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Parks, Gordon
Gordon Parks
Gordon Parks (Nov. 30, 1912- ) is a photographer, writer, film director, composer, and musician. His works document the 20th century and have been seen by millions of people around the world. Parks was the youngest of 15 children, born to impoverished parents in Kansas. Parks was the first African-American photographer to work at Life magazine and Vogue magazine. He wrote 12 books, produced many documentaries and Hollywood films (including Shaft), produced, directed, and scored a major Hollywood film (The Learning Tree, 1960), wrote a ballet about Martin Luther King (called Martin), and composed other music (including a symphony, a concerto, blues and other popular songs).

Parks, Rosa
Rosa Parks (February 4, 1913 - ) is a pivotal figure in the fight for civil rights. On December 1, 1955, a Montgomery, Alabama, bus driver ordered Mrs. Parks to give up her seat to a white man. When she refused, she was fined and arrested. This incident prompted a city-wide bus boycott, which eventually resulted in a Supreme Court ruling that segregation on city buses is unconstitutional.

For more on Rosa Parks, click here.

Peary, Robert E.
Robert Edwin Peary (May 6, 1856 - Feb. 20, 1920) was an American explorer and Naval officer who led the first expedition to the North Pole. In 1909, Peary, Matthew A. Henson, and four Eskimos were the first people to reach the North Pole.

For more information on Peary, click here.

Pemberton, John
Dr. John Stith Pemberton (1830-1888) was an American pharmacist, soldier, and inventor. He invented Coca-Cola on May 8th, 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. He had invented many syrups, medicines, and elixirs before, including a very popular drink called French Wine of Coca, which contained French Bordeaux wine, coca leaves, and caffeine (from the kola nut).

When Atlanta banned alcohol consumption in 1885, Pemberton had to change the formula of his French Wine of Coca, omitting the French wine. He added sugar, citric acid and essential oils of many fruits to the drink, and the original Coca-Cola was created. It was named for its main ingredients, coca leaves and the kola nut. Coca-Cola quickly became a very popular soda fountain drink.

Pemberton became partners with Frank Robinson and David Roe, but the partners soon began to quarrel and Pemberton soon sold his interest in Coca-Cola. The formula for Coca-Cola is a closely-guarded secret.

Perez, Juan
Juan Perez (ca.1725-1775) was a Spanish navigator who explored the northwest coast of North America. He sailed from Port San Blas, Mexico up the coast of North America in 1774, in a ship named the Santiago. He had been ordered to sail as far north as Alaska (60 degrees north latitude), but only made to what is now British Columbia because of bad weather. He anchored his 82-foot ship off the Queen Charlotte Islands, by northern Vancouver Island. On two occasions, Native Americans canoed to Perez's ship to trade and invite Perez ashore. Perez never went ashore, and so wasn't able to claim the land for Spain. He made detailed reports of the shoreline and his reports prompted later expeditions.
Pilgrims
The Pilgrims were a group of 102 settlers who sailed from England to what is now Massachusetts, USA. They sailed on the ship called the Mayflower. They landed on December 11, 1620.
Pike, Zebulon M.
Zebulon Montgomery Pike (January 5, 1779 - April 27, 1813) was an American explorer and military officer (he served in the War of 1812). Pike tried to find the source of the Mississippi River; he also explored the Rocky Mountains and southwestern North America. Pike's Peak in Colorado is named for him.

For more information on Pike, click here.

Pinzon, Martin Alonzo
Martin Alonzo Pinzon (1441? - 1493) was a Spanish explorer and navigator who sailed with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World, as captain of the Pinta (he was also the co-owner of the Nina and the Pinta). He is remembered for being disloyal and competitive with Christopher Columbus.

For more information on Martin Alonzo Pinzon, click here.

Pinzon, Vincente
Vincente Yáñez Pinzon (1460? - 1523?) was a Spanish explorer and navigator who sailed with Christopher Columbus on his first voyage to the New World, as captain of the Niña. His older brother, Martin Pinzon, was captain of the Pinta and the co-owner of both the Nina and the Pinta.

In 1499, Vincente Pinzon sailed to the Brazilian coast (at a cape he named Santa María de la Consolación). From there, he sailed northwest to the Amazon River, whose mouth he explored. He sailed north to northeastern Venezuela (to the Gulf of Paria) and then returned to Spain.

In 1508, he sailed to the New World twice with Juan Díaz de Solís, trying to find a a passage to the Spice Islands. They sailed to Central America, but the exact locations of these explorations are unknown (they either sailed to Honduras and the Yucatán peninsula or to Venezuela and Brazil).

Pontiac, Chief
Chief Pontiac (1720 - April 20, 1769) was a great leader of the Ottawa Indian tribe. He organized his and other tribes in the Great Lakes area to fight the British, in what is known as Pontiac's War (1763-1764).

For more information on Pontiac, click here.

Portola, Gaspar de
Gaspar de Portolá (1767-1784) was a Spanish soldier, leader, and explorer. Portolá was appointed Governor of Las Californias from 1768-1770 and founded Monterey and San Diego (California). As governor, Portola was ordered to arrest and expel all Jesuits from their well-established colleges and 14 missions; many of these missions were given to the Franciscans. In 1768, Portola volunteered to lead a large expedition of settlers, missionaries, and soldiers up the California coast to San Diego and Monterey (in California) in order to establish new Franciscan missions; the expedition was planned by Jose de Galvez. Portolá's overland expedition began on July 14th, 1769, and included Father Junipero Serra and 63 other men. They reached Los Angeles on August 2, 1769, Santa Barbara on August 19, Santa Cruz on October 18, and the San Francisco Bay area on October 31 (they missed Monteray). They again failed to find Monteray on their return trip to San Diego (both by land and by sea), so Portolá, Father Serra, and others tried another expedition, arriving at Monterey on May 24, 1770. In 1776, Portolá was chosen governor of the city of Puebla; he served for eight years, until his death .

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