About Plymouth 400
In the year 2020, America will commemorate the 400th anniversary of its hometown of Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The Plymouth 400 Commemoration will highlight America’s story of challenge, perseverance, and thanksgiving that began with the 1620 landing of the Pilgrims and their relationship with the Wampanoag people.
Plymouth 400, Inc. is a not-for-profit organization formed to lead the planning and execution of this anniversary. As an organization, Plymouth 400, Inc. is committed to creating a commemoration that is historically accurate and culturally inclusive.
Information provided by local historian, Jim Baker
Almost four hundred years ago, the Mayflower reached the tip of Cape Cod, and a new chapter opened in the history of the Atlantic world. Today, the Pilgrims are recognized worldwide as the symbolic founders of our nation. It is often asked today why this should be so. The Pilgrims weren’t the first – indigenous peoples have lived here for thousands of years. They weren’t even the first Europeans to successfully settle within the boundaries of the future republic – the Spanish in Florida and the English at Jamestown did so earlier.
The answer is twofold. The Pilgrims benefitted from being the progenitors of New England, which dominated the historical profession in the new nation. They were also arguably the best candidates for the role of America’s honorary ancestors. Their story, quietly heroic, lacked the embarrassing missteps that beset other colonial ventures. They came neither as conquerors nor as fortune hunters, but as families seeking freedom and prosperity in a new world, just like the multitudes that followed them. The Pilgrims were poor in worldly wealth, but rich in faith and sober, hard-working and honest in their dealings. As the first exemplars of the American Dream, they represent the humble virtues and strengths that make America great.
The time has now come to commemorate the Pilgrims’ heritage and example once again on the quadricentennial anniversary of their momentous adventure. The 400th Commemoration is but the latest in a long series of events honoring both these worthy people and the Native Peoples who facilitated the successful planting, in Plymouth, of the seed that grew into the United States of America.
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A Look Into the Past
Town Square. A photo of the now lost original 1828 image by Benjamin Bartlett, as reproduced by A. S. Burbank.
The Rock & the Billings canopy about 1900, with the steamship "Plymouth" from Boston in the background. W.T. Davis says the this steamship ran from about 1897 to 1903.