The Voyage that Made a Nation
The Pilgrims arrived on these shores in 1620 in hopes of making a better life for themselves and their children while being able to worship freely and in peace. Undoubtedly the most famous colonists in world history, their faith and fortitude are legendary. Their perseverance laid the cornerstone of a new Nation. The Pilgrims' courage, gratitude to God, and love for one another still inspire people today. The story of Mayflower and her tumultuous trans-Atlantic crossing, Plymouth Colony- with its tragic first winter, treaty with the Wampanoag People and celebrated First Thanksgiving echoes down the ages and around the world. Regardless of anything that came before or after, Plymouth is the 'once upon a time' to the story of the United States -- the symbolic, if not literal, birthplace of our Nation.
In the autumn of 1620, while anchored in Cape Cod Bay, the Pilgrims' small ship became the birthplace of our Nation's constitutional tradition. Historian Henry Culver called Mayflower "the wave-rocked cradle of our liberties." The Plymouth colonists, Native peoples of the region, mariners and traders who met along New England's shores of change created a new society- sometimes in conflict, sometimes in collaboration. They crafted a region rich in intellect, spirituality, self-government and commerce; a place of creative splendors whose influence on American culture and the world is inestimable.
In 2020, Plymouth, Massachusetts will be celebrating the 400th anniversary of the arrival of Mayflower in Plymouth Harbor. This anniversary is not only a commemoration of the inspirational, determined spirit of our ancestors, but also marks a significant milestone of America's founding story. Plimoth Plantation is proud to be a driving force in the first of many 400th anniversary commemorations across New England and our Nation. As this national anniversary approaches, our Museum is committed to bringing the important lessons of the 17th century to life. By exploring new avenues of research, hosting meaningful events, installing dynamic new exhibits and creating exciting, immersive experiences, we will continue to further our mission -- providing powerful, personal encounters with history for all people -- in America and around the world.