Friday, May 25, 2007

1627: first snowman in North America

Plymouth Colony was an English colonial venture in the southeastern portion of the modern state of Massachusetts from 1620 until 1691.

Founded by separatists who came to be known as the Pilgrims, Plymouth Colony was one of the earliest colonies to be founded by the English in North America and the first sizable permanent English settlement in New England.

The colonists are known for their landing at Plymouth Rock, a treaty with Native Americans, and the first celebration of Thanksgiving. Recent research at Harvard University revealed that the colony was the site of the first snowman made in North America by European settlers.

Henrik Bjorn Oldenburg had built snowmen as a child in Norway before his family moved to England in 1615. He joined the crew of the Mayflower for the 1620 voyage to Plymouth, and built a snowman in front of a cabin used as a school house in Plymouth on February 4, 1627 for the amusement of the children. His great great great great great great great great great great grandson Peter Oldenburg built a snowman in front of the Harvard Library in 2007, to mark the 380th anniversary of the first snowman.

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