Blog Archives

The First World War: “Most Peculiar Christmas I’ve Ever Spent”

by Sir Martin Gilbert Christmas Day, 1914. German and British troops have been fighting tirelessly for 5 months in one of the bloodiest wars in human history. Suddenly, an unfamiliar sound breaks the tension. A German song, followed by another.

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Posted in Military History

Christmas in 1920s America

by Maia Chance In 1921, Frances Lester Warner described a Christmas Eve scene in Boston with “red and white crystal” in shop windows, “lights gleaming on the slippery cross-streets, throngs of last-minute shoppers” and “bright posters still cheerfully advising us

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Posted in Early Modern History, Modern History

5 Vintage Christmas Cards from the NYPL Archive

by New York Public Library Every year as the days grow shorter, amidst the holly, cookies, and carols there is another timeless holiday tradition—sending and receiving Christmas cards to and from those you love. 100 Christmas Wishes is a collection of vintage

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Posted in Early Modern History, Modern History

The 18th-Century Politics of Santa Claus in America

by Judith Flanders Instead of deriving from folklore, or quaint colonial customs, or religion, the American emergence of Santa Claus was rooted in late-eighteenth-century politics, in the formation of clubs and societies based around ethnic or cultural groups, which came

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Posted in Modern History

A History of American Holiday Stamps

by Chris West We’re all so used to holiday stamps that many people don’t realize they are a reasonably modern introduction. The first one dated from 1962—when people talked of Christmas, not ‘Holiday Season’.

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Posted in Contemporary History

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