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Features

Captain John Smith by Simon de Passe, seventeenth century

Soldier of Fortune: John Smith before Jamestown

Smith's experiences as a pirate, mercenary, and Turkish slave prepare him to survive in the New World.

Uncovering Powhatan’s Empire

Excavations reveal the site where John Smith and Chief Powhatan first meet.

Firsthand Accounts

A Web site offers manuscripts, maps, and sketches from early Virginia.

Essay winner Elise Liu

Building the Bill of Rights

Federalists and and anti-federalists put aside their differences and agree on the First Amendment in this first-place entry in the 2006 Idea of America Essay Contest.

Percy Julian in a laboratory

Percy Julian

A scientist makes inroads in chemistry and civil rights.

In Ellington’s Shadow: The Life of Billy Strayhorn

A new film examines the work of the composer of "Take the 'A' Train" and "Lush Life."

Dave Brubeck

DAVE BRUBECK: Ambassador of Cool

The master of West Coast jazz blends his music with his advocacy for human rights.

Denver Art Museum

A new building opens its doors at the Denver Art Museum.

A Patchwork of History

Eleven thousand quilts go online and offer clues about their creators.

Portrait of the Past

Newly discovered Maya murals reveal the civilization's sophistication.