Celebrations Today – December 24
Holidays and observances
- Christian feast day:
- Christmas Eve (Christianity) and its related observances:
- Aðfangadagskvöld, the day when the 13th and the last Yule Lad arrives to towns. (Iceland)
- Feast of the Seven Fishes (Italy)
- Juleaften (Denmark)/Julaften (Norway)/Julafton (Sweden)
- Nittel Nacht (certain Orthodox Jewish denominations)
- Nochebuena (Spain and Spanish-speaking countries)
- The Declaration of Christmas Peace (Old Great Square of Turku, Finland’s official Christmas City)
- Independence Day (Libya)
- Mōdraniht (Anglo-Saxon paganism)
- Day of Military Honour – Siege of Ismail (Russia)
Celebrations Today – USA: December 24
National Eggnog Day
National Last-Minute Shopper’s Day
National Egg Nog Day
Today in US History: December 24
Time for a Visit from St. Nicholas
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there….Clement C. Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
Christmas Trees and Decorations. Santa Claus,
Theodor Horydczak, photographer,
Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theodor Horydczak, 1923-1959
‘Tis December 24, the day before Christmas, and all through the land, families send excited children to bed with a reading of Clement Moore’s classic poem, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”.
Moore is thought to have composed the tale, now popularly known as “The Night Before Christmas,” on December 24, 1822, while traveling home from Greenwich Village, where he had bought a turkey to fill the last of several baskets that his family was accustomed to donating to the poor during the holiday season.
Perhaps inspired by the plump, bearded Dutchman who took him by sleigh on his errand through the snow-covered streets of New York City, Moore penned A Visit from St. Nicholas for the amusement of his six children, with whom he shared the poem that evening. His vision of St. Nicholas draws upon Dutch-American and Norwegian traditions of a magical, gift-giving figure who appears at Christmas time, and was likely influenced by descriptions of St. Nicholas appearing in several publications from recent years, including Washington Irving’s A History of New York (1809).
New York City Views: Christmas Tree at Night,
Gottscho-Schleisner, Inc., photographer,
Architecture and Interior Design for 20th Century America: Photographs by Samuel Gottscho and William Schleisner, 1935-1955
Clement Moore was born in 1779 into a prominent New York family. His father, Benjamin Moore, president of Columbia University, in his role as Episcopal bishop of New York participated in the inauguration of George Washington as the nation’s first president. The elder Moore also administered last rites to Alexander Hamilton after he was mortally wounded in a tragic duel with Aaron Burr.
A graduate of Columbia, Clement Moore was a scholar of Hebrew and a professor of Oriental and Greek literature at the General Theological Seminary in Manhattan. He is said to have been embarrassed by the light-hearted verse, which was made public without his knowledge in December 1823. Moore did not publish it under his name until 1844.
Get into the Christmas spirit with American Memory:
- Although the real Santa does not like to be seen, much less photographed, he has been sighted in the American Memory collections. To find more pictures of the jolly old elf, search the photographic collections on Santa Claus.
- To hear Christmas music sung in a variety of languages, search on Christmas in California Gold: Northern California Folk Music from the Thirties Collected by Sidney Robertson Cowell.
- Listen to “Santa Claus Hides in Your Phonograph” performed by Harry E. Humphrey for a story of Santa.
- Search on the terms Christmas, holly, or Santa Claus in the following American sheet music collections to find songs appropriate to the season, such as “Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake” by C. Frank Horn (1883) and “It Was My Father’s Custom: A Merry Christmas Song” (undated song sheet):
- Search the American Life Histories: Manuscripts from the Federal Writers’ Project, 1936-1940 collection on Christmas Eve or Santa Claus to locate recollections of holidays past. After retrieving a list of hits, go to any item and use the BEST MATCH link in the page header to jump to the relevant segment of the piece.
- Visit the collection The American Variety Stage: Vaudeville and Popular Entertainment, 1870-1920 to view a 1935 Christmas card from Mrs. Harry Houdini.
- View Maryland quiltmaker Julia Weber’s “Christmas Quilt,” Maryland State Winner of 1992, in the collection Quilts and Quiltmaking in America, 1978-1996.
…But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a goodnight.”Clement C. Moore, “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
Today in History – December 24-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia