The Pilgrims came to America in 1620 to be free. At that time in England, they couldn't practice religion the way they wanted to. They asked the King of England if they could set up their own church, and he said no.
The Pilgrims moved to Holland, but things did not work out well there. They returned to England and found 2 ships to rent. They set sail for the New World on the Speedwell and the Mayflower. After a very short time the Speedwell started to leak, so they went back to England and set out again in the Mayflower.
It was very crowded on the ship and the weather was bad. After more than two long and difficult months, the Mayflower reached America in the fall of 1620.
The Pilgrims searched along the coast of New England for a good place to settle. They decided on Plymouth where the waters were calm and the land was flat.
Plymouth Rock, where they landed, has become a Massachusetts historical site. Over the years, people have chipped off so many little pieces of the rock, that it is now about 1/3 the size that it was in 1620.
The first winter in America was very hard for the Pilgrims. More than half of them died.
In the early spring of 1621, the Pilgrims got much needed help. The Native Americans who lived near Plymouth were the Wampanoag. They set up a peace treaty with the Pilgrims and helped them work the land. One Wampanoag named Squanto showed them how to fish for seafood and grow corn.
That fall, in 1621, the Pilgrims held a feast after their first harvest. They invited some of the Wampanoag people to join them. This feast is sometimes called the First Thanksgiving.
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