102 men, women and children sailed from England to America. Some of the emigrants were Puritans (Protestants with very strong religious beliefs) and they were leaving to escape religious persecution. They left the port of Plymouth in England on a ship called the Mayflower. The ship was old and the voyage was stormy. Two months later, the Mayflower landed at Cape Cod, Massachussetts. The travellers found a site nearby and settled there. They called it Plymouth Colony. At first, life was very hard. lt was winter and the ground was frozen. They had very little farming equipment and not enough food. Half the colonists died. But the others survived, thanks to help from local native Americans. The native Americans showed the colonists how and where to plant corn (maize), pumpkins and beans. They showed them how to catch fish and hunt deer and turkeys. The next year, after their first harvest, the colonists invited their native American friends to a great feast to thank God for their survival.
This was the first Thanksgiving. Today, Thanksgiving is still a national holiday in the United States . The colonists became known as the Pilgrims.