These Abysmal Christmases in History Make us Grateful for the Cringey Family Gatherings
These Abysmal Christmases in History Make us Grateful for the Cringey Family Gatherings

These Abysmal Christmases in History Make us Grateful for the Cringey Family Gatherings

Tim Flight - December 25, 2018

These Abysmal Christmases in History Make us Grateful for the Cringey Family Gatherings
The KKK on parade in Virginia, 1922. Jstor

1. The KKK was founded on Christmas Eve 1865

If the above haven’t made you think about Christmas in a different light, this one certainly will. Racial tensions in the former Confederate States, which led to lynchings and violence such as the Mayfield race riot above, also resulted in the foundation of the notorious Ku Klux Klan. On Christmas Eve 1865, 6 Confederate Army veterans met in Pulaski, Tennessee, to form a group to deal with the great danger posed by other human beings having equal rights. After naming their Nathan Bedford as their first leader (or Grand Wizard), the group soon attracted scores of new members.

The KKK, as it is usually called, carried out lynchings, assaults, harassment, and rapes against African-Americans and anyone who tried to help them. Only 6 years after its foundation Congress passed the Ku Klux Klan Act of 1871, allowing the President to use military force against them. The KKK remains a repulsive and dangerous organization today. What would a Middle Eastern Jew, who preached tolerance and peace amongst all men regardless of creed or color, and crucified for his faith, make of the foundation of a hateful and violent group preaching death to all non-white-Protestants to celebrate his birthday?

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“All Mayfield Under Arms: Excitement over the Kentucky Race War.” New York Times, December 24, 1896.

Burns, Ian. “The Christmas Flood of 1717: How one of the most devastating storms in European history killed 13,700 people in Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands.” The Daily Mail, December 26, 2017.

“Charles Chaplin Dies at 88, Burial in Switzerland.” Variety, December 27, 1977.

Costello, John. The Pacific War. New York: Rawson, Wade, 1981.

“DR Congo: LRA Slaughters 620 in ‘Christmas Massacres'”. January 17, 2009

Fraser, Antonia. Cromwell, Our Chief of Men. Orion Pub Co, 2004.

Geiling, Natasha. “Egg Nog: It’s All Fun and Games Until Someone Starts a Holiday Riot”.

Goodman, Jonathan. The Christmas Murders. Kent State University Press, 2011.

“Indian Ocean Tsunami of 2004”. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Jenkins, Simon. A Short History of England. London: Profile, 2011.

Lacey, Marc. “10 Years Later, Chiapas Massacre Still Haunts Mexico.” New York Times, December 23, 2007.

Morris, Aldon D. Origins of the Civil Rights Movements: Black Communities Organizing for Change. London: Macmillan, 1986.

“Pan Am flight 103”. Encyclopedia Britannica.

Reitherman, Robert. Earthquakes and Engineers: An International History. Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2011.

Smith, Trudy J. White Christmas, Bloody Christmas. High Point, NC: DTS Group, 1990 (2015)

Tamkin, Emily. “How Soviets Came to Celebrate New Year’s Like Christmas (and Why Russians Still Do).” Foreign Policy, December 30, 2016.

Taylor, Alan. “The Soviet War in Afghanistan, 1979-1989.” The Atlantic, August 4th 2014.

Uenuma, Francine, “The Iroquois Theater Disaster Killed Hundreds and Changed Fire Safety Forever”. Smithsonian Magazine.

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