Maryland public schools are in a bit of debate about how to teach Thanksgiving tomorrow. Personally I think that the more important issue is how they reorganized property (moving away from a communal to a private property organization) that saved the colony and of course this is never mentioned, but this other debate is still worth notice:
Young students across the state read stories about the Pilgrims (search) and Native Americans, simulate Mayflower (search) voyages, hold mock feasts and learn about the famous meal that temporarily allied two very different groups. But what teachers don't mention when they describe the feast is that the Pilgrims not only thanked the Native Americans for their peaceful three-day indulgence, but repeatedly thanked God. "We teach about Thanksgiving from a purely historical perspective, not from a religious perspective," said Charles Ridgell, St. Mary's County Public Schools curriculum and instruction director. School administrators statewide agree, saying religion never coincides with how they teach Thanksgiving to students. . . . . Teaching about a secular Thanksgiving counters the holiday's original premise as stated by George Washington in his Thanksgiving Day proclamation: "It is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor." Such omissions also deny the Pilgrims' religious fervor in the celebration of Thanksgiving, as related by Harry Hornblower, an archaeologist who spent years researching the history of the holiday. According to the Web site Plimoth.org, dedicated to Hornblower's research, the Pilgrims "fell upon their knees and blessed the God of heaven who had brought them over the vast and furious ocean." Thanksgiving, the site said, derived from their belief that "a series of misfortunes meant that God was displeased, and the people should both search for the cause and humble themselves before him. Good fortune, on the other hand, was a sign of God's mercy and compassion, and therefore he should be thanked and praised."