Today in 1620 the Pilgrims landed in America. Earlier the group had left a harsh political atmosphere in England and moved to the relative calm of the Netherlands in order to preserve their religion. Seeking to maintain their identity, they secured funds from investors and sailed for America on the Mayflower. Initially they sought to sail the Hudson River to find a place to settle but winter was upon them so they settled on Cape Cod instead.
Plymouth Colony was the second successful settlement in the new world the first being Jamestown.
Also today in 1865 the Thirteenth amendment to the Constitution was ratified ensuring that "neither slavery nor involuntary servitude... shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction."