Happy Thanksgiving

In honor of Thanksgiving, here are a few items from Pilgrim Pageant in 1921, celebrating the 300 anniversary. The pageant was performed over several weekends in July and August  It was written by Professor George P. Baker of Harvard. With a cast of over 1300 people, citizens from Plymouth and the surrounding towns, including Marshfield, Duxbury, and Kingston, worked together to produce the pageant.

Program from “Pilgrim Pageant,” 1921

Unlike other pageants commemorating the 300th anniversary, The Pilgrim Pageant does not focus solely on the Pilgrims and their landing in the New World. Instead, Baker began the story with Norsemen who explored the area in 1000 AD, and continued highlighting the multiple explorers who travelled to the area. Baker then shifts attention to those who would become known as “Pilgrims” their decision to leave Europe, and their first few years in Plymouth. Because the pageant covers such a vast expanse of time, involves hundreds of actors, and large performance area, various scenes were done in pantomime with a movie score.

Signing of Mayflower Compact

In attendance at one of the performances was President Harding. After the performance, Harding said “what impresses me most of all about the pageant apart from the sheer beauty of the spectacle and artistry with which it was presented, was the fine manner in which the spiritual significance of this tercentenary celebration was brought out.” The finale had patriotic overtones to it, perhaps more than the rest of the pageant, as each state is represented as well as the voices of Washington and Lincoln.

Walking to Burial Hill, Plymouth

I hope you all have a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday!

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