The Mayflower represents a lot to many different people. On this day, December 18, 1620, it docked for the first time at Plymouth harbor. The group on the ship was for the most part reform-minded puritans that had tried their own church in Nottinghamshire, England, but were forced out to Netherlands, where after struggling for a few years they finally got the financial backing they needed to travel to America.
In September 1620, 102 passengers started out for Plymouth. A brutal winter hit the new colonists that year, and 50 of the original 102 Mayflower passengers died within months. The Mayflower and its crew left the new colony to return to England on April 5th, 1621 after a very harsh winter that took the life of half the colonist.