Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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December 21st
The Fortitude of Our Forefathers
On December 21, 1620, the first landing party of Pilgrims came ashore in Massachusetts at the place they named Plymouth. There they founded the second successful English settlement in America. (The first was Jamestown, Virginia.) Tradition says that as they came ashore, the Pilgrims set foot on a granite boulder called Plymouth Rock, now a famous symbol of resolution and faith.

Nearly a century and a half later, in his Dissertation on the Canon and Feudal Law, John Adams of Massachusetts urged his countrymen not to forget the trials the early American colonists
faced and the reasons they came to America:

Let us read and recollect and impress upon our souls the views and ends of our . . . forefathers, in exchanging their native country for a dreary, inhospitable wilderness. . . . Recollect their amazing fortitude, their bitter sufferings – the hunger, the nakedness, the cold, which they patiently endured – the severe labors of clearing their grounds, building their houses, raising their provisions, amidst dangers from wild beasts and savage men, before they had time or money or materials for commerce. Recollect the civil and religious principles and hopes and expectations which constantly supported and carried them through all hardships with patience and resignation. Let us recollect it was liberty, the hope of liberty, for themselves and us and ours, which conquered all discouragements, dangers, and trials.
American History Parade
1620
The Pilgrims begin coming ashore at Plymouth, Massachusetts.

1861
Congress establishes the Medal of Honor, the highest U.S. military decoration.

1937
Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, one of the first feature-length animated movies, premieres in Los Angeles.

1968
Apollo 8, the first manned mission to orbit the moon, is launched.

1988
Libyan terrorists explode a bomb aboard Pan Am Flight 103, en route to New York City, when it is over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 270 people.
This content is courtesy of The American Patriot's Almanac
© 2008, 2010 by William J. Bennett and John T.E. Cribb
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