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144 Days, 144 People, 144 x 2.77 years ago
Poor King James, he sends over these people to the Newe Worlde in 1607 to send back lumber and sassafras (the 17th century's cure for syphilis) and they almost completely die out before the end of the summer. Good thing he had a surplus of people to resupply the colony with, else the little commercial endeavor that bears his name never would've gotten off the ground.
What is now commonly referred to as the Commonwealth of Virginia is sponsoring the 400th anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, although I think they focus a little more on the bravery and independent spirit of the folks who set out from There to settle Here (a place they  knew nothing about but read all the pamphlets on).

A replica of one of the three ships that brought  the first, uh, gang over is sittin' right there in Boston Harbor at Fan Pier, and there is a lollapalooza of a party happening this weekend because of it.

The Godspeed, which at 85 feet was the middle of the three vessels, has almost completed its 80-day, six-city tour of the Eastern Seaboard and is docked in front of the Moakley Federal Court House (across the street from the Barking Crab) from now until Tuesday.

You can clamber over the boat that brought 39 of the first settlers to Jamestown; the crew is very knowledgeable about that time, even some of their shoes are like the ones the crew actually wore.

There is a whole "Anniversary Village" set up with tents describing life back then and how the replica was built (in Maine!).

"They" are "making" a flag, which you are invited to contribute to by creating a section  (if you go, you'll get  it immediately). "They" are putting on concerts, and offering glimpses into the current state of things down there (I think they call it tourism). Hey, they've come up here, it's only polite that we go down there, you know?

Best of all, all of this is free. Without charge. What a cool way to introduce the kids (and possibly yourself) to some of the earliest European history of this country.

(Just in case you were out with the sniffles that day in sixth grade when they went over this: it took 144 days for the 144 people to sail from London to Jamestown. And the three boats were called the Susan Constant, the Godspeed, and the Discovery; anything else you want to know you have to go to Fan Pier.)




America's 400 Anniversay


By Carolyn Donovan

If you have the time, a fabulous thing to do this weekend is to check out America's 400th Anniversary event at Boston's Fan Pier.  The event starts today (7/14) and will be there until Wednesday (7/19) and is TOTALLY FREE!!!.

We had a sail on the Godspeed this morning out in the harbor.  As explained during the sail, Godspeed was "one of the three original ships that in 1607 brought America's first permanent English colonists to Jamestown, our nation's birthplace." 

Visitors will have a chance to get up close and tour the Godspeed.  There will be tons of stuff for the kids to do at the various event tents. 

It will be really hot this weekend, so head to the Fan Pier, cool off near the water, and help make the largest hand-made flag ever!


Photography by Wan Chi Lau
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