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400th anniversary of the Mayflower Compact signing is today

Guests on Wednesday flocked to the Plimoth Patuxet museum on the 400th anniversary of the signing of the Mayflower Compact.

It was on board the Mayflower that the Pilgrims, during their five-and-a-half week stay in Provincetown, signed the Mayflower Compact on November 11, 1620. Religious leaders William Brewster and William Bradford, among others, wrote the compact, meant as a guide to living in the new colony, which ultimately took shape in Plymouth.

Also Wednesday, the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum plans to hold its annual lighting ceremony to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival on the Outer Cape.


“This year, we are lighting the Pilgrim Monument on Wednesday, November 11,” said museum executive director K. David Weidner in a recent posting on his group’s website. “Unfortunately, we will not be able to have our usual festivities and fireworks in 2020 due to the pandemic. But why, November 11, you may ask? Because that is the date the Pilgrims marked in their diaries as having made landfall in our harbor.”

And at the Plimoth Patuxet museum, where the Globe on Wednesday snapped photos of guests taking in the offerings, entry was free for veterans in observance of Veterans Day, the group said on its website. Face coverings are required for adults and children over age 5.

Among the attractions at the museum is the Mayflower II, a reimagining of the ship that carried the Pilgrims to Plymouth.

Back in July, the Mayflower II reemerged after more than three years of painstaking restoration, a bill of $11.2 million, and the uncharted obstacles of a global pandemic.

Thousands of cheering spectators that July day lined the docks, seawalls, streets, and bridges on the river between the Mystic Seaport Museum — where the Mayflower II had been restored — and the edge of Long Island Sound, where the ship turned toward New London for two weeks of sea trials.


“This ship is absolutely magnificent,” said Whit Perry, the Mayflower II captain, said at the time. “This is the culmination of my career.”

Material from prior Globe stories was used in this report.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com.