A History Lesson Feed

Putin ALA Hitler in Bunker

Professor MARK GALEOTTI examines the madness and paranoia inside Vladimir Putin's isolated

Professor Mark Galeotti lived on Kutuzovsky Prospekt, one of the wide, radial roads that leads into central Moscow — and the favoured route of President Vladimir Putin’s (middle) motorcade to the Kremlin. The Russian leader has always been security conscious, but today, on the losing side of his 'special military operation' in Ukraine (left) he is more paranoid than ever. Galeotti tells Daily Mail it is impossible not to be reminded of Adolf Hitler’s (bottom right) last days, when a war he started was also going against him. The Russian president's enemies are not at the gates of Moscow as Hitler’s were in Berlin, but there are parallels in both leaders’ refusal to listen to counsel, and their insistence on micro-managing military manoeuvres despite not having the experience to do so. Putin’s defence minister Sergei Shoigu, 66, (top right) who is widely regarded as the great political survivor of Russian politics since the fall of the Soviet Union, is being seen less rarely with the president, leading to speculation that he is lined up to be the fall guy for military failures.


Hitler spent time at a gay hostel in Vienna and was both ‘homosexual and heterosexual’

YES Like the Liberals Today- HITLER WAS A NUTJOB!

Adolf Hitler had a 'homosexual streak' and spent several years living in a gay hostel in Austria, according to a CIA profile on the Nazi leader written during World War II.

The 1943 intelligence report was compiled for then-president Franklin D. Roosevelt, and states that Hitler was 'both homosexual and heterosexual'.

The 70-page report also claims Adolf Hitler was 'sexually attracted' to his deputy Fuhrer, Rudolf Hess, who - it says - was a known transvestite.

Claims: A 1943 report compiled by U.S. intelligence claims Nazi leader Adolf Hitler was 'both homosexual and heterosexual'

It's Mother's Day

1

Mother’s Day is a holiday honoring motherhood that is observed in different forms throughout the world. In the United States, Mother’s Day 2019 occurs on Sunday, May 12. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 and became an official U.S. holiday in 1914. Jarvis would later denounce the holiday’s commercialization and spent the latter part of her life trying to remove it from the calendar. While dates and celebrations vary, Mother’s Day traditionally involves presenting moms with flowers, cards and other gifts.

 


Who Was Elijah McCoy? Was the Original "The Real McCoy"

Elijah McCoy

Elijah McCoy was born in Canada, to parents who had fled slavery. McCoy trained as an engineer in Scotland as a teenager. Unable to find an engineering position in the United States, he took a job working for a railroad and subsequently invented a lubrication device to make railroad operations more efficient.

Early Life

McCoy was born on May 2, 1844, in Colchester, Ontario, Canada, to George and Mildred Goins McCoy. The McCoys were fugitive slaves who had escaped from Kentucky to Canada via the Underground Railroad. In 1847, the large family returned to the United States, settling in Ypsilanti, Michigan.

Engineer and Inventor

Beginning at a young age, McCoy showed a strong interest in mechanics. His parents arranged for him to travel to Scotland at the age of 15 for an apprenticeship in mechanical engineering. He returned home to Michigan after becoming certified as a mechanical engineer.

Despite his qualifications, McCoy was unable to find work as an engineer in the United States due to racial barriers; skilled professional positions were not available for African Americans at the time, regardless of their training or background. McCoy accepted a position as a fireman and oiler for the Michigan Central Railroad. It was in this line of work that he developed his first major inventions. After studying the inefficiencies inherent in the existing system of oiling axles, McCoy invented a lubricating cup that distributed oil evenly over the engine's moving parts. He obtained a patent for this invention, which allowed trains to run continuously for long periods of time without pausing for maintenance.

https://www.biography.com/inventor/elijah-mccoy


Was Marilyn Monroe Murdered because of the Kennedy's?

image from i.dailymail.co.uk
Marilyn Monroe is as much defined by her talent and legacy as a global sex symbol as she is by the mysterious circumstances surrounding her untimely death from a 'probable overdose' at the age of 36.

For decades, rumors swirled that she was killed over her romantic relationships with President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert Kennedy. Did her surreptitious affairs with two of America's most powerful men get her killed? 60 years later, conspiracy theories and questions remain unanswered.

But now one man is attempting to finally uncover the truth behind the mystery of Monroe's death, a mission that is documented in new Netflix documentary, 'The Mystery of Marilyn Monroe: The Unheard Tapes'. 

Investigative journalist, Anthony Summers spent three years investigating Monroe's 1962 death in the early 80s, after the Los Angeles district attorney opened an inquest into the Hollywood icon's alleged suicide.

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Churchill's darkest hour

The Greatest Britain (and 1/2 American) in there last 150 years!

Churchill's darkest hour

Churchill faced two motions of no confidence in 1942. His most difficult time came in 1942, when Britain came far closer to losing the war than most realize to this day. The catastrophe of the Channel Dash in February was an inauspicious start. Two German battleships and a heavy cruiser, Prinz Eugen, were in dock for repairs at Brest on the French Atlantic coast when Hitler decided to recall them to home waters via a surprise break through the Channel..Pictured (L-R) : Churchill, Singapore falls to the Japanese and the bombed Canterbury Cathedral


Vintage America: Postcards from the 'good ole' days

Fascinating book of vintage photo postcards reveals life in the U.S during the early 20th

Fascinating new book Real Photo Postcards: Pictures of a Changing Nation is out in May and published by the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. It's revealed that 'real photo postcards' became 'omnipresent' in small towns and large cities across the United States around the turn of the 20th century thanks to leaps in photography technology by the Eastman Kodak Company, which introduced a portable camera that produced a postcard-sized negative that could print directly onto a blank card lined with photo-sensitive paper. The book explains: 'Postcard photographers documented scenes worthy of Walt Whitman and seldom, if ever, recorded in other photographic formats. Photo postcards reach across time and history to convey powerful stories about real people, the conditions of their lives, their talents and vocations, their dignity, their cultural identities, and the hopes and aspirations they may have held.'


Stopping Inflation is easy - and the answer is not new--Ronald Reagan Warned Us About Inflation

Many signs of inflation are already here in the United States - with the prices of groceries, household items, gas and electricity, for example, all surging over the last year.


Monroe Doctrine: What if U.S. faced what Russia has?

Scott LivelyBy Scott Lively
Published March 21, 2022 at 7:03pm

image from i.ytimg.com

In 1823, when the emperor of Tzarist Russia invited the United States to negotiate a resolution of contested coastal lands along the northwest of the North American continent, President James Monroe responded with a proclamation in an address to Congress that would forever-after be called the Monroe Doctrine. In his own words, he said that when "the rights and interests of the United States are involved … the American continents … are henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers. … We owe it, therefore, to candor and to the amicable relations existing between the United States and those powers to declare that we should consider any attempt on their part to extend their system to any portion of this hemisphere as dangerous to our peace and safety."

Our official government summary of the Monroe Doctrine adds that "the doctrine warns European nations that the United States would not tolerate further colonization or puppet monarchs. … [emphasis mine]

"[I]n 1904, European creditors of a number of Latin American countries threatened armed intervention to collect debts. President Theodore Roosevelt promptly proclaimed the right of the United States to exercise an 'international police power' to curb such 'chronic wrongdoing,' in his so-called Roosevelt Corollary (or extension) to the Monroe Doctrine.

Continue reading "Monroe Doctrine: What if U.S. faced what Russia has?" »


What one thing to all Socialist Nations Get? Food Shortages (especially wheat) and famines

By Bob Barney

Socialism is the liberal name for communism. It is the most dangeous ideoligies ever proposed by man. Communism begets dictators, famines, food shortages and DEATH!  In Daniel 11, speaking about the End Time Beast (the Revised Holy Roman Empire) God predicts that communism would be what will be that antichrist's form of government.  Below, I point out what the Bible has to say about the end time Beast of Revelation, led by Antichrist.  It appears the man will spout communism in order to fool the masses into a dictatorship like Mao of China, or Stalin of Russia.  Don't be fooled by liberal socialists!  They are evil doers THAT REALLY WANT YOU DEAD through their wars, their planned famines and diseases.  Let's try to learn from our history and what God says in the Bible!

 

 Quotes from Daniel:

Then the king of the North (The Antichrist) will come and build up siege ramps and will capture a fortified city. The forces of the South will be powerless to resist; even their best troops will not have the strength to stand. The invader will do as he pleases; no one will be able to stand against him. He will establish himself in the Beautiful Land and will have the power to destroy it. With deceitful promises, he will make various alliances. He will become strong despite having only a handful of followers. 
 
 “With a large army he will stir up his strength and courage against the king of the South (A United States of Islam) . The king of the South will wage war with a large and very powerful army, but he will not be able to stand because of the plots devised against him. Those who eat from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him; his army will be swept away, and many will fall in battle. The two kings, with their hearts bent on evil, will sit at the same table and lie to each other, but to no avail, because an end will still come at the appointed time.  The king of the North will return to his own country with great wealth, but his heart will be set against the holy covenant. He will take action against it and then return to his own country.
 
Ships of the western coastlands (United States) will oppose him, and he will lose heart. Then he will turn back and vent his fury against the holy covenant. He will return and show favor to those who forsake the holy covenant.
 
“His army will take over the Temple fortress, pollute the sanctuary, put a stop to the daily sacrifices, and hen they will set up the abomination that causes desolation. The king will do as he pleases, exalting himself and claiming to be greater than every god, even blaspheming the God of gods. He will succeed, but only until the time of wrath is completed. For what has been determined will surely take place.   He will have no respect for the gods of his ancestors, or for the god loved by women, or for any other god, for he will boast that he is greater than them all.
38 Instead of these, he will worship the god of fortresses—a god his ancestors never knew—and lavish on him gold, silver, precious stones, and expensive gifts.  Claiming this foreign god’s help, he will attack the strongest fortresses. He will honor those who submit to him, appointing them to positions of authority and dividing the land among them as their reward. (distribution of wealth- i.e COMMUNISM)
 
 “The king will do as he pleases. He will exalt and magnify himself above every god and will say unheard-of things against the God of gods. He will be successful until the time of wrath is completed, for what has been determined must take place.   He will show no regard for the gods of his ancestors or for the one desired by women, nor will he regard any god, but will exalt himself above them all.   Instead of them, he will honor a god of fortresses; a god unknown to his ancestors he will honor with gold and silver, with precious stones and costly gifts.  
40 “At the time of the end the king of the South will engage him in battle, and the king of the North will storm out against him with chariots and cavalry and a great fleet of ships. He will invade many countries and sweep through them like a flood.
 

The largest famine in human history took place in China during 1959-61 Although drought was a contributory factor, this was largely a manmade catastrophe for which communist  Mao Zedong bears the greatest responsibility We will never know the precise number of casualties, but the best demographic reconstructions indicate about 30 million dead.

The Holodomor, or “murder by starvation”, was a state-engineered famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932–33 which killed an estimated 3.9 million people. Devised by the Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin, the Holodomor crushed the spirit of the Ukrainian peasantry and ensured it would never again rebel against communist rule on the scale seen in the 1920s & 1930s

A family in Soviet Ukraine during the Holodomor

Russian Communism famine.

 

The Holodomor, or “murder by starvation,” refers to the state-engineered famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932–33, which was accompanied by simultaneous repressions against the Ukrainian cultural elites. The origins of Stalin’s all-encompassing attack on Ukrainians can be traced back to the political and military struggles in Ukraine in 1917–20, when he was involved in determining Bolshevik policies toward Ukraine [the Bolsheviks were a revolutionary party committed to the ideas of Karl Marx, led by leftist revolutionary and politician Vladimir Lenin. The Bolsheviks later became the Communist Party of the Soviet Union].

Stalin was unpleasantly surprised by the strength of Ukrainian patriotism and the emergence of a non-Bolshevik Ukrainian state, which forced the Bolsheviks to create their own puppet Ukrainian republic. Following the Bolshevik victory, it became a constituent part of the Soviet Union under the name of the Ukrainian Socialist Soviet (after 1937, Soviet Socialist) Republic.

Stalin also dreaded the Ukrainian peasantry, whose staunch resistance to Bolshevik rule forced the Soviet state during the 1920s to recognise the importance of Ukrainian culture and delay the violent collectivisation of agriculture. When the wholesale collectivisation of land and cattle began in 1929, the Ukrainian peasants actively resisted it. In 1930, the police reported 4,098 anti-state actions in the Ukrainian countryside, with the participation of 965,587 peasants. In most cases the peasants beat up the enforcers, took back the grain, and burned office buildings, but the police also classified 15 mass disturbances as “armed rebellions” sometimes involving the murder of Soviet officials and activists.

Because of these factors, in 1932–33, Stalin and his henchmen used starvation to crush the resistance of the Ukrainian peasants. They saw peasant rebelliousness as part of a wider Ukrainian effort to overthrow Soviet rule, which explains the repressions between 1930 and 1934 against Ukrainian cultural figures and those Ukrainian communists who criticised Moscow’s imperialist attitudes.  (SOURCE: https://www.biblestudytools.com/nlt/daniel/11.html)

 

Today's Proof?

Yet Another Shortage Looms Over Biden's Presidency — It Might Be The World's Biggest


American Traitors!

These along with most of the DC swamp, along with the Clinton's, The Bush's, Obama's and Biden's are corrupt traitors to this country as they have all been bought by China, Russia, Ukraine and our enemies around the world.  They should be all jailed and HUNG! 

‘Red-Handed’: 3 Former U.S. Ambassadors to China or Their Children Are Cashing in with Chinese State-Backed Companies


The nightmare scenario George Washington warned against

By Jerry Newcombe

Jefferson.1Maybe it's just me, but I am starting to come to the conclusion that Nancy Pelosi just doesn't like former President Donald Trump. She seems to have been the driving force behind Trump Impeachment II.

Jeff Charles of Red State calls it: "the Democrats' new production of 'An Impeachment Story Part II: Maybe It'll Work This Time.'"

Impeachment is a constitutional provision to potentially remove a sitting president. But, of course, now Trump is a private citizen. Where is the chief justice? He is supposed to preside over a legitimate impeachment hearing. But Chief Justice John Roberts will have nothing to do with this farce.

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Yes It did Happen! the full horror of the Holocaust- Never Forget what Fascism Brings

Haunting colourised pictures of Nazi concentration camp victims reveal the full horror of

The poignant images, most of which were taken in 1945, show the starving and desperate faces (bottom left inset) of Adolf Hitler's victims at concentration camps such as Auschwitz and Dachau. In one photograph, an emaciated 18-year-old Russian prisoner (left) stares into the camera during the liberation of Dachau concentration camp in 1945, her face hollow from hunger. The collection was released to mark the International Holocaust Day, which is held on January 27 every year - the day that Auschwitz-Birkenau was liberated by Soviet troops in 1945. A newly colourised photograph in the collection shows a group of young children, all of whom were wearing the blue striped prisoner uniforms, peering out at the Soviet troops through a barbed wire fence at Auschwitz when it was liberated (top right). Some 200,000 children were murdered at the Nazi death camp, and just 700 youngsters remained alive when the Red Army arrived on January 27, 1945. Another photograph shows a young woman (bottom right), whose face is covered with scars and plasters as a result of a beating by the SS guards. But despite being unable to open her eyes fully from the swelling, she is smiling as she was photographed two days after the British military entered the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp in April 1945.


How the Mafia tried to bury The Godfather

BRIAN VINER: How the Mafia tried to bury The Godfather - until they were bought off with

BRIAN VINER: Film-lovers have a treat in store in 2022. The greatest movie ever made is getting a 50th anniversary re-release, and if you've never seen The Godfather on the big screen, then make a note of Friday, February 25. It's a cinematic offer you can't refuse. Of course, there are plenty of other contenders for the title of greatest movie ever made. But those of us who think it's The Godfather, know it's The Godfather. And one of the most remarkable things about Francis Ford Coppola's masterpiece about a Mob family in 1940s New York, and their battle for supremacy with the Mob's other leading families, is that it was every bit as eventful off screen as on.


The stolen election of 1960

By Bob Barney

Stolen elections, especially by Democrats is not new. It is a fact that John Kennedy did not win in 1960, and that Nixon could have contested the election and would have probably prevailed in the courts. He claimed for the good of the country, he would not.  The following account of this stolen election, and how the mob helped win it for Kennedy (and later killed him for "forgetting" what they did for him) are in the stories below for today's history lessons...


Yes, New Year's Day is Pagan too....

In the earliest days of the Church (the first and second centuries after Christ) there were no such celebrations as Christmas and New Year’s Day. 

The New Catholic Encyclopedia states:  “According to the hypothesis … accepted by most scholars today, the birth of Christ was assigned the date of the winter solstice (December 25 in the Julian [Roman] Calendar, January 6 in the Egyptian), because on this day, as the sun began to return to northern skies, the pagan devotees of Mithra celebrated dies natalis Solis Invicti (birthday of the invincible sun)” (1967, Vol. 3, p. 656).

Those customs carried over in the observance of Christmas (with its many traditions and practices steeped in paganism), and the “birth” of the “new year” of the sun. This is why the Roman calendar in use today designates Jan. 1 as the beginning of the new year as opposed to God’s designation of the spring month of Abib or Nisan on the Hebrew calendar as the beginning of the year (Exodus 12:1-2).

Much of the symbolism associated with New Year’s celebrations today has very definite pagan origins. Kissing at the moment of transition to the next year is rooted in pagan sexual practice and superstition. And evergreen wreaths associated with Christmas were originally part of the pagan Calend celebration of Jan. 1.

Because we live in this secular society and most of the world operates according to the commonly used Roman calendar, it’s common to think of a new calendar year as beginning Jan. 1. Yet involvement in the celebration of that is not appropriate.   Read the Rest


How the Puritans Banned Christmas In 1659 the Puritans banned Christmas in Massachusetts. But why?

• December 21, 2020 •

"The Puritan Governor interrupting the Christmas Sports," by Howard Pyle c. 1883

“The Puritan Governor interrupting the Christmas Sports,” by Howard Pyle c. 1883

The Puritans followed the Bible, and hence the area which gave us Thanksgiving, banned Christmas and Easter!

A short, easily-overlooked paragraph from an early law book of the Massachusetts Bay Colony reads as follows:

“For preventing disorders arising in several places within this jurisdiction, by reason of some still observing such festivals as were superstitiously kept in other countries, to the great dishonor of God and offence of others, it is therefore ordered by this Court and the authority thereof, that whosoever shall be found observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way, upon such accountants as aforesaid, every person so offending shall pay of every such offence five shillings, as a fine to the county.”

Yes, you read that right. In 1659 the Puritan government of the Massachusetts Bay Colony actually banned Christmas. So how did one of the largest Christian holidays come to be  persecuted in the earliest days of New England?

Christmas in  17th century England actually wasn’t so different from the holiday we celebrate today. It was one of the largest religious observances, full of traditions, feast days, revelry and cultural significance. But the Puritans, a pious religious minority (who, after all, fled the persecution of the Anglican majority), felt that such celebrations were unnecessary and, more importantly, distracted from religious discipline. They also felt that due to the holiday’s loose pagan origins, celebrating it would constitute idolatry. A common sentiment among the leaders of the time was that such feast days detracted from their core beliefs: “They for whom all days are holy can have no holiday.”

This meant that Christmas wasn’t the only holiday on the chopping block. Easter and Whitsunday, other important historical celebrations, were also forbidden. Bans like these would continue through the 18th and 19th centuries (the US House of Representatives even convened on Christmas in 1802). As Puritanism started to fall out of favor, however, Christmas was almost universally accepted throughout the US by 1840, and was eventually declared a National Holiday in 1870.


Statue of Molech, pagan god of burning kids to death, now on display

This is where The Yule log and Santa Claus comes from!  Look it up!

The statue on display at the Roman Colosseum is similar to this depiction of the pagan deity Moloch from the National Cinema Museum in Turin, Italy. | Wikimedia Commons/Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
The statue on display at the Roman Colosseum is similar to this depiction of the pagan deity Moloch from the National Cinema Museum in Turin, Italy. | Wikimedia Commons/Jean-Pierre Dalbéra

ANALYSIS

Call it an odd juxtaposition, or a paean to the bloody pagan practices of two warring cities, ancient Rome and its ancient Mediterranean rival, Carthage.  From now through March 2020, as part of an exhibit celebrating the city of Carthage, a giant statue of Molech, the god of the ancient Canaanites and Carthaginians, will greet visitors at the entrance to the Roman Colosseum.  

Molech is the pagan god who required his devotees to toss their children into his fiery belly as an act of worship. The location of the display is particularly worth noting since the Roman Colosseum is where many early Christians were slaughtered at the hands of lunatic dictators fearful of a faith they could not stop.  

Previously, the Catholic Church had made the Colosseum a sacred site to honor these first Christians martyred for their faith, even placing Stations of the Cross there for the faithful to contemplate their sacrifice. Now it's guarded by the pagan god Molech, whose demand for child sacrifice has been compared to the modern epidemic of abortion, and the faithful are greeted with a statue honoring a pagan deity whose murderous spirit still seeks to kill children.

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Christmas' pagan origins

Christmas tree

Jeremiah 10: 1-5

10 Hear ye the word which the Lord speaketh unto you, O house of Israel:

2 Thus saith the Lord, Learn not the way of the heathen, and be not dismayed at the signs of heaven; for the heathen are dismayed at them.

3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

4 They deck it with silver and with gold; they fasten it with nails and with hammers, that it move not.

Yes, those words are in every Bible printed, even your copy! Be honest with yourself when you read the following Plain Truth Article about Christmas!

Christmas is celebrated on December 25 and is both a sacred religious holiday and a worldwide cultural and commercial phenomenon. For two millennia, people around the world have been observing it with traditions and practices that are both religious and secular in nature. Christians celebrate Christmas Day as the anniversary of the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, a spiritual leader whose teachings form the basis of their religion. Popular customs include exchanging gifts, decorating Christmas trees, attending church, sharing meals with family and friends and, of course, waiting for Santa Claus to arrive. December 25–Christmas Day–has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1870.

How Did Christmas Start?

The middle of winter has long been a time of celebration around the world. Centuries before the arrival of the man called Jesus, early Europeans celebrated light and birth in the darkest days of winter. Many peoples rejoiced during the winter solstice, when the worst of the winter was behind them and they could look forward to longer days and extended hours of sunlight.

In Scandinavia, the Norse celebrated Yule from December 21, the winter solstice, through January. In recognition of the return of the sun, fathers and sons would bring home large logs, which they would set on fire. The people would feast until the log burned out, which could take as many as 12 days. The Norse believed that each spark from the fire represented a new pig or calf that would be born during the coming year.


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Christmas history in America

Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest ...Nederlands: Sinterklaas tijdens het Het Feest van Sinterklaas (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

Christmas history in America : see also Santa Claus in America

 

In the early 17th century, a wave of religious reform changed the way Christmas was celebrated in Europe. When Oliver Cromwell and his Puritan forces took over England in 1645, they vowed to rid England of decadence and, as part of their effort, cancelled Christmas. By popular demand, Charles II was restored to the throne and, with him, came the return of the popular holiday. 

The pilgrims, English separatists that came to America in 1620, were even more orthodox in their Puritan beliefs than Cromwell. As a result, Christmas was not a holiday in early America. From 1659 to 1681, the celebration of Christmas was actually outlawed in Boston. Anyone exhibiting the Christmas spirit was fined five shillings. By contrast, in the Jamestown settlement, Captain John Smith reported that Christmas was enjoyed by all and passed without incident.

After the American Revolution, English customs fell out of favor, including Christmas. In fact, Congress was in session on December 25, 1789, the first Christmas under America’s new constitution. Christmas wasn’t declared a federal holiday until June 26, 1870.

Washington Irving reinvents Christmas

 

 

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Kissing Under the Mistletoe - Celtic Mythology and the cult of sex

USMistletoe37e_thm.gif We are all familiar with at least a portion of the mysterious mistletoe's story: namely, that a lot of kissing under the mistletoe has been going on for ages. Few, however, realize that mistletoe's botanical story earns it the classification of "parasite." Fewer still are privy to the convoluted history behind the tradition of kissing under the mistletoe. And its literary history is a forgotten footnote for all but the most scholarly.

Here were kept up the old games of hoodman blind, shoe the wild mare, hot cockles, steal the white loaf, bob apple, and snap dragon; the Yule-clog and Christmas candle were regularly burnt, and the mistletoe with its white berries hung up, to the imminent peril of all the pretty housemaids.

So Washington Irving, in "Christmas Eve," relates the typical festivities surrounding the Twelve Days of Christmas, including kissing under the mistletoe (Washington Irving, The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent). Irving continues his Christmas passage with a footnote:

"The mistletoe is still hung up in farm-houses and kitchens at Christmas, and the young men have the privilege of kissing the girls under it, plucking each time a berry from the bush. When the berries are all plucked the privilege ceases."

We moderns have conveniently forgotten the part about plucking the berries (which, incidentally, are poisonous), and then desisting from kissing under the mistletoe when the berries run out!

 

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The Man Who Invented Christmas

On the evening of Oct. 5, 1843, things were looking bleak for 31-year-old Charles Dickens. Even though he was the superstar author of the wildly popular “The Pickwick Papers” and “The Adventures of Oliver Twist” – and that evening’s keynote speaker at an important charitable event – inside the man was in turmoil.

Xmas As young celebrities often do, Dickens (the father of five) had overspent. After a string of successful books, the great writer suddenly seemed to lose his way. He produced a couple of duds – and then slipped into debt.

Debt was a particularly horrifying prospect for Dickens. As a boy he watched his father go to jail for unpaid bills, a searing experience of which he would write, “I never afterwards forgot, I shall never forget, I never can forget.”

By 1843, Dickens was mired in woes. “[H]is marriage was troubled, his career tottering, his finances ready to collapse,” writes Les Standiford. The fabled author was even asking himself if he should give up fiction writing.

What happened next seems a kind of Victorian-era Christmas miracle.

After making his speech, Dickens wandered disconsolately through the dark streets of Manchester. But as he walked, an idea for a story suddenly came to him. If he could quickly turn that story into a book – a Christmas story in time for the season – perhaps he could earn £1,000. Such a sum, he reckoned, might extricate him from debt.

So, as Standiford recounts in The Man Who Invented Christmas: How Charles Dickens’s ‘A Christmas Carol’ Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits, in just six weeks Dickens sat down and wrote a classic of Western literature.

 

 

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