Jordan, Barbara Charline, 1936-96, African-American lawyer, public official, and educator, b. Houston. After graduating from Boston Univ. Law School (1959), she practiced law in Houston. In 1966 she became the first African American to be elected to the Texas senate, and six years later, the first to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from the South since Reconstruction. As a Democratic member of Congress, she achieved national renown on the House Judiciary Committee when it investigated (1974) the Watergate affair. Her keynote address at the 1976 Democratic national convention further enhanced her stature, but she decided to retire from politics the following year. From 1979 until her death, she taught at the Univ. of Texas.

See biography by M. B. Rogers (1998).

Jordan, Camille, 1771-1821, French writer and political figure. A moderate supporter of the French Revolution, he fled France during the Reign of Terror and again after the coup of Sept. 4, 1797. He befriended Johann von Goethe, J. C. F. von Schiller, and Johann von Herder. Returning to France after Napoleon Bonaparte (later Emperor Napoleon I) came to power, he wrote (1802) the widely read pamphlet, Vrai sens du vote national [the true meaning of the national vote], directed against Napoleon. After the Bourbon restoration Jordan was elected (1816) to the chamber of deputies.
Jordan, David Starr, 1851-1931, American scientist and educator, b. Gainesville, N.Y., M.S. Cornell, 1872, M.D. Indiana Medical College, 1875, and studied under Louis Agassiz at Penikese Island. He taught (1875-79) at Butler Univ. and in 1879 became professor of zoology and head of the department of natural science at Indiana Univ.; there he was president from 1885 to 1891. He served as the first president (1891-1913) of Stanford Univ. and as chancellor (1913-16). A prolific writer and a popular speaker, he was active as director (1910-14) of the World Peace Foundation and president (1915) of the World Peace Congress. Peace and international arbitration were the subjects of his books The Human Harvest (1907) and War and Waste (1913). As a leading ichthyologist, Jordan served on international commissions for fisheries and as assistant (1877-91, 1894-1909) to the U.S. Fish Commission. His earliest important work, A Manual of the Vertebrate Animals of Northern United States (1876), went through many editions. He also wrote The Fishes of North and Middle America (4 vol., 1896-1900), A Guide to the Study of Fishes (2 vol., 1905), Your Family Tree (with S. L. Kimball, 1929), and Trend of the American University (1929).

See his autobiographical Days of a Man (2 vol., 1922); biography by H. A. Moran (1969).

Jordan, Michael Jeffrey, 1963-, American basketball player, b. Brooklyn, N.Y. As a freshman at the Univ. of North Carolina, he made the shot that won the 1982 National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) tournament final over Georgetown. Joining the Chicago Bulls of the National Basketball Association (NBA) in 1984, he was the 1985 Rookie of the Year and developed into the outstanding guard of the late 1980s and the 1990s. From 1991 to 1993, Jordan led the Bulls to three NBA championships. In 1993 he announced his retirement, saying he had achieved all his goals in basketball, and began a second career as a baseball player. After two unspectacular years in the minor-league system of the Chicago White Sox, however, he returned to the NBA early in 1995, and in 1996-98 he led the Bulls to three more championships. In 1999 he retired again. The following year he became a part owner of the NBA's Washington Wizards, but in 2001 sold his share of the team and signed with the Wizards and played for two seasons.

Noted especially for his leaping ability, the 6 ft 6 in. (198 cm) Jordan is widely considered the greatest basketball player ever. The NBA career leader in scoring average, he was the league's leading scorer each year from 1986 to 1993 and 1996 to 1998, for a record ten titles, and is third on the all-time points list. Jordan also starred for the 1984 and 1992 U.S. Olympic teams. Known as "Air Jordan" or "His Airness," he is a global celebrity, and his commercial endorsements and investments have made him the world's wealthiest athlete.

See D. Halberstam, Playing for Keeps: Michael Jordan and the World He Made (1999).

Jordan, Vernon Eulion, Jr., 1935-, African-American civil-rights leader and lawyer, b. Atlanta, Ga. A graduate of the Howard Univ. Law School, he was executive director (1970-71) of the United Negro College Fund and president (1972-81) of the National Urban League. After being wounded (1980) by a sniper in Fort Wayne, Ind., he retired to law practice in Washington, D.C. In 1992-93 he was head of the transition team for incoming president Bill Clinton, for whom he became an influential adviser. In 2006 he served as a member of the Iraq Study Group.

See his memoir, Vernon Can Read! (2001).

Jordan, officially Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, kingdom (2005 est. pop. 5,760,000), 35,637 sq mi (92,300 sq km), SW Asia. It borders on Israel and the West Bank in the west, on Syria in the north, on Iraq in the northeast, and on Saudi Arabia in the east and south. Amman is the country's capital and largest city. In addition to the capital, important cities include Zarqa, Petra, Irbid, Aqaba, and Salt.

Land and People

Jordan falls into two main geographical regions. Eastern Jordan, which encompasses about 92% of the country's land area, is made up of a section (average elevation: 2,500 ft/760 m) of the Arabian Plateau that in the northeast includes part of the Syrian Desert. In the western part of the plateau are the Jordanian Highlands, which include Jabal Ramm (5,755 ft/1,754 m), Jordan's loftiest point. Extreme W Jordan is made up of a segment of the Great Rift Valley (which continues southward into Africa) and includes the Jordan River, the Dead Sea, and the Arabah (a dry riverbed).

The inhabitants of Jordan are mostly Arabs, largely of either Palestinian or Bedouin descent. There are small minorities of Armenians and Circassians. Arabic, the official language, is spoken by virtually everyone. Many in the higher socioeconomic groups also speak English. Over 90% of the people are Sunni Muslims; about 5% are Christians, most of whom are Greek Orthodox. There are also small Shiite Muslim and Druze communities.


In the early 2000s, Jordan had an official unemployment rate of about 15%, although the unofficial rate was almost twice that. Poverty and a large foreign debt remain major problems. Less than 5% of the country's land is arable, and farm output is further limited by the small size of most farms, inefficient methods of tilling the soil, and inadequate irrigation. The principal crops are citrus and other fruits and berries, tomatoes, cucumbers, grains, lentils, and olives. Many Jordanians support themselves by raising sheep, goats, and poultry.

Manufactures are largely limited to basic items such as clothing, construction materials, and consumer goods; some pharmaceuticals and inorganic chemicals are also produced. Nearly 50% of the country's industry is based in Amman. Numerous artisans make items of leather, wood, and metal. Phosphate rock, fertilizers, and potash are produced in significant quantities. Oil was discovered in 1982, and a small oil industry that includes petroleum refining has been developed. Tourism also contributes to the economy. During the 1970s and 80s aid from other Arab countries and remittances from Jordanian workers living abroad were important factors in the country's economy. A slowdown in both sources of income in the 1990s and early 2000s, as well as an influx of refugees, particularly Palestinians and Iraqis, has slowed economic progress.

The annual cost of Jordan's imports usually far exceeds its earnings from exports. The principal imports are crude oil, textile fabrics, machinery, transportation equipment, and manufactured goods; the main exports are clothing, pharmaceuticals, potash, phosphates, fertilizers, and agricultural products. Jordan's leading trade partners are the United States, Saudi Arabia, and Iraq.


Jordan is a constitutional monarchy. Under the 1952 constitution as amended, the most powerful political and military figure in the country is the king, who is head of state. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is appointed by the monarch. The bicameral parliament consists of the 55-seat Senate, whose members are appointed by the king, and the 110-seat House of Deputies, whose members are popularly elected, with six seats reserved for women. Electoral constituencies, however, are gerrymandered in favor of the government. All legislators serve four-year terms. Administratively, Jordan is divided into 12 governorates.


The history section of this article is primarily concerned with the region E of the Jordan River; for the history of the area to the west, see Palestine.

Early History to Independence

The region of present-day Jordan roughly corresponds to the biblical lands of Ammon, Bashan, Edom, and Moab. The area was conquered by the Seleucids in the 4th cent. B.C. and was part of the Nabatean empire, whose capital was Petra, from the 1st cent. B.C. to the mid-1st cent. A.D., when it was captured by the Romans under Pompey. In the period between the 6th and 7th cent. it was the scene of considerable fighting between the Byzantine Empire and Persia. In the early 7th cent. the region was invaded by the Muslim Arabs, and after the Crusaders captured Jerusalem in 1099, it became part of the Latin Kingdom of Jerusalem. In 1516 the Ottoman Turks gained control of what is now Jordan, and it remained part of the Ottoman Empire until the 20th cent.

After the fall of the Ottoman Empire in World War I, the region came under (1919) the government of Faisal I, centered at Damascus. When Faisal was ejected by French troops in July, 1920, Transjordan (as Jordan was then known) was made (1920) part of the British League of Nations mandate of Palestine. In 1921, Abdullah I (Abdullah ibn Husayn), a member of the Hashemite dynasty and the brother of Faisal, was made emir of Transjordan, which was administered separately from Palestine and was specifically exempted from being part of a Jewish national home. A Jordanian army, called the Arab Legion, was created by the British, largely through the work of Sir John Bagot Glubb.

In a treaty signed with Great Britain in 1928, Transjordan became a constitutional state ruled by a king, to be hereditary in the family of Abdullah I, who was placed on the throne by the British. The country supported the Allies in World War II, and, by a treaty with Great Britain signed in 1946, it became (May 25) independent as the Hashemite Kingdom of Transjordan.

Crisis and Conflict

By an agreement signed in 1948, Britain guaranteed Transjordan an annual military subsidy. Abdullah opposed Zionist aims, and when Palestine was partitioned and the state of Israel was established in 1948, Transjordan, like other members of the Arab League, sent forces to fight Israel (see Arab-Israeli Wars). The troops of the Arab Legion gained control of most of that part of W central Palestine that the United Nations had designated as Arab territory. In Apr., 1949, the country's name was changed to Jordan, thus reflecting its acquisition of land W of the Jordan River. In Dec., 1949, Jordan concluded an armistice with Israel, and early in 1950 it formally annexed the West Bank, a move that was deeply resented by other Arab states, which favored the establishment of an independent state of Palestine. The annexation of the West Bank increased Jordan's population by about 450,000 persons, many of them homeless refugees from Israel.

In 1951, Abdullah was assassinated in Jerusalem by a Palestinian and was succeeded the following year by his grandson Hussein I. After a series of anti-Western riots in Jordan, Hussein early in 1956 dismissed Glubb as commander of the Arab Legion, and following the Suez crisis later in the year he ended Jordan's treaty relationship with Great Britain. In Feb., 1958, Jordan and Iraq formed the Arab Federation as a countermove to the newly formed United Arab Republic (UAR), but Hussein dissolved it in August, following the coup in Iraq that toppled the monarchy.

At the same time, the UAR called for the overthrow of the governments in Jordan and Lebanon. At the request of the Jordanian government, Britain sent troops to Jordan; tensions were soon reduced and by Nov., 1958, the troops had been withdrawn. For the next few years Jordan remained on poor terms with Iraq and the UAR. In 1961, Hussein was among the first to recognize Syria after it withdrew from the UAR. Following the establishment in 1963 of a revolutionary Jordanian government-in-exile in Damascus, a state of emergency was declared in Jordan. The crisis ended only after the United States and Great Britain announced their support of Hussein and the U.S. 6th Fleet was placed on alert.

In the mid-1960s, Jordanian politics were calm, Jordan's economy expanded as international trade increased, and Jordan was on good terms with Egypt. Following Egypt's declaration in 1967 of a blockade of Israeli shipping in the Gulf of Aqaba, Hussein signed a mutual defense pact with Egypt. Despite Israeli attempts to urge Jordan to abstain from battle, the two nations became embroiled in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War. As a result of the war, Israel captured and occupied the West Bank—the previously Jordanian territory located W of the Jordan River and the Dead Sea.

Jordan and the Palestinians

A large number of Palestinian refugees fled to Jordan during and after the war, and soon there was growing hostility between the Jordanian government and the Palestinian guerrilla organizations operating in Jordan. The guerrillas sought to establish an independent Palestinian state, a goal that conflicted with Hussein's intention of reestablishing Jordan's control over the West Bank. There was major fighting between the guerrillas and the Jordanian army in Nov., 1968; in Sept., 1970, the country was engulfed in a bloody 10-day civil war, which ended when other Arab countries (especially Egypt) arranged a cease-fire. The Palestinians suffered heavy casualties, and many of them fled to Lebanon and Syria, which shifted the locus of the Palestinian refugee problem. In July, 1971, the army carried out a successful offensive that destroyed the remaining guerrilla bases in Jordan. In Nov., 1971, Prime Minister Wasfi al-Tal was assassinated in Cairo by members of the "Black September" Palestinian guerrilla organization, which took its name from the month of the civil war in Jordan.

In 1972, Hussein proposed the creation of a United Arab Kingdom that would include the West Bank with the rest of Jordan. Predicated on Israel's withdrawal from the West Bank, the proposal was rejected by the other Arab states as well as Israel. Hussein survived an assassination attempt by a Palestinian in Dec., 1972. Jordan played a minor role in the Arab-Israeli War of Oct., 1973, sending a small number of troops to fight on the Syrian front. In 1974, Hussein complied with the Arab League's ruling that the PLO (see Palestine Liberation Organization) was to be the single legitimate representative of the Palestinians.

Recent History

Jordan moved closer to Syria in the late 1970s and, along with other Arab countries, opposed the Camp David accords and the Israeli-Egyptian peace treaty (1979). Jordan sided with Iraq in the Iran-Iraq War, despite Syrian threats, and sent large amounts of war materials to Iraq. In 1988, Hussein formally relinquished claim to the West Bank in acknowledgment of Palestinian sovereignty. He approved the creation of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank, and Arabs residing in that area lost their Jordanian citizenship. Parliamentary elections were held in 1989 for the first time in 22 years.

Plagued by serious economic problems since the mid-1980s, Jordan received increased economic aid from the United States in 1990. However, the outbreak (1991) of the Persian Gulf War led to a repeal of U.S. aid to Jordan due to Hussein's support of Iraq (Jordan's major source of oil). Jordan also suffered a loss of aid from Saudi Arabia and Kuwait during the war. The country endured further economic hardship when approximately 700,000 Jordanian workers and refugees returned to Jordan as a result of the fighting in the Persian Gulf, causing housing and employment shortages. Not until 2001 did an accord again permit Jordanians to work in Kuwait.

Peace talks between Israel, Syria, Lebanon, and a joint Palestinian-Jordanian delegation began in Aug., 1991. In 1994 a peace agreement between Jordan and Israel ended the official state of war between the two nations, and Hussein went on to encourage peace negotiations between other Arab states and Israel. In 1993 political parties were again permitted to field candidates, resulting in Jordan's first multiparty elections in 37 years. The country's economy continued to decline, however, and the government became less tolerant of dissent. Laws restricting freedom of the press were instituted in 1997, and that same year Islamic parties boycotted the legislative elections, claiming they were unfair.

Hussein died in 1999 and was succeeded by his son, Abdullah II, who pledged to work toward a more open government and to ease restrictions on public expression. Although there has been some progress in terms of economic development, the country remains dependent on tourism, which has been hurt by its location between Israel and Iraq. Political liberalization has been slow in coming. In 2001 parliament's term expired without new elections being called; they were postponed out of fear that popular sympathy for the Palestinians in their renewed conflict with Israel would lead to a victory for the Islamic parties. The June, 2003, parliamentary elections resulted in a majority for the king's supporters; Islamists won 18 seats. In Apr., 2006, Jordan accused Hamas of planning attacks against targets in Jordan, saying that it had detained militants and seized weapons that had come in from Syria. The Nov., 2007, parliamentary elections resulted in sharp losses for the Islamists, who accused the government of fraud. The parliament was largely seen as ineffective, and two years later the king dissolved parliament and ordered preparations for a new election (but did not announce a date).


See P. J. Vatikiotis, Politics and the Military in Jordan (1967); N. H. Aruri, Jordan: A Study in Political Development, 1921-1965 (1972); E. Kanovsky, The Economic Development of Jordan (1976); A. H. Cordesman, Jordanian Arms and the Middle East Balance (1983); C. Bailey, Jordan's Palestinian Challenge, 1948-1983, A Political History (1985); R. F. Nyrop, ed., Jordan (3d ed. 1987); J. Lunt, Hussein of Jordan (1989).

Jordan, river, c.200 mi (320 km) long, formed in the Hula basin, N Israel, by the confluence of three headwater streams and meandering S through the Sea of Galilee to the Dead Sea; the region of Palestine's longest and most important river and the world's lowest river below sea level. It flows through the northern section of the Jordan trough, a part of the Great Rift Valley; between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, the Jordan valley is called the Ghor. There it forms the border between Israel and the West Bank (W) and the nation of Jordan (E). The Jordan is fed by many small streams, with headwaters in Syria and Lebanon. The Yarmuk River is its largest tributary. Deep and turbulent during the rainy season, the Jordan is reduced to a sluggish, shallow stream during the summer. As it nears the Dead Sea, its salinity increases. Although the river is not navigable, its waters are valuable for irrigation. Israel's National Water Carrier Project uses the Sea of Galilee as a reservoir, and Jordan's East Ghor project diverts water from the Yarmuk River. Other irrigation projects, in Syria and Lebanon, divert water from the Jordan's headstreams. This extensive use of the river and its tributaries for irrigation has depleted the flow into the Dead Sea and greatly increased pollution in the Jordan. The river is mentioned in the New Testament as the scene of Jesus' baptism.
Jordan, river, 60 mi (97 km) long, draining Utah Lake N into Great Salt Lake, N central Utah; it passes through Salt Lake City. Fed by numerous streams flowing off the Wasatch Range, the Jordan is used for irrigation and forms the heart of the Utah Oasis. Mormons settled along its banks in the mid-1800s.
Jordan is a city in Scott County, Minnesota, United States. The population was 3,833 at the 2000 census.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²), of which, 2.6 square miles (6.8 km²) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 km²) of it (0.76%) is water. U.S. Highway 169; and State Highways 21 and 282 are three of the main routes in the community.


As of the census of 2000, there were 3,833 people, 1,349 households, and 980 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,466.5 people per square mile (567.0/km²). There were 1,423 housing units at an average density of 544.4/sq mi (210.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 94.08% White, 0.50% African American, 0.60% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 3.10% from other races, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.60% of the population.

There were 1,349 households out of which 44.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.3% were married couples living together, 12.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 27.3% were non-families. 22.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.84 and the average family size was 3.31.

In the city the population was spread out with 33.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 33.6% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, and 7.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 29 years. For every 100 females there were 100.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.2 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $47,468, and the median income for a family was $53,363. Males had a median income of $36,206 versus $26,806 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,217. About 1.9% of families and 4.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.6% of those under age 18 and 4.6% of those age 65 or over.

Local culture

Heimatfest, a German heritage festival, is held every September. Festivities include a 5K run, a parade, car shows, and fireworks at Lagoon Park.

Home of the Robert Patterson Post #3 Jordan Legion Baseball Team. Post #3 won the League Tournament five straight times from 2004 to 2008. Won the District Tournament five straight years from 2004 to 2008. Won the State Tournament four straight years from 2005 to 2008. Won the National/Regional Tournament three straight years from 2005 to 2007 and took runner-up in 2008.

Local celebrities include Playboy playmates Nicole, Erica and Jaclyn Dahm, one of whom married the son of Doctor Phil

Sex abuse scandal

Beginning in 1983, Jordan was swept up in an instance of what has been called satanic ritual abuse. Twenty-four adults were arrested and charged with acts of sexual abuse, child pornography and other crimes.

According to Jordan native Tom Dubbe, the scandal began with the arrest of 26-year-old James Rud on sex abuse charges. Rud undoubtedly had a history of child molestation, but "once Rud was arrested he was given a difficult choice by Minnesota's first woman county attorney, Kathleen Morris. Morris suggested: Name names and we'll go easier on you. Before long, many people were implicated in the scandal, and the case earned national press coverage.

Ultimately, the accused were exonerated of any wrongdoing, because the county attorney was afraid the children would collapse under cross examination.

The incident is mentioned by Justice Antonin Scalia in his dissenting opinion in the case of Maryland v. Craig. He argues that the right to confront one's accusers is essential to protecting innocent defendants against "a child's distorted or coerced recollections" in the face of "misguided investigative techniques.

The song Jordan, Minnesota by the band Big Black was written about the incident.


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