For a uniquely colorful World History of Christmas, scroll down to read this contemporary Christmas classic.
This page features Chapter 5 of YULE LOG. Additional chapters are linked below.
For related links and and other free printable items, scroll further down.
by Judee Shipman
1800 – Christmas becomes a public holiday on an International scale.
1801 – Archeologists discover the first complete skeleton of a mastodon in the United States.
ABOVE: A replica of an American Mastodon, with a human silhouette for comparison.
image credit: wired.com
1802 – Birth (in Germany) of Christian Ludolf Weinbarg, destined to become a famed journalist and literary critic.
1803 – Lewis & Clark spend Christmas day camped out in Illinois, where (according to Clark's journal entry) two men got drunk and fought, and three Chiefs stopped by for dinner.
1804 – Lewis & Clark present gifts to three Indian Chiefs, a sheepskin divided into three pieces. According to Clark's journal, the Chiefs consider these gifts “of equal value with a fine horse.”
1805 – Now in Oregon, Christmas dinner for Lewis & Clark is a handful of black roots and a portion of spoiled elk meat.
ABOVE: A bronze statue of Lewis & Clark, with their faithful servant, York, and their dog.
Image credit: smithsonianmag.com
1806 – The UK suffers 11 shipwrecks on this day. The names of the ships are Atlanta, Birmingham, Centurion, Europe, Fame, Fisher, Hawk, Juno, Lilly, Thetis, and Traveler.
ABOVE: A map depicting historically protected shipwreck sites off the coast of England.
Image credit: thesun.co.uk
1808 – A Portuguese ship called Pensamenta Felix departs from Brazil headed for Liverpool, and disappears without a trace. All travelers onboard are presumed dead.
1809 – A Dutch ship called Onderneeming departs from Archangelsk, Russia, and disappears without a trace. All travelers onboard are presumed dead.
1810 – Three shipwrecks happen in the UK on this day. Miraculously, all crews are rescued.
This day also welcomes the birth (in Greece) of Alexandros Rizos Rangavis, destined to be a poet.
1811 – The French seize Valencia.
1814 – The signing of the Treaty of Ghent ends the War of 1812.
Elsewhere, Samuel Marsden preaches the first Christmas sermon for the Church Missionary Society of New Zealand.
Meanwhile, in England, the good ship Sarah is captured by the U.S. Reindeer while voyaging from Newfoundland to Dublin. Sarah is set on fire and sunk, killing all onboard.
1815 – The Handel and Haydn Society gives its first performance in Boston.
Also on this day is the birth of John Roach, an American industrialist who came to America as a poor Irish immigrant laborer, but eventually developed a ship building empire.
1817 – Fort Smith is established.
Meanwhile, in Canada, The Royal Gazette announces the arrival of a ship called Ann, carrying a group of slaves from Barbados. They include Titus, Dublin, Joe, Franchs, Sirtema, Simson, Lovelace, Sorrel, Boatswain, Hercules, Henry, George, two men named Mocco, three men named John, and quite a few others.
1818 – An Austrian chorus sings the first known Christmas carol (Silent Night).
The same day, Handel's Messiah premieres in Boston for its first U.S. Performance.
This day also sees the birth of William Henry Herndon, a biographer of Abraham Lincoln.
Also, the death of Dominique Catherine de Perignon of France.
1819 – Makana, a Xhosa prophet, drowns at sea while escaping from prison on Robben Island.
1820 – Deaths of Joseph Fouche (French Statesman), and James Burrill (Rhode Island Senator)
1821 – Clara Barton is born in Oxford, Massachusetts. She eventually becomes a nurse and establishes the Red Cross.
Above: Clara Barton
image credit: redcross.org
1822 – In Northern Ireland, a man named Alex Hudson gives about 8 pounds of beef and a loaf of bread each to many among the poor.
1823 – Birth of Preston Smith, later to become a confederate Army General.
1824 – Death of Barbara von Krudener, German mystic and author.
1826 – The famed “Eggnog Riot” erupts at West Point during the early morning hours, but is promptly subdued by a Christmas chapel service.
Later that day and a world away, Major Edmund Lockyer arrives at King George Sound to take possession of the western part of Australia.
1828 – Birth of Benjamin Gue, newspaper editor and a member of Iowa House of Representatives.
Birth of James Kerrigan, a member of the New York House of Representatives.
1829 – Birth of Patrick Gilmore, an Irish-American composer.
1830 – Best Friend of Charleston, a steam-powered locomotive and America's first regularly scheduled passenger train, makes its first journey along six miles of track.
ABOVE: A replica of "Best Friend Of Charleston"
image credit: bestfriendofcharleston.org
Here are some Classic Short Stories from the public domain:
Told in the Drooling Ward, by Jack London
The Ransom of Red Chief, by O. Henry
The Tale of Peter Rabbit, by Beatrix Potter
Go here for selected Moral Stories.
See this page for Aesop's Fables, other short stories, printable poems, and more.
Click this link to learn Why Reading Is Important.
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