This is the story of the Christmases of World War I.
Germans and British troops, singing carols together. French and German troops, kicking, playing sports and exchanging treats. It may not last, but for a brief moment–for Christmas of 1914–these opposing armies refuse the orders of their superiors as they temporarily “beat their swords into plowshares and spears into pruninghooks.”
In the years ahead, the United States’ forces have their own Christmas celebrations “over there.” In 1917, New York’s Harlem Rattlers, or Hellfighters, sing and celebrate as they travel to France. In 1918, all ranks of the AEF–be they doughboys or Hello Girls–celebrate a post-armistice Christmas. We’ll catch a speech by the president and a Christmas Bash at Black Jack Pershing’s headquarters where George Patton eats way too much plum pudding. And then, we’ll say goodbye to Black Jack. With a loving Christmas connection years down the road, it’s time to lay him to rest with his beloved doughboys in Arlington.
3 Ways to dive deeper into History That Doesn’t Suck
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