Tuesday, December 25, 2007

December 25: Christmas and the Presidents

On Christmas Day 1776, George Washington and him men crossed the Delaware River, intent on surprising the Hessians at Trenton, which they did the next day. In 1868, as one of the most lame duck of presidents, Andrew Johnson used the tradition of Christmas pardons to pardon unconditionally all who had been involved in "insurrection or rebellion."

On a much lighter note, according to the 1972 album Christmas at the White House: Burl Ives Sings the Favorite Carols and Hymns of America's Presidents, the following 13 selections were favorites of presidents down the years. The producers of the record seemed to be guessing in some cases, but it's an interesting list all the same.

George Washington: "While Shepherds Watch'd Their Flocks by Night"
John Adams: "Joy to the World"
Thomas Jefferson and Dwight D. Eisenhower: "Adeste Fideles"
Andrew Jackson: "Shout the Glad Tidings"
Zachary Taylor: "It Came Upon a Midnight Clear"
Abraham Lincoln: "We Three Kings of Orient Are"
Ulysses S. Grant: "O Little Town of Bethlehem"
Theodore Roosevelt: "Christmas on the Sea"
Franklin D. Roosevelt: "Art Thou Weary, Art Thou Laden"
John F. Kennedy: "Silver Bells"
Lyndon Johnson: "Silent Night"
Richard Nixon: "The Little Drummer Boy"

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