The Americas

Scholars team up to dispel 400-year-old 'fake news' about US

FILE - This June 27, 2006, file photo, shows a 17th century costumed role player, who called himself Samuel Fuller, in a 1627 Pilgrim Village at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass. Leading scholars from around the globe are teaming up to shed more light on how America got its start. Prominent museums and historical societies from the U.S. and Europe that specialize in the 17th century have formed New England Beginnings. The group said it’s also trying to dispel myths about how the settlers interacted with Native Americans. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, File)

FILE - This June 27, 2006, file photo, shows a 17th century costumed role player, who called himself Samuel Fuller, in a 1627 Pilgrim Village at Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, Mass. Leading scholars from around the globe are teaming up to shed more light on how America got its start. Prominent museums and historical societies from the U.S. and Europe that specialize in the 17th century have formed New England Beginnings. The group said it’s also trying to dispel myths about how the settlers interacted with Native Americans. (AP Photo/Chitose Suzuki, File)  (AP2006)

Leading scholars from around the globe are teaming up to shed more light on how America got its start.

Nineteen prominent museums and historical societies from the U.S. and Europe that specialize in the 17th century have formed New England Beginnings .

The group is using mobile phone apps, searchable online archives and conventional lectures to showcase the crucial role the 1600s played in shaping what would become the United States.

Its members hope to capitalize on resurgent interest in the period as the country gears up to mark the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims' arrival in 2020.

Coordinator Francis Bremer says New England Beginnings is also trying to dispel myths and challenge long-held assumptions about how the settlers interacted with Native Americans.