White House

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white-house.jpgWhite House, official residence of the president of the United States, situated at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. The White House was built between 1792 and 1800 in a simple neoclassical style. Despite numerous renovations and additions since then, the White House has retained its classically simple style.

The White House has been the home of every U.S. president except George Washington, the nation’s first president, who selected the site for the building and supervised its construction. His successor, John Adams, became the first president to occupy the White House in 1800.

Golden Gate

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Golden Gate, USA

Golden Gate, strait in western California, at the entrance to San Francisco Bay, separating the bay from the Pacific Ocean. The strait is 8 km (5 mi) long and narrows to 1 km (0.6 mi) in width.

The famous Golden Gate Bridge crosses the strait to connect San Francisco, on the south, with Marin County, on the north. Although the English explorer Sir Francis Drake visited the region of San Francisco Bay in 1579 and a scout for the Spanish colonial governor Gaspar de Portolá may have explored as far as the Golden Gate in 1769, the first Europeans known with certainty to have seen it were a party of soldiers sent by Portolá in 1772.


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We ask for a lot from our buildings. They have to keep out the rain, wind, rats, and bugs, not to mention our enemies. They need to store our stuff, keep us warm when it’s cold, and keep us cool when it’s too hot. We also like our buildings to be well constructed and beautiful.

Architecture is the important art and science of making buildings. Architects are the bosses who design buildings and supervise their construction.


Buildings once were made of whatever materials were available. Where forests grew, for example, people used wood. Where there were no trees, people used the earth itself.


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ImageIt can be a painting in a museum or a sculpture in a park. Or maybe a movie that knocks your socks off. It can be a painted Chinese screen, an African mask, a Persian rug, or ancient Egyptian jewelry. Or a photo that captures a moment in history. It might be a construction made out of automobile parts. It’s all art.


We call lots of things art today. We use the term visual arts to describe the arts we can see. Painting, sculpture, and architecture have long been the major visual arts in Europe and North America. Today, we include photography, furniture, pottery, jewelry, and many other arts and crafts among the visual arts.


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ImageThe king watched from his castle as enemy horsemen charged across the meadow. His castle was strong. Thick walls of stone protected the king and his people inside. A deep, water-filled ditch around the castle, called a moat, offered further protection. As the enemy approached, guards quickly raised the drawbridge spanning the moat. Soldiers inside the castle prepared for battle.


A castle was the fortress and home of a monarch (a king or queen) or nobleman. It offered excellent protection to the person who owned it. A castle helped its owner defend the land on which it stood. It also served as a residence for the owner’s family and many servants.