The first permanent English colony in the new world gets star treatment this year, ranging from gala festivities to sober historical reassessment.


A Second Founding

Much that is new and exciting in the story of Jamestown is the result of discoveries made in the past 13 years by William M. Kelso, who found something that other archaeologists had been unable to find in a century of looking.

Graphic: James Fort

Inventing America

They journeyed from England equipped with little more than gumption. What's their legacy? Only our national identity.

King James, the 'Wisest Fool'

John Smith -- Rock Star

How much do Washingtonians know about Jamestown and its most famous resident, 400 years after the adventurer sailed up the James River?

Video: The Jamestown Test

Harsh, Short Lives

Recent archaeological finds tell us that early Jamestown was a place where existence was often cut short by disease or violence.

Fishing for Clues in a Well

Did a Settler Eat His Wife?

The Smith Myth

Capt. John Smith and Pocahontas were just friends. Really.

England Honors a Princess

Out of Jamestown's Shadows

Virginia's Indians, out of view for so long, are emerging from the isolation and fear of discrimination that kept them hidden for centuries.

Virginia's Tribes

Setting Sail for the Past

Three reproductions of 17th-century tall ships re-create a portion of the Jamestown journey.

Video: Aboard the Ships

Graphic: Voyage to America

The Forgotten Colonies

In Britain, the historical link with America is becoming more and more of a footnote.

Looking for Respect

In Plymouth Rock's shadow, Jamestown is the Rodney Dangerfield of colonial settlements.

The Big 4-0-0

Already, the cost of activities surrounding the birthday bash is upward of $200 million.



The Jamestown Test

Post columnist John Kelly sets out to prove how little Americans know about Jamestown -- and gets a surprise.

Volunteer Settlers Set Sail

About 60 volunteer sailors recreate the majestic voyage of three tall-masted ships that brought settlers to Jamestown 400 years ago.

Photo Gallery: 'Loose All Sails'

Live Discussions

Author Benjamin Woolley

Transcript: Writer of "Savage Kingdom: The True Story of Jamestown, 1607 and the Settlement of America" separates fact from fiction.

Photo Galleries

'Lay Aloft and Loose All Sails'

Aboard the tall ships.

Jamestown at 400

Colonial commemorations and a royal visit.

Maps and Graphics

Jamestown Timeline

A brief illustrated history of the settlement.

James Fort

Thought to have been washed away by the James River, it resurfaced in 1994 when archaeologist William Kelso unearthed its footprint.

Map of Current Jamestown Sites



Two Ways of Life (PDF)

A look at Henry Spelman, a 14-year-old colonist who Smith "traded" to the Indians as a kind of ambassador.


James River Plantations

Events, sites, interactive map and information for Jamestown's 400th.

Virginia's Original McMansions

A Suggested 3-Day Itinerary


Delving Deeper

In Virginia, Jamestown is not just another colonial episode or the backdrop of a Disney movie.

In Loudoun, High-Tech History


Revisiting the First Settlement

Historical exhibits ramped up for quadricentennial.

Interpreters Recreate History


American Schemers

Several new books tell the harrowing tale behind the myth

Live, 2 p.m. ET: 'Savage Kingdom' Author



Jamestown Settlement: Route 31 south at Colonial Parkway, next to Historic Jamestowne. 888-593-4682 or 757-253-4838. http://www.historyisfun.org. Open daily from 9 to 5; until 6 from June 15 through Aug. 15. $13.50; $6.25 ages 6 to 12; age 5 and younger free.

Historic Jamestowne: Jamestown Island, at the western end of Colonial Parkway, next to Jamestown Settlement. 757-229-1733. http://www.historicjamestowne.org. Gates to the park grounds, which include the Glasshouse and the Archaearium, open daily at 8:30 and close at 4:30. Once admitted, visitors may remain on the grounds until dusk. The Glasshouse is open daily from 8:30 to 5; the visitor center is open daily from 9 to 5; and the Archaearium is open daily from 9:30 to 5:30 (until 5 from Nov. 15 to March 14). Park admission is $10; age 15 and younger free; no separate admission to the Glasshouse and the Archaearium.

Where to Shop and Eat

2007 Schedule

Upcoming public programs associated with Jamestown's 400th anniversary celebrations include:

May 11-13: America's Anniversary Weekend. Highlights include musical performances by the Virginia Symphony Orchestra with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, Chaka Khan, Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder and South African artist Vusi Mahlasela. The three-day event concludes with a concert by a 400-piece orchestra and 1,607-voice choir, with fireworks. Anniversary Park.

Events Listings for May 11-13:
» Anniversary Park
» Jamestown Settlement
» Historic Jamestowne

May 12 at 10:30: A replica of the shallop, a 28-foot-long barge, piloted by Capt. John Smith to explore the Chesapeake Bay in 1608, will launch on the James River, retracing Smith's 121-day journey before returning Sept. 8. Historic Jamestowne.

June 2 at 7: Lecture: Joseph Miller, University of Virginia professor and African Studies Association president, presents "Journeys Through Time: African and African American Lives in Virginia." Jamestown Settlement.

More Selected Events

Official 2007 Schedule

© 2006 The Washington Post Company