September 18, 2007

Thanksgiving as immigration aid

A comment on a previous Thanksgiving posting:In the late 1800s, early 1900s, after the Natives had been "subdued", there is another massive wave of immigrants arriving from Europe. They need to be taught English, American history and American customs. In an effort to connect all these diverse elements, teachers in immigrant schools began combining several holidays with history. They reach back to the 1841 history, and connect the landing of the Pilgrims with the national day of Thanksgiving. Not only did it make Thanksgiving easy to understand, it also gives these new immigrants the impression that early "Americans" were friendly and welcoming, just like the US was attempting to paint itself at the time (despite raging protests that these turn-of-the-century immigrants were robbing jobs from "real Americans"-- but thats another story all together...)

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