Own Your Own Piece of History

In just two short years, we will be commemorating one of the most notable events in American history – the landing of the Pilgrims in Plymouth, 400 years ago, in 1620. To mark the occasion, Plymouth 400, Inc. is currently organizing a number of events and special programs that will pay tribute not only the original Pilgrims and the birth of our nation as we know it, but to honor the indigenous people of the Wampanoag tribes of Aquinnah and Mashpee who helped the Pilgrims survive that first brutal winter.

Plymouth 400, Inc. has launched a distinctive auction of rare, low-number and special-number commemorative license plates to help support the 400th anniversary of the arrival of the Mayflower. This small lot of only 23 historically significant plates is currently being auctioned off online through March 31 at myplymouthplate.org.

These specialty plates feature the Plymouth 400 logo, which is a blue image of the Mayflower with a Native American’s silhouette in front of it. All commemorative plates begin with the letters “PL,” which stands for “Plymouth” or “Pilgrim Landing.” It was designed by Shields Design Studio, in Plymouth.

“The live auction is being run by J. James Auctioneers & Appraisers, in Plymouth,” said Brian Logan, Communications Manager for Plymouth 400. “Once you purchase one of the rare, historic plates, you will own it in perpetuity. It can be passed down through generations as a piece of American history.”

The 2020 commemorative license plates made their debut on Massachusetts-registered vehicles in November 2015, after a two-year campaign to secure the initial 1,500 plates required by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles, in order to have the plates manufactured and distributed. The plates have since been very popular, particularly on the South Shore and on Cape Cod, and in communities within those boundaries of the original Plymouth Colony.

If you’d prefer not to bid in the auction, commemorative license plates (non-low number or rare) are also available for general purchase at any time by visiting any Massachusetts RMV or you can purchase online through myplymouthplate.org. A portion of the purchase fee will go directly to Plymouth 400. Each time the registration is renewed on one of these plates, the entire fee will go to Plymouth 400.

The 400th anniversary will highlight the Native cultural contributions and American traditions that began with the meeting of the English and Wampanoag peoples. It will include educational exhibits, a festival, an official “Embarkation Ceremony” at the State House in Boston, and much more.

Additionally, as this historic event is not only a national one, but an international one as well, Plymouth 400 has initiated a partnership with Mayflower 400 in the UK, Leiden 2020 in the Netherlands, and with the sovereign nations of the Aquinnah and Mashpee Wampanoag to enhance the education and understanding of the people, places and circumstances that culminated in America’s earliest story.

“People want to hear more about the Native Americans’ side of it,” Logan said. “England is, of course, familiar with the plight of the Pilgrims and their history, but its people have not really learned about what these events meant to those who were already here, and how it impacted their lives and their futures. We want to tell them the Wampanoag narrative, as well.”

The funds raised through Plymouth 400 events will have an enormous impact on the 2020 festivities. The 400th anniversary is expected to include over 3 million participants in live events, 6 million added visitors to the Commonwealth that year, and an estimated $2.2 billion in visitor spending in Plymouth County. Additionally, the area expects opportunities for economic development through new tourism and business growth.

Logan said they are also working on a commemorative stamp to mark the 400th anniversary, and there is a bill waiting in Congress to create a commemorative coin for the occasion.

Don’t miss out on owning your special piece of Americana. Make a bid today on one of the rare, specialty Plymouth 400 license plates at myplymouthplate.org, and become a part of the 400th anniversary of the landing of the Pilgrims, their relationship with the Wampanoag people, and how the seeds of American history were originally sown.

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About Ann Luongo

Ann Luongo is the Marketing Writer and Lifestyle Reporter for CapeCod.com, and has been writing for Cape Cod and South Shore publications for over 15 years.

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