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History Snacks

Tidings of Comfort, Joy & History!

The holiday season is in full swing, and whatever your favorite traditions are, we hope these festive stories from the National Archives will provide some cheer and merriment. 🎄

A Fancy Affair

President George W. Bush and Laura Bush sure knew how to throw a party. The menu for their 2002 Christmas dinner included Nantucket Bay scallops, pistachio-crusted lamb chops and hot chocolate souffle. That dessert might be a little too complex for most of us to make – so how about mixing up a batch of Laura Bush’s hot chocolate instead?

Hot Chocolate Ingredients

  • 6 T. Unsweetened cocoa
  • 6 T. Sugar
  • Pinch of Salt
  • 2 1/2 cup Milk
  • 2 1/2 cup Light Cream
  • 1/2 t. Vanilla (or more)
  • Pinch of Cinnamon Powder (optional)
  • Whipped Cream
  • Orange Zest

Mix cocoa, salt, and sugar. Add milk. Heat to dissolve. Add light cream, cinnamon, vanilla. Heat to just under boiling. Mix very well and pour into warm mug. Top with whipped cream, cocoa powder, and fine orange zest.

Three Cheers for Snail Mail

Would you like to cheer up a sailor this holiday season? For 20 years, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum has been coordinating an effort to send homemade holiday cards to sailors aboard the USS Roosevelt. Click here to join in the fun!

Wild West Menorah

The design of a menorah, the candelabrum used to observe Hanukkah, can vary tremendously from one to another. Take a look at this patent application for a menorah featuring a wild west theme—cowboys riding horses decked out with tassels, Jewish stars, dreidels and greenery that might be mistletoe.

Happy Holidays Space Style

Nowadays, the Earth’s orbit is crowded—and noisy. Thousands of satellites are circling the planet, broadcasting music, TV shows and news reports nonstop. But just over 60 years ago, space was quiet. That all ended after the Air Force launched the first communications satellite on December 18, 1958. The very next day, President Dwight D. Eisenhower spoke to the nation and the world, wishing everyone “peace on earth and good will to men everywhere.”

A class of first-graders in Springfield, Massachusetts, heard the president’s message and wrote him a letter thanking him for it. They told him that because of his inspiration, they planned to travel in space in the future.

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