Main page Tasks 

The North America Portal

Location North America.svg

North America is a continent in the Northern Hemisphere and almost entirely within the Western Hemisphere. It is bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the east by the Atlantic Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean. Because it is on the North American Tectonic Plate, Greenland is included as a part of North America geographically.

North America covers an area of about 24,709,000 square kilometres (9,540,000 square miles), about 16.5% of 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. In human geography and in the English-speaking world outside the United States, particularly in Canada, "North America" and "North American" can refer to just Canada and the United States together.

North America was reached by its first human populations during the Last Glacial Period, via crossing the Bering land bridge approximately 20,000 to 17,000 years ago. The so-called Paleo-Indian period is taken to have lasted until about 10,000 years ago (the beginning of the Archaic or Meso-Indian period). The classic stage spans roughly the 6th to 13th centuries. The first recorded Europeans to visit North America (other than Greenland) were the Norse around 1000 AD. Christopher Columbus's arrival in 1492 sparked a transatlantic exchange which included migrations of European settlers during the Age of Discovery and the early modern period. Present-day cultural and ethnic patterns reflect interactions between European colonists, indigenous peoples, African slaves, immigrants from Europe, Asia, and the descendants of these groups.

Owing to Europe's colonization of the Americas, most North Americans speak European languages such as English, Spanish or French, and their cultures commonly reflect Western traditions. However, in parts of Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Central America, there are indigenous populations continuing their cultural traditions and speaking their own languages. (Full article...)

Refresh with new selections below (purge)

Cscr-featured.png
Featured article - show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

Fires approach the Old Faithful Complex on September 7, 1988
Fires approach the Old Faithful Complex on September 7, 1988

The Yellowstone fires of 1988 collectively formed the largest wildfire in the recorded history of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Starting as many smaller individual fires, the flames quickly spread out of control due to drought conditions and increasing winds, combining into one large conflagration which burned for several months. The fires almost destroyed two major visitor destinations and, on September 8, 1988, the entire park closed to all non-emergency personnel for the first time in its history. Only the arrival of cool and moist weather in the late autumn brought the fires to an end. A total of 793,880 acres (3,213 km2), or 36 percent of the park, was affected by the wildfires.

Thousands of firefighters fought the fires, assisted by dozens of helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft which were used for water and fire retardant drops. At the peak of the effort, more than 9,000 firefighters were assigned to the park. With fires raging throughout the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and other areas in the western United States, the staffing levels of the National Park Service and other land management agencies were inadequate for the situation; more than 4,000 U.S. military personnel were soon brought in to assist in wildfire suppression efforts. The firefighting effort cost $120 million ($270 million in 2022). Losses to structures were minimized by concentrating firefighting efforts near major visitor areas and totalled $3.28 million ($8 million as of 2022). No firefighters died while fighting the Yellowstone fires, though there were two fire-related deaths outside the park. (Full article...)

Cscr-featured.png
Featured picture - show another

This is a Featured picture that the Wikimedia Commons community has chosen as one of the highest quality on the site.

Olmec heartland
Credit: Madman2001
The Olmec heartland. The yellow dots represent ancient habitation sites, while the red dots represent isolated artifact finds unassociated with any ancient town or village.

Cscr-featured.png
Featured biography - show another

This is a Featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia.

C.D. Howe, wartime.jpg

Clarence Decatur Howe, PC (UK), PC (Can) (15 January 1886 – 31 December 1960) was an American-born Canadian engineer, businessman and Liberal Party politician. Howe served as a cabinet minister in the governments of prime ministers William Lyon Mackenzie King and Louis St. Laurent continuously from 1935 to 1957. He is credited with transforming the Canadian economy from agriculture-based to industrial. During the Second World War, his involvement in the war effort was so extensive that he was nicknamed the "Minister of Everything".

Born in Massachusetts, Howe moved to Nova Scotia as a young adult to take up a professorship at Dalhousie University. After working for the Canadian government as an engineer, he began his own firm and became wealthy. In 1935, he was recruited as a Liberal candidate for the House of Commons of Canada by Mackenzie King. The Liberals won the election in a landslide and Howe won his seat. Mackenzie King appointed him to the Cabinet. There, he took major parts in many new enterprises, including the founding of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and Trans-Canada Air Lines (today Air Canada). Howe played a crucial role in Canada's war effort during WWII and recruited many corporate executives (as "dollar-a-year-men") to serve as executives in wartime enterprises. (Full article...)

Symbol support vote.svg
Good article - show another

This is a Good article, an article that meets a core set of high editorial standards.

Location in Washington, D.C.
Location in Washington, D.C.

The National Museum of African Art is the Smithsonian Institution's African art museum, located on the National Mall of the United States capital. Its collections include 9,000 works of traditional and contemporary African art from both Sub-Saharan and North Africa, 300,000 photographs, and 50,000 library volumes. It was the first institution dedicated to African art in the United States and remains the largest collection. The Washington Post called the museum a mainstay in the international art world and the main venue for contemporary African art in the United States.

The museum was founded in 1964 by a Foreign Service officer and layman who bought African art objects in Germany and multiple houses in the Capitol Hill neighborhood in which to display them. The collection focused on traditional African art and an educational mission to teach black cultural heritage. To ensure the museum's longevity, the founder lobbied the national legislature to adopt the museum under the Smithsonian's auspices. It joined the Smithsonian in 1979 and became the National Museum of African Art two years later. A new, primarily underground museum building was completed in 1987, just off the National Mall and adjacent to other Smithsonian museums. It is among the Smithsonian's smallest museums. (Full article...)
List of Good articles

Did you know...

Circumferentor

  • ... that the Chontal Maya of Tabasco consider themselves the direct descendants of the Olmec civilization?

Selected panorama

Acapulco México banner.jpg
Credit: Uwebart
Avenida Costera Miguel Alemán (Malecón) in front of the port and the Zócalo in Acapulco, Mexico

Topics

Categories

North America categories

List articles

Select [►] to view subcategories
WikiProject Council project list icon.svg

Related portals

WikiProjects

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

More portals

Discover Wikipedia using portals
Purge server cache