The Pilgrims are among the early heroes of American history, celebrated every Thanksgiving for their perseverance in the New World against great odds.

To Christian conservatives, they are role models for another reason as well: They were deeply committed to their Christian faith and not afraid to say so.

In the Mayflower Compact, the governing document signed shortly before the Pilgrims disembarked in Massachusetts' Provincetown Harbor, Pilgrim leaders said they undertook their voyage across the Atlantic "for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith."

Washington and Lafayette at Mount Vernon, 1784, by Thomas Prichard Rossiter and Louis Rémy Mignot.
Public Domain

In 1777 Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier de Lafayette was a French aristocrat looking for military glory. Since the French weren’t at war, the 19-year-old crossed the Atlantic to join George Washington and other American revolutionaries in their fight with the British.

That’s where Sarah Vowell comes in.

A photographer from Wenatchee, Washington, has made a revealing discovery at the scene of a remote and long-abandoned fire lookout: a pile of very old firewood.

A portrait of composer Claude Debussy painted by Marcel  Baschet, 1884.
Public Domain

Pop music has always  borrowed liberally from classical themes: think Al Jolson’s 1920 hit “Avalon” lifting Puccini’s opera “Tosca,” 1970s disco sensation "A Fifth of Beethoven” or Vitamin C’s more modern sampling of Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major.”

But it's a two-way street! In fact, the first borrowing might have taken place on the classical side.  

A fragment of the collapsed bridge, in the Washington State History Museum, Tacoma, Washington.
Wikipedia Photo/Joe Mabel (CC BY SA)/http://bit.ly/1NUPhz7

David Hyde speaks with journalist and local historian Feliks Banel  about the Tacoma Narrows bridge collapse on Nov. 7, 1940.  

Seattle Public Library central branch, 1914 (not the first iteration - that was in 1898 on the fifth floor of the Occidental Building in Pioneer Square).
Flickr Photo/Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1WDlL39

David Hyde travels back in time through the magic of radio with writer Knute Berger to the site of Seattle's first library.  

Cape Flattery on Washington's coast.
Flickr Photo/ravas51 (CC BY SA 2.0)/http://bit.ly/1k8ROw2

Kim Malcolm talks to Dr. Kirk Johnson, sant director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History, about the geological wonders of the West Coast and his new NOVA special "Making North America." 

Graphic courtesy UW Special Collections

Before Move Seattle and Bridging the Gap, there was Forward Thrust. Fifty years ago this week civic leader Jim Ellis introduced Forward Thrust at a rotary luncheon at the Olympic Hotel. Forward Thrust was the name for a huge package of infrastructure improvements and for a countywide political campaign Ellis envisioned to get them paid for.

Geochemist Frannie Smith would like to see more girls get into science like she did. Women make up only about 25 percent of geoscientists in the U.S. and only a quarter of all the scientists or engineers at the Pacific Northwest National Lab in Washington state are female.

Coby Burren was reading his textbook, sitting in geography class at Pearland High School near Houston, when he noticed a troubling caption. The 15-year-old quickly took a picture with his phone and sent it to his mother.

Ross Reynolds interviews former King County prosecutor Christopher Bayley about his new book, “Seattle Justice: The Rise and Fall of the Police Payoff System in Seattle." 

On November 10, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Department of the Interior will enter into an agreement establishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

David von Blohn/AP

The lake is the Nezahualcoyotl reservoir, created when the local Grijalva River was dammed back in 1966. The church ended up submerged under water.

But now it's visible again, as the reservoir's waters have receded. The reservoir's level has dropped by more than 80 feet because of a long drought.

A hidden chemistry lab was unearthed by a worker doing renovations to the iconic Rotunda at the University of Virginia, and school officials say the room is directly linked to the third U.S. president, Thomas Jefferson, who helped design the building.

The "chemical hearth," which dates back to the 1820s, is thought to be one of the few remaining in the world. It featured two sources of heat for conducting experiments and a system for pulling out fumes.

In 1933, Washington state had an income tax. So what happened?
Illustration by Drew Christie

What is the history of Washington state's political allergy to an income tax? Steven Thomson of Olympia posed this question to KUOW's Local Wonder.

We had an income tax once in Washington state.

It was during the Great Depression, and a lot of people were down and out.

People were so excited about the income tax that they voted twice. First, they changed the state constitution to allow the tax. Then voters approved the tax – 70 percent in favor.