Generally, the terms first-world and third-world are used to describe rich countries and poor countries, respectively. But how did the terms get their start? You don’t actually have to look too far back, because the terms arose, under slightly different meanings, during the Cold War. ‘First world’ used to refer to the United States and its allies, most of which were democratic and capitalist, ‘Second World’ used to refer to the Soviet Union, its allies, and other communist or socialist states, and ‘Third world’ referred to neutral or unaligned nations. Under the old definitions, the wealthy nation of Switzerland would have been considered a “third world nation”, while the relatively poor nations of Burma and Mozambique would have been considered “first world nations”. Finally, a more recent term “fourth world” refers to smaller populations, typically those excluded from global or industrial societies.
Tag Archives: united states
Today’s fun fact is from the original Facebook posts:
The national bird of the United States, the Bald Eagle, can be found in the wild in any state except Hawaii. With a range that stretches from Alaska, though Canada and the Lower 48, and into Northern Mexico, the population of the Bald Eagle is thriving and was removed from the Threatened Wildlife lists of the Lower 48 states in June 2007. The nests of Bald Eagles can weigh up to 1 ton, and are the biggest of any North American bird. The Bald Eagle’s Eurasian cousin, the White-tailed eagle (which resembles the Bald Eagle, but with a brown head), can typically be found in North and East Europe, but has pocket ranges from Greenland to Japan and from Iran to Russia. On average, the White-tailed Eagle is slightly larger than the Bald Eagle, but lacks the distinction of being a national symbol.
Today, September 3rd, is Labor Day in the United States. Labor Day is dedicated to the contributions of workers and and labor unions, and was proposed when labor unions began gaining power. The first Monday in September is set aside as a federal and state holiday during which non-essential government employees are given paid leave from their work duties and federal and state offices are closed. Oregon was, in 1887, the first state of the United States to adopt Labor day as a state holiday, seven years before it became a national holiday. In many American school districts, classes start a day or so after Labor Day, making Labor Day the unofficial last day of summer. Finally, many countries celebrate Labour Day on the First of May, coinciding with International Worker’s Day, but Australia holds Labour Day on the first Monday of October, the second Monday of March, the first Monday in March or the first Monday of May, depending on where in Australia you are.