Pop Culture

Auld Lang Syne

History of Auld Lang Syne: What Does It Mean?

By billpetro / December 30, 2021 /

HISTORY OF AULD LANG SYNE: WHAT DOES IT MEAN Why is it that each New Year’s Eve, we sing “Auld Lang Syne,” but do we know what it means? The song contains words from a language that few are familiar with, in a syntax that is confusing to most, and is from a poem about…

Read More
Christmas Truce

History of the Christmas Truce of 1914: Peace in the WWI Trenches

By billpetro / December 25, 2021 /

History of the Christmas Truce of 1914: The Surprising Peace in the WWI Trenches

Read More
Santa_tracker

History of the Santa Tracker: How a Typo began Christmas tracking at NORAD

By billpetro / December 22, 2021 /

History of the NORAD Santa Tracker: How a typo began Christmas tracking at NORAD

Read More
A Christmas Carol

History of A Christmas Carol: A Ghost Story of Christmas

By billpetro / December 19, 2021 /

History of A Christmas Carol and the impact of Charles Dickens’ classic

Read More
TheNutcracker

History of The Nutcracker: the Ballet That’s a Christmas Tradition

By billpetro / December 18, 2021 /

HISTORY OF THE NUTCRACKER: THE BALLET THAT’S A CHRISTMAS TRADITION On December 18, 1892, The Nutcracker premiered at the Imperial Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg, Russia, a week before Christmas.   Nutcracker Popularity The Nutcracker has had such an enduring influence on the celebration of Christmas for more than a century that no one even…

Read More
5 Christmas Myths

5 Christmas Myths, Not Found in the Nativity Story

By billpetro / December 17, 2021 /

5 CHRISTMAS MYTHS: NOT FOUND IN THE NATIVITY STORY I’m often asked to explain the history behind a holiday: is it based on history, tradition, or legend? The best historical sources we have on the birth of Jesus are found in two of the Gospel accounts in the New Testament: St. Matthew and St. Luke.…

Read More
die hard

Is Die Hard Really A Christmas Movie?

By billpetro / December 11, 2021 /

IS DIE HARD REALLY A CHRISTMAS MOVIE? Scholars and historians have debated for centuries the question “Is Die Hard a Christmas Movie?” Or at least during the last three decades since the movie was released. This is why readers have turned to me, your friendly neighborhood historian, to wrestle with this age-old question and help…

Read More

History of A Charlie Brown Christmas

By billpetro / December 9, 2021 /

HISTORY OF A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS On December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas premiered on CBS TV as a 30-minute animated Christmas special written by Charles M. Schulz, creator of the “Peanuts” comic strip. The comic was hugely popular at the time when the TV special debuted. Though this was not Schulz’s first TV…

Read More
Covent Garden Theatre inside

History of A Sacred Oratorio: How was popular Christmas music considered scandalous and profane?

By billpetro / December 2, 2021 /

HISTORY OF A SACRED ORATORIO The genteel reception accorded the original debut performance stood in marked contrast to the savage hostility which greeted the work less than a year later in the Royal Opera House at Covent Garden, London. The English aristocracy and churchmen began an unrelenting campaign against the work and its creator. They labeled…

Read More
Black Friday

History of Black Friday: One Day Only?

By billpetro / November 26, 2021 /

What is the origin of Black Friday, and the modern practice around it.

Read More
JFK

History of John F Kennedy

By billpetro / November 22, 2021 /

HISTORY OF JOHN F KENNEDY For one brief shining moment… On November 22, 1963, a shot rang out in Dallas, Texas, and ended the life of John F. Kennedy, the most popular post-WWII President. He was the youngest American President voted to the office, having succeeded Dwight D Eisenhower, the oldest President at the time.…

Read More

History of Guy Fawkes Night: How Gunpowder mixed with Parliament

By billpetro / November 5, 2021 /

HISTORY OF GUY FAWKES NIGHT For our friends across the Pond November 5th is known as “Bonfire Night” or “Guy Fawkes Night,” and all over Britain people fire off fireworks, light bonfires, and burn effigies of Guy Fawkes. Guido Fawkes was an Englishman who, in popular legend, tried to blow up the Houses of Parliament…

Read More