Posts filed under “History”
ON THIS DAY in 1971, the United States indicted the Harrisburg Seven for conspiracy to kidnap Henry Kissinger. The defendants were not convicted, however, after a defense that consisted entirely of attorney Ramsey Clark reading O. Henry’s “Ransom of the Red Chief” to the jury.
Annual Christmas Number.
Christmas crackers.—In the early 1600s, Puritan terrorists blew up houses with gunpowder if they displayed holly wreaths for Christmas. The Christmas cracker of today is a memory of that colorful tradition.
Christmas stockings.—In olden days, Christmas was a time when feudal nobles traditionally gathered in raiding parties to attack their neighbors and bring back their stockings to nail up as trophies above the fireplace of the great hall.
“Jingle Bells.”—The song “Jingle Bells” was originally meant to be sung as a round by horses. The coming of the internal combustion engine has made that tradition all but extinct.
Nativity.—Most Nativity scenes displayed at Christmas are risibly inaccurate, because they leave out the obstetrician.
Wise Men.—There were four wise men who came from the East, but the fourth’s gift of a wall-mounted singing bass has for some reason not been remembered in tradition.