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.
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
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
(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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