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Virtual Civil War Lecture: 19th-century Holiday Traditions

December 17, 2021 @ 12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST


Presented by John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center 

FREE. Advance registration is required. 

Join us for a virtual lecture with author and historian John V. Quarstein, director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center. Quarstein will give a presentation on an American holiday that traces its beginnings back to the fourth century. It’s a holiday that’s celebrated around the world.
Viewers are welcome to send any comments or questions to John, and he will answer them following his talk.
About the presentation:
Christmas Day has been an official American holiday since 1870; however, the celebration traces its beginnings to the fourth century and was probably combined with several pagan festivals. Because of this, connections to events like Yuletide prompted Puritans to ban Christmas. By the 19th century, Christmas trees with candles, mistletoe, and sumptuous meals became commonplace. St. Nicholas was an old Nordic tradition and was an actual person dating to the third century. Nevertheless, the German-born American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast first sketched the beloved image of Santa Claus in 1861 depicting the figure we still revere today.

Civil War Lecture:
19th-century Holiday Traditions
Friday, December 17, 2021 • 12 p.m. (ET)

Image credit: “Merry Old Santa Claus,” 1881, Harper’s Weekly.
John Quarstein

John V. Quarstein
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Pre-registration is required.

For additional assistance, questions or support, please contact us at: [email protected].

Can’t make the virtual program live?
No problem! Many of our programs are uploaded to our YouTube Channel shortly afterwards.




December 17, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM EST


The Mariners’ Museum
100 Museum Drive
Newport News, VA 23606 United States
(757) 596-2222