Streams

When We All Believe When We All Believe (Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division/Library of Congress)

Holiday traditions are a big part of what make these days cultural, spiritual and political markers. We decided to look into our older collections to see what we could find of the traditional Christmas past, year-end reviews and expectations for the New Year.  Here's some of what we found.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

In September 1897, Francis Pharcellus Church, a former Civil War correspondent and editor at the New York Sun, received a letter from the then 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon.

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City Hall Christmas Tree Lighting, 1939

Thursday, December 02, 2010

On the occasion of the annual lighting of the Christmas tree at Rockefeller Center, we present to you the first of two vintage radio broadcasts we've found in the archives of similar ceremonies in the city.

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Operation Santa Claus, 1948

Saturday, December 18, 2010

On Christmas Eve 1948, three lucky children flew to Montreal, where they met Santa Claus and escorted him back to New York to deliver presents to the City's children.

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Madison Square Christmas Tree Lighting, 1942

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In December 1942, just three years after the tree lighting spectacular at City Hall when one of Mayor La Guardia's children flipped a switch and instantly lit up 22 trees throughout the boroughs, strict wartime dimout regulations dictated how people in New York, New Jersey and Delaware celebrated the holiday season.

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Merry Christmas To All, From Mayor La Guardia

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Americans had plenty to celebrate in December 1945. The Second World War had just ended in September, making this the first peacetime holiday season they had seen in several years. In his regular Sunday "Talk to the People" broadcast on Christmas weekend, Mayor Fiorello H. La Guardia recited the Nativity story and told New Yorkers to "resolve to live the spirit of Christmas."

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A "Pals of the P.A.L." Christmas, 1949

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Throughout the 1940’s WNYC aired a program titled Pals of the P.A.L., a youth-oriented variety show in cooperation with the Police Athletic League (P.A.L.).

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The Story of "Silent Night," c. 1945

Thursday, December 23, 2010

In this 1945 WNYC broadcast, Austrian born Marie Lemmermeyer tells the “one true story of 'Silent Night'.”

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The Holiday Party the Cold War Hijacked

Friday, December 23, 2011

On December 27, 1951, the Brownsville Boy's Club hosted  5,000 children to an inter-faith party at the 106th Regiment Armory in Brooklyn. 

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‘Making The Wheels Go Round’: The New York Tuberculosis and Health Association's 1931 Christmas Stamp

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

WNYC

            Think back to last December. Or other Decembers. Maybe you received a holiday card sealed with a Christmas Seal from the American Lung Association. These stamps have been used as a fundraising element by the American Lung Association for over a hundred years. The tuberculosis epidemic of the ...

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A New Year's Message from Mayor La Guardia

Saturday, December 31, 2011

On New Year's Eve, 1944, Mayor F. H. La Guardia devoted the first few minutes of his weekly "Talk to the People" broadcast to bidding a somber farewell to a harsh year of international war, domestic hardship and staggering loss of life. Listen to his short address to New York City citizens, delivered on the last day of a year many Americans were glad to see end.

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On the Eve of New Year's Eve 1924

Friday, December 30, 2011

On December 30, 1924, The New York Times radio listings* for WNYC included a remote broadcast from the Newspaper Club of New York. It was a children's Christmas party for the sons and daughters of newspaper men. The entertainment line-up included Marilyn Miller, the Duncan Sisters, The Singer Midgets, George Haas and his singing canaries, Betty Bronson, Toto, Bob Miller, Gedney and Magee, Winifred Toomey, Rachel Mastrota, Richard B. Gilbert, Sam Wooding's Orchestra and Teddy, the baby elephant. Who were they? Let's find out.

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