On this date in 1620 102 "pilgrims" on the ship Mayflower landed at what is now modern day Plymouth, Mass.
If you have never been to the recreated Plimouth Plantation I recommend it highly. It is one of the premiere living history sites in the U.S. They use the "first person" method of interpretation and when you speak to anyone in the recreated village you will be talking to someone from the 1620s.
I was up there on opening day a few years back. In was in March and the weather was damp, overcast and windy. I remember stopping at the entrance to the settlement and looking at the the gray sky and gray ocean with the wind cutting through me like a knife, and thought "Man it would have been tough living here" I could put myself in the place of one of those settlers and imagine what they thought about being so far away from their former comfortable lives and homes. With no guarantees of being able return to England or even survive if things went south. To risk everything, to leave everything they knew, just to make a new home in the wilderness. If it had been me, I KNOW I would have thought,"Damn, I screwed up coming here"
I suspect that the STRONG religious beliefs that the Pilgrims had, was a major part of what kept the colony alive and growing. While I am not a particularly religious person, I have to admire a person who has that kind of faith. It is said that faith can move mountains. In this case, I think faith helped to build a settlement that helped to build a nation.