In honor of Thanksgiving, perhaps the best of all American holidays, here is look at where it took place (not to forget the founding of Jamestown Virginia in 1607): Plymouth Mass, in 1627 and today. It is interesting to see the contrasts. The first photo is from the Plimoth Plantation museum, a recreation of the original colony not far from the actual site. The view is of what is now called Leyden St., looking uphill to what was then the meeting house/church/fort.
The second photo is of Leyden St today, the oldest continuous street in British North America. This was the original street that the Pilgrims laid out and built their first homes, burial ground, and Church. It is amazing to think that it has been in continuous use since 1620, when the Pilgrims first arrived at Plymouth in December of that year. The Church at the top of the street is roughly in the same place as the original meeting house/church/fort.
It is also important to remember that half the members of the Mayflower perished during that first winter in Plymouth. They had little food, virtually no shelter, and all this in the brutal New England winter. In all our modern comforts and conveniences it is easy to forget just how difficult a journey it was back then to sail on a ship from England to America, especially in the middle of the winter, to a place which was basically unknown and uninhabited except for the local Native Americans. It was truly a perilous journey. Those who survived were the foundations for much of the future American spirit of fortitude and perseverance.
We should at least keep some of this mind as we safely enjoy our abundance of food with our friends and families on this wonderfully unique American holiday.