Friday, July 22, 2005

This Day in Pilgrim History: July 22, 1620

On this date, 385 years ago, the Pilgrims—also known as Separatists, Saints, and Marauders of the Native Wilderness—departed Holland aboard the Speedwell, a vessel renowned for its unseaworthiness.

The Pilgrims had intended to sail to America aboard two ships, but decided that their 17th-century devotion to inconvenience and squalor demanded they all travel together.

But which ship to choose? Bradford and Brewster scratched their hat-buckles and awaited revelation, until young Mary Chilton reminded her elders of the riddle, "If April showers bring mayflowers, what do mayflowers bring?" Whereupon they knew the answer, and the Speedwell was promptly scuttled.

In related news, on this date in 1927, Speedwell Movers was founded in Indianapolis, Indiana. After several of their trucks broke down and failed to reach their destinations, the company renamed itself Mayflower Transit, and went on to great success.

For more accurate details, see

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