A port in a storm . . .
The Mayflower Pilgrims were supposed to be going to Virginia in 1620, but they stumbled on a rock, Plymouth Rock that is. Relentless storms at sea and a ship full of sickly passengers forced them to take refuge in Plymouth Harbor. Although not their planned destination they remained at Plymouth and established the first European settlement in New England. Sadly, three passengers died just before reaching land: Governor William Bradford's wife who fell overboard while he was ashore; a servant who fell sick; and a disagreeable sailor who had been threatening to throw overboard any sick passengers, but got sick himself and died before he could carry out his threat.
Name Origin: Indian. ("Large Hill Place")
Area: 8,284 square miles
Statehood: February 6, 1788 (6th state)
Nickname: The Bay State
Motto: "By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty"
Famous For: Pilgrims, Thanksgiving, Salem Witch Trials, Boston Tea Party, Birth of the American Revolution, Minutemen, Freedom Trail, Swan Boats, Cape Cod, Education, Arts, Technology, and Medicine.