On this day in 1776 the Battle of Harlem Heights occurs during the American Revolution. The day before the British army captured most of Manhattan island without a fight, but the General George Washington rallied his troops on the highest point of the island. He needed a victory in the worst way. His troops stood fast and repulsed charge after charge from the British. At the same time Washington sent a small force around to the enemy's flank and forced the British to retreat from the battlefield.
On this day in 1620 the Mayflower departs Plymouth, England for Virginia. Seeking religious freedom and opportunity, a group of 102 passengers left their homeland for a fresh start. They would be blown hundreds of miles off course and land in Massachusetts.
On this day in 1893 the Oklahoma land rush occurred when over 100,000 settlers arrived to claim free land on the Cherokee strip. Once thought to be worthless, the land was found to be extremely fertile with new farming techniques and President Benjamin Harrison opened it up to settlers, moving the Native Americans to more worthless lands.