Daily readings about people, places, and events in American history.
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September 16th
“So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed”
On September 16, 1620 (September 6, by the Old Style calendar), the Pilgrims boarded the Mayflower and set sail from Plymouth, England, for the New World. One hundred and two passengers plus crew crowded onto the tiny ship, which probably measured about 100 feet long and 25 feet wide. William Bradford, longtime governor of the Plymouth Colony, left us a flavor of the perilous two-month voyage across the Atlantic in his book Of Plymouth Plantation.

After they had enjoyed fair winds and weather for a season, they were encountered many times with cross winds and met with many fierce storms with which the ship was shroudly [wickedly] shaken, and her upper works made very leaky; and one of the main beams in the midships was bowed and cracked, which put them in some fear that the ship could not be able to perform the voyage. . . . But in examining of all opinions, the master and others affirmed they knew the ship to be strong and firm under water; and for the buckling of the main beam, there was a great iron screw the passengers brought out of Holland, which would raise the beam into his place; the which being done, the carpenter and master affirmed that with a post put under it, set firm in the lower deck and otherwise bound, he would make it sufficient. And as for the decks and upper works, they would caulk them as well as they could, and though with the working of the ship they would not long keep staunch, yet there would otherwise be no great danger, if they did not over-press her with sails. So they committed themselves to the will of God and resolved to proceed.
American History Parade
1620
The Mayflower departs Plymouth, England, for the New World.

1893
In one of the wildest land runs in history, about 100,000 settlers pour into a section of Oklahoma called the Cherokee Strip, to claim homesteads.

1908
William Crapo “Billy” Durant founds General Motors in Flint, Michigan.

1919
Congress grants a national charter to the American Legion.

1940
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signs the Selective Training and Service Act, the first peacetime military draft in the United States.
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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