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  • Paris Peace Accords

    A peace treaty signed on January 27, 1973, to establish peace and end the Vietnam War. The treaty included the governments of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, the Republic of Vietnam, and the United States, as well as the Provisional Revolutionary Government that represented indigenous South Vietnamese revolutionaries.
  • Parker, Charlie

    Influential saxophonist and composer who achieved his greatest fame in the 1940s. Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker was born in Kansas City, Missouri. He would later play in Kansas City, Chicago and New York, before starting his own band in 1945. His fast-paced, breathtaking improvisations won him national acclaim for bebop and he became an inspiration to generations of jazz musicians. After years of battling drug addiction, Parker died in 1955 at the age of 34.
  • Parks, Rosa

    Often referred to as the mother of the Civil Rights Movement, Rosa Parks is best known for refusing to give up her seat to a white male on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Her actions sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955 and led to the Supreme Court ruling which declared segregation on public buses unconstitutional. In 1999, Parks received the Congressional Gold Medal, the highest civilian honor offered by the United States government. Before her death in 2005, she worked with the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development, which offers career and leadership guidance to young African Americans.
  • Peace Corps

    Tracing its roots back to a 1960 speech by John F. Kennedy at the University of Michigan, the Peace Corps has since sent 170,000 volunteers to over 100 countries to help in education, environmental technology and technological innovations, to name a few areas. The Peace Corps is devoted to helping people, and to bridging gaps between Americans and citizens of other cultures.
  • Pennsylvania

    Pennsylvania was the second state to ratify the U.S. Constitution. During the Revolutionary War, Philadelphia was a focal point of the resistance to the British, and it became a center for the abolitionsit cause, as well. Prior to the Civil War, Pennsylvania had fewer slaves than any other state. The two largest cities in the state are Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.
  • Philippines

    Located in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines was ceded by Spain to the United States in 1898 following the Spanish American War. They attained independence in 1946 through the Treaty of Manila.
  • Poitier, Sidney

    Actor and film director. Born on February 20, 1924, Poitier challenged stereotypes throughout his career, choosing films that contested racial boundaries including In the Heat of the Night and Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner?. Poitier was the first African American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor. He received an Oscar for his moving portrayal of Homer Smith in 1963's Lilies of the Field.
  • Porgy and Bess

    American opera adapted from the novel Porgy by DuBose Heyward. Based on a newspaper account of a disabled man’s escape from police after assaulting a woman, Heyward and his wife Dorothy first dramatized the novel in 1927. The play ran for 367 performances to enthusiastic audiences. Among those interested in the production was famed composer George Gershwin. After years of correspondence with the author, George and his brother Ira joined Heyward to collaborate on a folk opera based on the novel. The first cast included Todd Duncan, Anne Brown, John W. Bubbles and the Eva Jessye Choir. Years of successful touring inspired the 1959 motion picture version of the same name.
  • Powell, Adam Clayton

    Reverend Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., was the first African American politician to gain substantive power in the United States Congress. Born in 1908, Powell would go on to stage protests in the 1930s in Harlem, and in 1944 he was elected to the United States House of Representatives for the district of Harlem. Powell clashed with people on Capitol Hill, sometimes those in his own party, especially when he took black constituents to dine with him in the "whites only" dining room of the Capitol. He remained in Congress until 1970, surving expulsion in 1967 when the Supreme Court ruled that the House had acted illegally in preventing him from taking his seat. He lost a primary in 1970 to Charles Rangel, and Powell retired to Florida where he passed away two years later. Despite the scandal that surrounded the end of his career, Powell was instrumental in the passing of a number of important pieces of social legislation and was a tireless fighter for equality.
  • Procter and Gamble Company

    Multinational corporation that manufactures health, beauty and baby care products as well as food and beverage. The company was founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1837 as a small, family operated soap and candle business.
  • Pryor, Richard

    Influential and controversial comedian. Known for his trailblazing and edgy material, Pryor’s performances have won him five Grammy awards. His troubled personal life, numerous divorces, and battles with drug addiction served as material for his brutally honest comedy. He was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1986, and in 1993 was honored with the Kennedy Center’s Mark Twain Prize.
  • Puerto Rico

    Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Columbus' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917 and popularly elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self-government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998 voters chose to retain commonwealth status.
  • Pulitzer Prize

    Named after Hungarian born journalist Joseph Pulitzer, the prize is awarded for excellence in journalism. Since the inception of the award, it has expanded to include not only print journalism, but also photography, editorial cartoons, fiction, non-fiction, poetry and music.