NORMAL school was suspended for a week at Fenstanton and Hilton Primary School so that pupils could become historians. The history week focused on John Howland, a Fenstanton man who travelled on the Mayflower to America and helped found the Plymouth Colony. At 21 - in 1620 - Howland was employed by John Carver, a Puritan minister who helped organise the migration to America. Howland joined the Mayflower as a servant to the Carver family. However, he was determined to make his mark in the new world "as neither a stranger nor a saint" as the Pilgrims told themselves. During the voyage, Howland was thrown overboard in turbulent seas but managed to grab a sail that was trailing in the water and was hauled back aboard. The Carvers, John and his wife Kathrine, died within the first two years of landing. He seems to have had a stroke, passed into a coma and "never spake more" and she died soon after. Howland had better luck than the Carvers. He married Carver's foster daughter, Elizabeth, then aged 17, and they had 10 children. He became assistant governor of the colony. He died on February 23, 1673, aged 74 and was buried with honours. The Fenstanton and Hilton pupils marked Thanksgiving on Friday with a celebration, involving dance, art and drama with the whole school dressing as either settlers or Native Americans.