“Following the light of the sun, we left the Old World.” — Christopher Columbus, Italian Explorer and Navigator
On this day in 1620, the Mayflower set sail from Plymouth England, heading west toward North America with about 130 passengers on board ready to explore the New World. During their voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, these colonists — later known to history as the Pilgrims — intended to land at Virginia, but weather conditions steered them off course toward the shores of Cape Cod, Massachusetts after 66 days traveling at sea. The Pilgrims secured peace treaties with neighboring Native American tribes and began establishing the Plymouth Colony, the first permanent settlement of Europeans in New England and perhaps the unofficial beginning of the United States of America. Happy Mayflower Day from PASH — almost 400 years later, we should never forget the tremendous sacrifices that so many endured to bring us our cherished freedoms.