Opening Christmas Packages in Italy

22 December 2014

U.S. soldiers in Italy opening Christmas packages with a dog during World War II.

“Return to Sender” Christmas Packages, 1944

19 December 2014
In New York City, piles of Christmas packages meant for American servicemen who have been listed as missing or killed in action await return to sender stamp, 1944

Photo Credit: Frank Scherschel/TIME

In New York City, piles of Christmas packages meant for American servicemen who have been listed as missing or killed in action await for “Return to Sender” stamps, 1944. You can see the words “missing” or “deceased” stamped on some of the packages on the bottom of the photograph.

Santa Claus on the Log Ride, 1970

18 December 2014

Santa Claus on the Log Ride at Knott’s Berry Farm in California, ca. 1970.

In Their Words: Norman Vincent Peale

17 December 2014

Christmas Quote

Christmas at the Orange County Jail

15 December 2014

Christmas at the Orange County Jail on Sycamore Street in Santa Ana.

 

“Give me tomorrow,” Christmas 1950

14 December 2014

Closeup of a hooded Marine holding a can of frozen beans during his outfit’s grim retreat from the Changjin (Chosin) Reservoir after being cut off by the Chinese in Dec. 1950. When photographer David Douglas Duncan asked this young man what he wanted for Christmas, he relied, “Give me tomorrow.”

Schoolchildren around a Christmas Tree

12 December 2014

Children in New York City holding hands in a circle around Christmas tree.

All Seats 25 Cents, NYC Theater, 1933

10 December 2014

Sign in front of a New York City theater, indicating that it would “accept checks drawn on local banks,” during the “bank holiday” declared by U.S. Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt in March 1933. Another sign indicates that all seats are 25¢

Santa Claus Making Balloon Animals, 1950

9 December 2014

Pioneer, Huntington Beach Mayor and Orange County Supervisor Thomas B. Talbert makes balloon animals while dressed as Santa Claus. This photo was taken at the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Orange County Coast Association Christmas party, Huntington Beach, California, 12-19-1950.

Fighter Plane Marks during the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot”, 1944

5 December 2014
Fighter plane contrails mark the sky over Task Force 58, during the "Great Marianas Turkey Shoot" phase of the battle, 19 June 1944.

Photo Credit: U. S. Navy

Fighter plane contrails mark the sky over Task Force 58, during the “Great Marianas Turkey Shoot” phase of the battle on June 19, 1944. This was photographed from on board USS Birmingham (CL-62), Battle of the Philippine Sea.

Mail Extension Pole, 1975

4 December 2014

“Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds” may not be the Postal Service’s official motto, but its employees strive to live up to it. Throughout history, carriers have used whatever it takes to deliver the mail. Although not required to deliver to boxes blocked by snow – customers are supposed to dig mailboxes out – this rural carrier is seen using an extension pole and hanging half out of his car to deliver the mail in Cleveland, Ohio, 1975.

Video: Only Film Footage of Mark Twain

2 December 2014

Silent film footage taken in 1909 by Thomas Edison at “Stormfield” Mark Twain’s Redding, CT, estate. Twain is shown walking around his home and playing cards with his daughters Clara and Jean. This is the only known footage of the great author.

On a related, albeit sad, note, Jean Clemens died on Christmas Eve of the same year this video was taken. She had epilepsy and, on Christmas Eve, she drowned in a Stormfield bathtub after a seizure caused a heart attack.

Christmas Mail Rush

1 December 2014

Since Christmas is right around the corner, people are looking to send off their Christmas letters and holiday mail. On average, the Postal Service processes 551 million pieces of mail every day but, during the holidays, it increases to 589 million pieces of mail daily. From Thanksgiving to Christmas Eve, around 16.5 billion cards, letters and packages are delivered. With that said, here are some photographs of Christmas mail of the past.

Christmas rush at the Boston post office.

Christmas rush at the Boston post office. Photo Credit: New York Public Library

Christmas rush at the Washington post office.

Christmas rush at the Washington post office. Photo Credit: New York Public Library

Christmas packages, Chicago.

Christmas packages, Chicago. Photo Credit: New York Public Library

A load of Christmas packages

A load of Christmas packages, Dec. 17, 1913. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Christmas Mail between 1910-1915

Christmas Mail between 1910-1915. Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Handling Christmas packages at the main Washington, D.C. post office.

Handling Christmas packages at the main Washington, D.C. post office. Photo Credit: Arthur Rothstein/Library of Congress

Sorting the incoming Christmas mail at trailer court. Corpus Christi, Texas. These trailer courts have become regular small communities

Sorting the incoming Christmas mail at trailer court in Corpus Christi, Texas. These trailer courts have become regular small communities. Photo Credit: Russell Lee/Library of Congress

Captured Swastika Flag in France, 1944

29 November 2014
American infantrymen, left behind to mop up last stronghold of Nazis in Falaise Gap area of northwestern France, line up in front of wrecked German tank with a captured swastika flag, 1944.

Photo Credit: National Archives

American infantrymen, left behind to mop up last stronghold of Nazis in Falaise Gap area of northwestern France, line up in front of wrecked German tank with a captured swastika flag, 1944.

Frank Sinatra & Faye Emerson: King & Queen of the Bock Beer Festival, 1950

28 November 2014
Photo Credit: New York Daily News

Photo Credit: New York Daily News

Frank Sinatra and actress Faye Emerson were crowned King and Queen of the Bock Beer Festival in 1950. Sinatra arrived 45 minutes late and Emerson refused to pose with him. In the March 20, 1950 edition of the Reading Eagle, columnist Alice Hughes described the New York City event:

The annual Bock Beer Festival is staged by New York brewers to raise money for the Red Cross. To give it a royal sendoff, Frank Sinatra and Faye Emerson were king and queen of the event. But when Frankie showed up late for photos, Faye scorched him with “Hello, Big Shot!” His answer can’t be printed.

Sources
Alice Hughes, “A Woman’s New York,” Reading Eagle, March 20, 1950.

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