Every schoolchild has a working knowledge of at least two key dates in early American history: 1492, when Columbus sailed the ocean blue, and 1620, when the Pilgrims found a land of plenty. And, OK, if you were really paying attention in high school, you might remember that John Smith & Co. landed at Jamestown in 1607. Even so, that’s 115 years of history more or less glossed over in the popular imagination, and Tony Horwitz—author of Civil War-reenactor immersion tome Confederates in the Attic—sets out to recapture those years in his new A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World. Horwitz, through research and his own travels, retraces the routes plied by B- and C-list explorers such as Hernando De Soto, Jean Ribault, and Pedro Menéndez de Avilés. Horwitz’s journeys might not add any new rhymes to the elementary-school historical lexicon, but they do a nice job filling out the 16th century for the armchair American historian. Horwitz discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. Free. (202) 364-1919.