From the State Archives of Florida!
‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a…
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the luster of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
“Now Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! To the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St. Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”
Stumped about what to get your loved ones this holiday season? We’ve got a few ideas…
Make-up kits are perfect for toddlers. What could go wrong?
Little kids love alligators! Although, we’d suggest the fake plushy kind…
An underwater photography session? Make sure to include diving supplies!
Who doesn’t want an ostrich for a house pet?
Mom would love a nice, relaxing pedicure! We hear elephant trainers offer great rates…
You can get them a car that’s just like Dad’s… just not as fast.
The rattlesnake hat is all the rage.. somewhere.
Or, you can just get that box of oranges you’ve been promising for years…
But, seriously, if you really want to get that Florida lover in your life a GREAT present, remember that all of our photographs are available for ordering and make a wonderful addition to any home: http://www.floridamemory.com/photographiccollection/refpricelist.php.
Merry Christmas Card Day! Have you sent yours yet?
Emmett Kelly, Ringling Circus clown known for his hobo pantomime character “Weary Willie,” used this photograph, taken by Joe Steinmetz, for his Christmas card in 1955. Lois Duncan, Joe’s daughter, shared with us the story behind this photograph.
James Billie is Chairman of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. He frequently performed at the Florida Folk Festival in the 1980s.
Underwater Thanksgiving? Invite the mermaids!
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919 as the first Armistice Day. Wilson hoped the day would serve as a reminder to the American people of the terrible cost of World War I, dubbed “the war to end all wars” by the British author H.G. Wells.
Unfortunately, Wilson’s sentiment did not come to pass. Following the destruction caused by World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress, at the urging of veterans organizations, renamed Armistice Day as Veterans Day. Since the change in 1954, November 11 has been recognized as Veterans Day – the official federal holiday that honors those that have served, and those that are serving, in the United States Armed Forces.
Join a parade in Deland in 1884. Then head to Daytona Beach in 1896. After an eating contest in 1905, try your luck at a greased pole climbing contest in 1989!
Emancipation was proclaimed in Tallahassee on May 20, 1865, 11 days after the end of the Civil War and two years after the proclamation was first issued by President Abraham Lincoln. For this reason, Emancipation Day in Florida is traditionally celebrated on May 20th.
Emancipation Day Parade: Lincolnville, Florida (1920s)
Originally created for the Florida Times Union by photographer Lou Egner in 1961, this image was entered into the World Book Encyclopedia 19th annual photo competition.