Friday, December 24, 2010

Yuletide Roundup

"Queen's Speech: history of the royal Christmas broadcast," Telegraph, December 24, 2010

The Queen's grandfather King George V delivered the first royal Christmas broadcast live on the radio from Sandringham more than 75 years ago.

He had reigned since 1910, but it was not until 1932 that he gave his first festive speech.

He was unsure about using the relatively untried medium of the wireless, but eventually agreed and read a message composed by author Rudyard Kipling.>>>

Adam Goodheart, "Ghosts of a Christmas Past," New York Times, December 23, 2010

The Yuletide season was an unquiet time throughout the nation on the brink of the Civil War – and not just among black Americans. Judging from period newspapers, Christmas 150 years ago was just as politicized as it is now, if not more so. With the nation splitting in half (South Carolina had seceded on Dec. 20), each side of the Mason-Dixon Line tried to claim the holiday as its own.>>>

"A look back at big Christmas snows in D.C.," Washington Post, December 24, 2010

The largest storm on Dec. 24 or 25 was one which ended, and dropped most of its snow on, Christmas Eve in 1966. This storm was among a select group in a case study done by Paul Kocin and Louis Uccellini for their book Northeast Snowstorms. The storm center tracked from central Texas and across the Southern United States along the southern edge of an Artic high pressure dipping into the northern tier.>>>

Suzy Khimm, "Deck the Halls With Partisan Warfare," Mother Jones, December 24, 2010

Though revived by the rise of Christian fundamentalists, the purported "war on Christmas" goes way back in American history. Industrialist Henry Ford, a notorious anti-Semite, blamed Jews for stifling Christmas carolers and school-based religious demonstrations, notes Time magazine. "The whole record of the Jewish opposition to Christmas...shows the venom and directness of [their] attack," Ford writes in 1921.>>>

"Durham University the history of Christmas carols," BBC, 23 December, 2010

Did you know that Christmas carols were not sung in churches until the 19th Century?

That is one of the many interesting facts about Christmas carols shared by expert Professor Jeremy Dibble from Durham University.

He recently appeared as an expert on the Songs of Praise 'Edwardian Christmas' programme on BBC One in December.

Jeremy believes that the carol-singing tradition is getting stronger.>>>

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