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    Plymouth RockPlymouth Rock Plymouth, Massachusetts
    Plymouth Rock, brings up thoughts of the first landing that brought disenfranchised pilgrims to a new land, to a land that they hoped would give them the freedoms that they lacked in the Old World of Europe, and this famous rock, just an ordinary rock, that happened to be the landing place or the place where William Bradford and the entire complement of Mayflower pilgrims would disembark from that equally famous ship, the Mayflower. The year was 1620, and this group would found the Plymouth Colony, with this simple rock, like a million others spread up and down the eastern seaboard like so many pebbles of the giants that lived thousands of years ago. It is really strange that there is no mention of this iconic rock in any of the references or books about the landing, not in Edward Winslow's Mourt's Relation from 1620 or 1621, or even Bradford's own journal, Of Plymouth Plantation from 1620 to 1647. The first written reference to the rock was written 121 years later, with the rock being memorialized on the shore of the Plymouth harbor in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The rock's location, at the bottom of Cole's Hill, would supposedly be passed from generation to generation for the first century, but, plans were being made to construct a wharf at the pilgrim's landing site in 1741, and one of the elders of the church, named Thomas Faunce, who was 94, and the town record keeper for the majority of his life, was the one that identified the exact rock that his father had said was the first solid land that the pilgrims put foot on when they first landed. It should be noted that according to history, or historical evidence, that the pilgrims first landed near the site of present Provincetown, which is the last settlement on Cape Cod, in November of 1620 and moved on to Plymouth. The rock was some 650 feet from where it has been accepted that the first settlement would be constructed. In 1774, Colonel Theophilus Cotton and the townspeople decided that they were going to move the rock, so it was split in two, with the bottom part left behind the wharf and the top piece relocated to the town meeting hall. In 1834, it would be moved to Pilgrim Hall, but in 1859, the society would start building a Victorian canopy located right above the bottom half of the rock, and it would be moved in 1880, with the original date of 1620 carved into it.

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    Mayflower IIMayflower II Plymouth, Massachusetts
    this replica of the original vessel that brought the Pilgrims to the new world in 1620, is an exact copy of the 17th century ship Mayflower, that was constructed in Devon, England, during 1955 to 1956 in a collaborated effort between Englishman Warwick Charlton and the American museum, Plimoth Plantation, and combined the American museum's ship blueprints with the constructing methods of English shipbuilders using the old traditional methods. In 1957, the Mayflower II would sail across the Atlantic Ocean, commanded by Alan Villiers, who would get a ticker tape parade in New York City. The vessel was constructed at the Upham Shipyard in Brixham and was financed by private donations in England and the American museum, so that this ship would become a symbol of the friendship between these two great nations for collaboration in WWII. There are some added details, like the electric lighting and a ladder replaced with a lower-deck staircase, the ship is believed to be a "faithful replica", with solid oak timbers, hand colored maps and tarred hemp rigging. It is 106 feet long by 25 feet wide and has 236 tons of displacement, four masts and six sails. In 1970, on Thanksgiving, and the 350th anniversary of the landing, Native American activists, with Russell Means, seized the Mayflower II in protest. In 2002, it would sail to Providence, Rhode Island and is usually open for tours by Plymouth Rock, Plymouth, Massachusetts.

April 21, 2011