiliate KGMB.
The wreckage of an aircraft carrying nine people lies on the ground near a fence at Dillingham Airfield in Hawaii.

The names of the passengers have not been released. Some family members were at the airfield when the plane went down, Neves said.
“I am closely following the tragic developments out of Dillingham Airfield this evening. At this time our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of the victims,” Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell tweeted.
The Federal Aviation Administration will be taking over the investigation.
The airfield is a general aviation airport operated by the department under a 25-year lease from the US Army, Hawaii’s government website says. The state leases 272 acres of the 650-acre Dillingham Military Reservation and operates the single 5,000-foot runway primarily for commercial glider and sky diving operations.

7 Incredible Castles in the U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

7 Incredible Castles in the U.S.

7

Incredible Castles in the U.S.

Think you have to travel to Europe to see a jaw-dropping castle? Think again. Although they aren’t nearly as common here as they are in England, there are actually several castles in the United States. Some are hidden, and some are just standing there in plain sight. Here is a list of the seven most incredible castles in the U.S.

Belvedere Castle, New York

Belvedere Castle, New York

Credit: patronestaff/Shutterstock

Did you know there’s a castle in Central Park? Not many people outside New York do. Belvedere Castle was created by Calvert Vaux in 1869 as a way to welcome visitors to the park he helped design. It looks out onto the park’s Great Lawn and gives visitors the opportunity to take in some fantastic views from the top. In fact, the view is so great that it gave the castle its name — “Belvedere” means “Beautiful View” in Italian. This castle is not just beautiful to look at, though, it is also functional. The National Weather Service takes advantage of its location to take measurements of things like wind speed, rainfall amount and temperature for its forecasts.

Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Montezuma Castle, Arizona

Credit: Pamela Au/Shutterstock

Montezuma Castle in Camp Verde, Arizona, is unlike any castle you have ever seen. It is built into the side of a cliff, where it has been sitting for more than 800 years. This pueblo “palace” contains 45 to 50 rooms, but unfortunately you will never be able to get inside to count them. Since 1951, this castle has been off-limits to the public as looters and time have rendered it too fragile for it to be safe. You can still climb up to peer in the windows, though, as you imagine what life must have been like back when it was built.

Castello di Amorosa, California

Castello di Amorosa, California

Credit: KK Stock/Shutterstock

If you have always wanted to visit Italy but can’t afford to leave the States, then head to Castello di Amorosa in California. Visiting this castle is like visiting Tuscany hundreds of years ago — and many visitors don’t realize that it was just completed in 2007 after a 14-year-long building period. Built by Dario Sattui, the great grandson of an Italian immigrant, this 107-room castle is a love letter to Italian culture, as well as a thriving vineyard and winery.

Category IconHistory
4pts

Daily trivia question

Test Your Knowledge!

St. Peter’s Square in Vatican City was designed to look like?

Scotty’s Castle, California

Scotty's Castle, California

Credit: Nadia Yong/Shutterstock

Located in one of the only green areas of California’s Death Valley, Scotty’s Castle has an interesting history — and one that is full of lies. Rumor has it that this castle was built by a man named Walter Scott, also known as “Death Valley Scotty.” He told everyone that he had built it with a fortune he had gained from a collection of secret mines nearby that only he knew about. In reality, though, the castle was built by Albert and Bessie Johnson, who used it as a vacation home. Walter Scott was a friend of the family, though, and the castle bore his name, even if records show no evidence that he ever actually visited it at all.

Bannerman Castle, New York

Bannerman Castle, New York

Credit: karenfoleyphotography/Shutterstock

Of all the castles in the United States, Bannerman Castle arguably looks the most like an authentic castle from Europe, if only for the fact that it is now in ruins. The castle was built in 1901 by Francis Bannerman VI on Pollepel Island, an island that was once considered to be haunted. This was the perfect place for the owner of a military surplus company to build a fortress in which to store all the weapons he stockpiled during the Civil and Spanish Wars. Unfortunately, there proved to be some sort of curse on the island after all; in 1967, the castle was destroyed by a fire, turning it into a collection of beautiful ruins.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Credit: Allen.G/Shutterstock

While most of the castles in the United States were built by millionaires, Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii, is the only one that is an official royal residence. It was built in the early 1880s by Hawaii’s King Kalakaua, one of the last monarchs to ever reign over the region. The very last was his sister, Queen Liliuokalani, who ruled Hawaii after him and lived in the palace he had built. After the monarchy was overthrown in 1893, the castle was kept up and restored, so now it still looks much like it did back then.

Boldt Castle, New York

Boldt Castle, New York

Credit: Victoria Lipov/Shutterstock

The history of the number one castle on our list is a sad one. The idea for Boldt Castle was conceived of by millionaire George C. Boldt, who was also the proprietor of the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City. He wanted to build a “full size Rhineland castle” on Heart Island in Alexandria Bay as an expression of his love for his wife. He was planning to gift the castle to her … but then something terrible happened. In 1904, Boldt’s beloved wife died. Bereft, Boldt immediately stopped construction on the castle and never returned to the island. The castle sat there, unfinished, for more than 70 years, until the Thousand Islands Bridge Authority bought the property in 1977 and began restoring it for future generations.

India’s Defense Minister to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES OF INDIA)

 

Nirmala Sitharaman to chart course for India-US tri-service military exercise

During her visit, Sitharaman will also be charting out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019.

INDIA Updated: Dec 03, 2018 07:23 IST

Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Nirmala Sitharaman,US Indo-Pacific Command,Hawaii
Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart out the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. (Sonu Mehta/HT PHOTO)

Days after the apex Japan-India-America (JAI) trilateral meeting on Indo-Pacific on the sidelines of the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman will be visiting the US Indo-Pacific Command in Hawaii to review military-to-military relations and chart the course for the first ever India-US tri-service military exercise off in Bay of Bengal in May-June, 2019. Defence minister Sitharaman left for Washington on Saturday night.

According to Indian and US diplomats familiar with the agenda of her visit, Sitharaman will be meeting her US counterpart James Mattis on December 3 to follow-up on the trilateral meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Donald Trump and Japanese Premier Shinzo Abe and prepare grounds for sharing of information in the Indo-Pacific theatre through the secure COMCASA network. India recently signed a deal allowing it to become part of this network. With Japan, the US, Australia, and India all flying the P-8I anti-submarine surveillance aircraft, the Indo-Pacific theatre has become transparent for the QUAD grouping (of which these four countries are part) also as military information can now be exchanged through the secure network. This new network will be put to test during the tri-service amphibious exercise off the Indian seaboard next summer with all elements of Indo-Pacific command participating with their respective Indian military elements.

Senior government officials told Hindustan Times that Sitharaman will be interacting with key defence officials, thinkers and strategists on the west coast where she will be meeting a select group at Stanford university with former US National Security Advisor H R McMaster being the host. US Defence Secretary Mattis is also part of this network. She will also be visiting the highly rated Defence Innovation Unit (DIUx) in California in a bid to link Indian defence startups with this unit which aims to explore synergies between innovative US private sector firms and the Pentagon on latest technologies.

This will be largely funded by venture capital with Indian government providing the seed money. The main idea behind visiting DIUx is to understand the potential of constant technological upgrades achieved through research by private sector.

Sitharaman will be hosted by Admiral Phillip S Davidson, the top commander of all US armed forces in Indo-Pacific at Hawaii on December 6. The Minister’s visit to Hawaii is to recognize the American

effort to redefine and expand the strategic region in consultation with India. Simply put, the new definition gives India bigger play in the military affairs of the region with Japan and Australia being the other ends of the strategic grouping. The minister will also review the military to military exercises planned in future and discuss the strategic environment in the region with China in the focus.

During her meeting with Secretary Mattis at Pentagon, Sitharaman will also be exploring the acquisition of high-end military technologies for India such as the Predator-B hunter killer drone and reviewing the joint working groups on aircraft carriers and aircraft engines.

First Published: Dec 03, 2018 07:20 IST