In the middle of the Atlantic in the year 1620, a little ship called the Mayflower was being tossed about in a fierce storm.
The people who were on board were called Pilgrims. They had wandered so long looking for a place where they could worship as they pleased.
The Pilgrims had left England because the king wouldn't let them practice their religion. They had lived in Holland and were finally on their way to America, a new country.
The Mayflower continued to be tossed around by the rough ocean. Finally the Pilgrims reached the rocky shore of what they call today, Massachusetts.
The Pilgrims spent a terrible first winter there. There were 99 men, women and children. They immediately set out to build themselves a shelter. The first place was a log cabin large enough to hold them all called a Meeting Place. Later they built a house for each family.
The weather was bitter and cold. Sometimes they didn't have enough to eat. By the spring nearly half of the Pilgrims had become sick and died.
The only people the Pilgrims had met in this new land were Indians. At first they were afraid of the Indians. But since the Indians were so helpful and friendly the two groups got along well. In fact they signed a friendship treaty that lasted for fifty years.
In the spring of 1621 the Mayflower sailed back to England. This was the Pilgrims new home where they could be free.