The School Newspaper of Hays High School

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History of Thanksgiving needs to be discussed in schools

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Throughout elementary and middle school, we celebrated holidays not every student understood. We sang songs about Christopher Columbus and read stories about how nice the pilgrims were towards the Native Americans, but we were never told the full context.

Until recently, I hadn’t known the whole history of Thanksgiving and I didn’t learn it in a classroom. The first Thanksgiving happened in 1637 and was proclaimed by Massachusetts Gov. John Winthrop after a massacre of over 700 Indians. The remaining colonists and their Indian allies celebrated by going village to village, sending the inhabitants into a wave of terror.

The modern idea of Thanksgiving didn’t come up until after World War I with the mass production of textbooks. The celebration became romanticized and the history was soon forgotten.

Thanksgiving is a time of looking at our lives and realizing how lucky we are, but the true history behind it should be discussed. There are things I didn’t know about my own country’s history until this year, that I should’ve been taught at a younger age.

While Thanksgiving is meant to be a time for thanks, it has also become commercialized and seen as a stamp on American traditions. With this huge commercialized American ideal, it can be hard for citizens to look past it and accept the fact that it was first celebrated in the wake of the deaths of 700 hundred men, women and children.

With an internalized hatred of Native Americans that began at the birth of our nation, Americans write off the history that puts Native Americans in a sympathetic light. While it’s understandable why a bunch of little kids don’t learn about a huge massacre right before they eat their turkey, it should be talked about as students.

We often learn and discuss about the injustices done to the American people, but it’s time to bring up the injustices those American people did to others. We love to talk about America’s victories and highlights of patriotism, but it’s time to talk about America’s losses and highlights of unknowing racism.

18agonzalez@usd489.com

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The School Newspaper of Hays High School
History of Thanksgiving needs to be discussed in schools