2021 marks the 400th anniversary of the first full year of European settlement at Plymouth. On the first Saturday of the month the Pilgrim Society and the Plymouth Antiquarian Society will present a series of free, virtual programs exploring “firsts” in local history, some well-known and others less familiar.
Recordings will be uploaded here following the livestreamed programs.
First Gravestones: Locating the Oldest Memorials in Plymouth’s Cemeteries
Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, highlights the oldest surviving gravestones in cemeteries located throughout Plymouth. Presented February 6, 2021.
Plymouth’s First Women Voters
Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, explores the history of the women’s suffrage movement in Plymouth by sharing the stories of some of the first women voters at their gravesites in Oak Grove and Vine Hills Cemeteries. Presented March 6, 2021.
Visit the cemeteries on your own! Click here to download a map (JPG) to help you find the gravesites when you visit the cemeteries to honor and remember these women.
Peregrine White: First Englishman Born in New England
Stephen C. O’Neill, Executive Director of the Hanover Historical Society, explores the life of Peregrine White, the first Englishman born in New England. Presented on April 3, 2021.
Remembering the First Peoples of Plymouth
Melissa Ferretti, Chairwoman of the Herring Pond Wampanoag Tribe, leads a virtual tour of historic and sacred places in Plymouth and Bourne, including the Pondville Meetinghouse and the Dina Path burial ground. Premiered on May 1, 2021.
Plymouth’s First African Americans
Plymouth history has traditionally focused on “first comers” and founders, the Pilgrim story. Yet people of color have been part of Plymouth history since the early 17th century. Who were the first African residents of Plymouth Colony and what is known about their arrival on these shores? Dr. Donna Curtin looks at what’s known and unknown about Plymouth’s first African and early African-American residents in a virtual tour of history that needs telling. Presented on June 5, 2021.
James Thacher & the First Plymouth Patriots
In this livestream from Burial Hill in downtown Plymouth, Dr. Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, discusses prominent early Plymouth resident James Thacher and other Plymouth Patriots, and their role in the founding of our country. Presented July 3, 2021.
The First Immigrant Neighborhoods in Plymouth
Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, explores the growth of Plymouth in the 19th century, focusing on the settlement patterns of Irish and German immigrants. Presented on August 7, 2021.
From Coal Grates to Tomatoes: First Appearances in Plymouth
What trends and innovations were noteworthy to past generations in Plymouth? Dr. Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, taps the memoirs of local historian William T. Davis to explore what was fresh and new in olden times. Presented on September 4, 2021.
Uncovering the First Pilgrim Houses in Plymouth
Dr. David Landon, Associate Director of the Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research at UMass Boston, shares the latest discoveries from the ongoing dig on Burial Hill. Presented on October 2, 2021.
The First Thanksgiving
Recording available on Facebook here.
Thanksgiving is one of the few truly American holidays, and one associated with many enduring myths that hold both straightforward and complex meanings. Dr. Donna Curtin, Executive Director of Pilgrim Hall Museum, explores the historical roots of this national observance. Presented on November 6, 2021.
First Visitors to Plymouth & the Creation of a Tourist Town
Dr. Anne Mason, Executive Director of the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, discusses first impressions of Plymouth, from 17th-century visitors to 19th-century tourists. Presented on December, 4, 2021.