National Geographic : 1933 May
HOW THE UNITED STATES GREW Photograph by Fairchild Aerial Surveys THE MUNICIPAL AIRPORT AT BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS Boston is one of the country's important centers of air traffic, and more than 25,000 air passengers took off or landed at this field last year. The landing field, which is mostly on made ground, lies just across the Inner Harbor from the central part of the city. A tunnel under the river is contemplated, which will make downtown Boston only a five-minute journey. semble the intricate tracery of tiny surface cracks in ancient chinaware. No one can look closely at the bound aries of the United States and at those of the Commonwealths themselves without being struck by certain peculiarities. What, for example, is the explanation of the, tiny "tab" that juts into Canada near the 195th meridian, almost exactly at the midpoint of the international boundary? " This bit of territory, wholly separated from the rest of the United States by water, is a monument to the hazy ideas of northwestern geography in the 18th century. The treaty of peace with Great Britain after the Revolution provided that the boundary line from Lake Superior should rtn to "the most northwestern point" of the Lake of the Woods, and from there should be extended "on a due west course to the River Mississippi." Not until years later was it discovered that the Mississippi is not west, but south east of the lake! When still later the 49th parallel of latitude was agreed upon as the international boundary to the westward, a line was dropped south to it from the lake corner, leaving the odd "tab" jutting 27.5 miles into Canadian territory. THE LONGEST EAST-WEST BOUNDARY The line that strikes westward from the "tab" to the waters of the Pacific and forms part of the international boundary is the longest line following a parallel of latitude on the United States map. It is 1,269 miles in length and is marked by more than 900 monuments.