December 21 - 1620 - The Mayflower Passengers Settle the Plymouth Colony
The Plymouth Colony began in the middle of winter in New England, after a poorly prepared trip and with limited supplies that was supposed to land much further south of where it actually did. The Mayflower had been wandering around the Cape Cod area for over a month before its passengers settled on Plymouth. Plymouth had a few advantages, as it was easily defended and on already cleared land because it was the site of a recently abandoned village. The people who settled Plymouth Colony were ardent separatists, English Christians who sought a separation from the Church of England. After they could not find refuge in Holland, they decided to go to America. This plan was almost disastrous, as over half the settlers died within six months. They managed to persevere, though, largely because Native Americans decided to help out.