SEPTEMBER 16, 1620, according to the Gregorian Calendar, 102 passengers set sail on the Pilgrims’ ship, Mayflower. Their 66-day journey of 2,750 miles encountered storms so rough the beam supporting the main mast cracked and was propped back in place with “a great iron screw.” One youth, John Howland, was swept overboard by a freezing wave and rescued. His descendants include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Humphrey Bogart, Franklin D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush. During the Pilgrims’ voyage, a man died and a mother gave birth.
Intending to land in Virginia, they were blown off-course.
Of their landing, Governor William Bradford wrote:
Being thus arrived in a good harbor, and brought safe to land, they fell upon their knees and blessed the God of Heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean, and delivered them from all the perils and miseries thereof, again to set their feet on the firm and stable earth, their proper element.
Though half died that first bitter winter, Governor William Bradford wrote:
Last and not least, they cherished a great hope and inward zeal of laying good foundations…for the propagation and advance of the gospel of the kingdom of Christ in the remote parts of the world.
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.