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Shaquille O'Neal, Carmelo Anthony and Lebron James are just a few of the most well-known basketball players to have competed in the Olympic Games. The men's and women's national teams, often comprised of some of the top American professional and college players, have proven to be two of the most successful teams from the U.S. Since their first Olympic appearance in 1936, the men's team has taken home a total of 13 gold medals, with the women not far behind, claiming six since their start in 1976. From legendary figures like Michael Jordan to female powerhouses like Lisa Leslie and Sheryl Swoopes, Biography looks at the most famous names who have dominated the Olympic courts.
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Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, at the request of President Thomas Jefferson, led an expedition to survey the land West of the Missipppi, known as Louisana Territory, that had been purchased from France in 1803. Lewis, Clark, and the rest of their expedition began their journey near St. Louis, Missouri, in May 1804. This group - often called the Corps of Discovery by historians - faced nearly every obstacle and hardship imaginable on their trip. They braved dangerous waters and harsh weather and endured hunger, illness, injury, and fatigue. During their first winter, they recieved help and guidance from Sacagawea, a Shoshone Indian.
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During the 1930s, partly to avoid the hillbilly image and partly owing to Hollywood's romance with the West, country music headed to the range. Western fringe and cowboy hats turned up on many singers onstage, while Gene Autry and Roy Rogers hit the country charts as "The Singing Cowboy" and the "King of the Cowboys," respectively. Autry made it big in Hollywood and on the radio, singing favorites like "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Frosty the Snowman." Rogers and his wife, "Queen of the West" Dale Evans, also straddled the worlds of music and movies with their Wild West personas.
The association of country music with the wide open spaces of the western United States made such a deep impact on popular culture during this time that it never quite faded from the public perception of the country genre. To this day, Cowboy Country music serves as a reminder of our continued yearning for a life that's beautiful, pastoral and—ultimately—more simple.
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