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  In The Year...1957

Mayflower II

On June 12, 1957, a replica of the ship that brought the Pilgrims to America in 1620 landed at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

The Mayflower II was the result of a proposal put forward by a group of British journalists soon after World War II. The British people donated money to design and build the ship, which was to be sailed to the United States and given to its people as a gift from Britain. Construction was done by British craftsmen using 17th-century materials and tools. The ship was launched in September 1956, and final fitting was completed in early 1957. Except for a radio required by maritime law, the 92-foot, 190-ton Mayflower II was a duplicate of the original Mayflower.

Mayflower IIOn April 20, 1957, Mayflower II sailed from England with a crew of 32 under the command of Commander Alan Villiers. The ship carried provisions for eight weeks. Many of those provisions mimicked what the original Mayflower would have carried, including salted beef, salt pork, pea soup, potatoes, and flour. Rather than attempt to follow the course of the original Mayflower, Mayflower II traveled a course which permitted the best use of prevailing winds and ocean currents.

After landing at Provincetown, Massachusetts, on June 12, the ship sailed to Plymouth, Massachusetts, on June 13. Following a pageant at Plymouth, it was towed to New Yrok City, New York, for display during the summer. From there it was moved to Plymouth Plantation, a replica of the first Pilgrim village on Plymouth Bay, where it was to be placed in permanent anchorage as a symbol of Anglo-American friendship.

(Left) A U.S. Navy blimp escorts the Mayflower II as it nears the American coast for its first stop, at Provincetown, Massachusetts.

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This page was last updated on April 21, 2016.

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