Plymouth Rock receives upward of a million visitors a year. It is made of Dedham granite 600 million years old which was deposited by glacial activity on the beach about 20,000 years ago.
Contrary to popular belief, the Pilgrims first set foot at the tip of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, in November of 1620 before setting sail to Plymouth a month later. It wasn’t until 121 years later that researchers identified a 10-ton boulder as the “precise spot” Pilgrims set foot, despite Mayflower passengers making no written reference of stepping on such a boulder upon disembarking their vessel. Whether this is accurate or not, Plymouth Rock’s infamy skyrocketed into American History and is now known as a national icon and monument.
The Pilgrim’s first couple years were disastrous, with the winter of 1620-1621 being particularly brutal. Over half of the Mayflowers Pilgrims died from famine end disease. Luckily, from the generous help of the local tribes nearby (the Wampanoag and Pokanoket people), the Pilgrims were taught how to hunt, fish, scavenge and grow corn. Thus in the fall of 1621, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated between the Native Americans and Pilgrims in a 3-day event.
The first Thanksgiving meal contained almost none of the traditional favorites we enjoy today. Instead, they feasted on what was available such as wildfowl, beans, corn, fish, lobster, eels, and mussels, followed by berries and nuts for dessert.
More than 35 million people are direct descendants of the Mayflower travelers, including politicians and celebrities like John Adams, Franklin Roosevelt, Marilyn Monroe, and Clint Eastwood.