November 9 -1620: Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower first sight Cape Cod

1960: JFK's first press conference as president-elect. 1872: Great Boston Fire destroys 1,000 buildings.
The Mayflower II, a replica of the original Mayflower that transported the Pilgrims to Provincetown, then onto Plymouth, is docked in Plymouth Harbor in season. Photo by Jane Booth.

1620: Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower sight land at Cape Cod, Massachusetts

They were headed for what is Virginia today, but on this day in 1620, the Pilgrims first spotted land from the Mayflower, and finally came ashore in Provincetown Harbor two days later.

The passengers who had endured miserable conditions for sixty-five days were led by William Brewster in Psalm 100 as a prayer of thanksgiving. It was confirmed that the area was Cape Cod, within the New England territory recommended by Thomas Weston who had told the Leiden group that parties in England had obtained a land grant north of the existing Virginia territory, to be called New England..

An attempt was made to sail the ship around the cape towards the Hudson River, also within the New England grant area, but they encountered shoals and difficult currents around Cape Malabar (the old French name for present-day Monomoy). It was decided to turn around, and by November 11 the ship was anchored in what is today known as Provincetown Harbor.

1960: Jack Kennedy holds first press conference as President-elect in Hyannis

On this day in 1960, newly-elected President John F. Kennedy held his first of many press conferences from the armory on South Street in Hyannis.

In this, his first address as President-elect, he told us about his exchange of telegrams with Vice President Richard M. Nixon whom he had just defeated.

Those remarks, reprinted in the New York Times, began:

Ladies and gentlemen, I've received the following wire from Vice President Nixon...


Here's "Everything Else Which Happened Today" including the Great Boston Fire of 1872. Close to 1,000 buildings destroyed.It ranks among the most destructive fires in American history.

The fire originated about 7:00 pm in a six-story building on the corner of Kingston and Summer streets in Boston’s business district. By the time the first alarm was sounded, the fire had already engulfed the building. As the fire spread from one rooftop to another, fire chief John Damrell called for reinforcements from the surrounding areas. The situation was exacerbated by several factors: the downtown consisted largely of tall wooden buildings that were full of flammable materials, the fire department was short staffed, the water supply was insufficient, and the city’s horses were just beginning to recover from an influenza epidemic, forcing firefighters to pull the steam-powered fire engines themselves. Woodcut courtesy of Wiki Commons. welcomes thoughtful comments and the varied opinions of our readers. We are in no way obligated to post or allow comments that our moderators deem inappropriate. We reserve the right to delete comments we perceive as profane, vulgar, threatening, offensive, racially-biased, homophobic, slanderous, hateful or just plain rude. Commenters may not attack or insult other commenters, readers or writers. Commenters who persist in posting inappropriate comments will be banned from commenting on