Father Christmas was banned by the Puritans under Cromwell in the mid-17th century. He went ‘underground’ along with Minced Pies, Christmas games and the like. Occasionally secret publishers would print Broadsheets (a sort of newspaper) with a verse about ‘Old Christmas’. He became the personification of everything the British people held dear about Christmas.
Adoration of the magi
Ravenna, 526 AD
photo by Nina Aldin Thune
This Russian soldier froze to death minutes after being shot by a Finnish sniper. It’s hard to tell whether being shot or being in the freezing temps did him in. Possibly it was some combination of both. | 1940
Paul Newman on the set of “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” in 1958.
On this day in 1783, George Washington resigned his command of the Continental Army, an act essential in America’s democratic development.
John Trumbull’s painting commemorating the event is currently on view at the Yale University Art Gallery.
Vladimir Putin (far left) when he was a KGB agent posing as a family member out for a stroll in Red Square when Reagan was visiting the USSR, 1988
我爱汉语 I love Chinese language
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December 21, 1620: Pilgrims Come Ashore in Plymouth, MA
On this day in 1620, the Mayflower Pilgrims’ first landing party came ashore in the unforgiving edge of southeastern Massachusetts in the present-day town of Plymouth.
Over the winter of 1620, half the colony died from cold, disease and starvation. Of 18 married women, only three survived. The local Wampanoag tribe showed the Pilgrims how to plant corn, beans and squash.
The fall of 1621 produced a bountiful harvest. The Pilgrims’ governor, William Bradford announced three days of feasting and games to offer thanks. This celebration became known as Thanksgiving, an iconic fest that entered American mythology as a symbol and celebration of divine blessing.
Read more on the Pilgrims at Plymouth Rock.
Image: The landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth, Mass. Dec. 22nd 1620, print c. 1876 (Library of Congress).