Santa Claus at War

Santa Claus at War

Christmas is a traditional season of peace but even Santa straps on the uniform of a soldier when called to duty. Over time Santa has been “enlisted” in the cause of one side or another in periods of war. Not surprisingly, most of the images of Santa associated with war are American and date from the 19th century forward. The earliest known connection between Santa and war has to be through the artwork of 19th century illustrator Thomas Nast. Born in Germany in 1840, Nast had been brought to New York by his mother at the age of 6. HeRead more

The Christmas Candy Bomber

The Christmas Candy Bomber

The epilogue to World War II was the massive effort made to recover war-torn Europe. For months and even years following the war times were lean as millions scrambled to recover lives. U.S. President Harry Truman led a massive effort – dubbed The Marshall Plan – to bring relief to the starving, homeless and unemployed in Europe. Part of that effort was the Berlin Airlift of 1948, a round-the-clock operation of landing planes with relief supplies in Berlin. This is where the story of the Christmas Candy Bomber begins. Colonel Gail S. Halvorsen, of Provo, Utah, piloted a C-54 aircraft,Read more

Christmas 1944

Christmas 1944

The story of Christmas 1944 was started on D-Day — June 6th, 1944. With the invasion at Normandy everyone then knew for sure that Christmas of that year would certainly be different. That same argument could somewhat be made for Christmas 1943 or Christmas 1942. Those war years of Christmas were full of uncertainty and separation as well. But the invasion made everything that Christmas of 1944 quite different. It was dangerous. Loved ones were not only away from home they were in harm’s way. Months at a time would go by without a letter. Exact locations were unknown. NoRead more

The Year Santa was Nearly Banned

The Year Santa was Nearly Banned

It is interesting to note in this day and age when Christmas shopping can be done on a device you hold in your hand and whatever it is you buy can be shipped to your home without you ever getting dressed what it was like 97 years ago as the U.S. government grappled with the idea of another Christmas at war. The year was 1918 and war was raging in Europe. As wars went, it was a ugly as could be. It had been four years since the Christmas truce of 1914 but Christmas for 1918 was looking anything butRead more

Military Voices Carol of Christmas

Military Voices Carol of Christmas

Being the 100 year anniversary of The Christmas Truce we’ve heard and seen a lot in emotional ways of that great Christmas event. The video for the song was filmed at the Grave of the Unknown Warrior at Westminster Abbey and contains original footage from WW1. In addition to the soloists and choir, the video features the Royal Marines Corps of Drums and representatives from the Sea Cadets, the Army Cadet Force and the Air Training Corps. It is a beautiful and moving tribute: The song, simply titled ‘1914 – The Carol of Christmas’ celebrates the power of Christmas toRead more

The Christmas Legend of Abraham Lincoln

The Christmas Legend of Abraham Lincoln

By B. Francis Morlan Abraham Lincoln is consistently ranked as the greatest American president. But at the same time his place in history is frequently debated for a variety of contrasting reasons: Constitutional scholars claim that Lincoln’s actions during the Civil War were so drastic that he consolidated authority in the executive branch of government illegally, upsetting the balance of powers. Religionists say that Lincoln was no Christian because he joined no church. And Christmas historians frequently dismiss Abraham Lincoln as one of the least inclined of American presidents to celebrate Christmas. After all, Lincoln did not have a ChristmasRead more

Christmas During the Civil War

Christmas During the Civil War

By Mary Hansel Christmas is a joyous time. People spend the occasion with family and friends and their celebrations are full of rejoicing, love and jollity. It is hard for us to imagine what it would be like to have Christmas during war time, especially a war where countrymen fight each other. During the years of 1861-65, America was fighting just such a war, the Civil War. The country was torn apart by conflict and the lives of the participants and those on the home front were forever changed. One person whose life was forever changed was Henry Wadsworth Longfellow,Read more

Washington’s Christmas at War

Washington’s Christmas at War

By Jeff Westover It would be a Christmas to remember. And it would be a Christmas that made history and inspired a budding nation. The story of Washington crossing the Delaware in the middle of the night is so well known that many forget it happened at Christmastime – and that Christmas in and of itself figured prominently in the military decision to engage in what was later known as the Battle of Trenton. Washington’s Continental Army was on the ropes. In fact, as Christmas approached in 1776 morale was so low it was feared that the revolution was lostRead more

Somewhere in France

Somewhere in France

By Jeff Westover He was a man — that’s all. A man like any other man. His story is one shared by many of the millions who fought in World War II. Fate intervened not once — but twice — to remove him from a train just before it left the station. In both cases the sudden change would affect not only him, but also his descendents for generations to come. The first time it happened he was bound for Toronto where he would work as a reporter for the Associated Press. But just before the final whistle blew, hisRead more

Christmas During the American Revolutionary War

Christmas During the American Revolutionary War

By Hollee Chadwick The American Revolutionary War, also known as the American War of Independence was fought between Great Britain and the thirteen British colonies between the years 1775 and 1783. The mutinous colonists declared themselves no longer allied with the crown and kicked off an eight year struggle against the political and economic policies of the British Empire.The Declaration of Independence was signed during the revolution in 1776 and declared the thirteen colonies, now to be separately chartered and governed, the United States of America. It is accepted among some historians that Hessian soldiers who fought alongside the BritishRead more