Tuesday, November 25, 2014

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story

Next week, I'm doing one of my brown bag lunches, this one featuring holiday books. I picked up some nonfiction titles that would fit the theme, beginning with In the Dark Streets Shineth. The subtitle is A 1941 Christmas Eve Story. It's a story told by David McCullough, one he told on PBS at the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's 2009 Christmas concert.

Less than a month after Pearl Harbor, during Christmas week, a visitor traveled secretly to Washington, D.C. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt hosted the Christmas Eve lighting of the National Christmas Tree, he welcomed and introduced his guest, Prime Minister Winston Churchill. McCullough's account includes the speeches the two leaders made, speeches about the need for light in a dark world. And, he also includes the stories of two Christmas songs. Churchill first heard "O Little Town of Bethlehem" on Christmas day when he went to church with Roosevelt. The other song is "I'll Be Home for Christmas", a song written in 1942, expressing the longing for home.

In the Dark Streets Shineth is a tiny book filled with history. The two speeches are included, the history of the songs, and pictures from the war years. The pictures reflect the Christmases of those years, just as the book reflects the spirit.

The book is now a few years old, and not easily available. But, you can always get a copy from a library. The book includes the dvd of the program itself. Honestly? I'm always sappy when it comes to those kind of shows based on actual history. David McCullough brings Christmas 1941, and the war years, to life.

In the Dark Streets Shineth: A 1941 Christmas Eve Story as told by David McCullough. Shadow Mountain. 2010. ISBN 9781606418314 (hardcover)

FTC Full Disclosure - Library book


Anonymous said...

This sounds like a wonderful Christmas book. I get "sappy", this time of year, and love Christmas shows and books. I will see if I can find this one. Thanks, Lesa.

Lesa said...

I'm with you, Patricia. And, I'm looking forward to talking about all those books next week.

LuAnn Braley said...

Christmas films, books ... I love 'em all! And if there's a little history thrown in, so much the better!

Lesa said...

I agree, LuAnn. I love them, too, and the history just adds to the pleasure.

Beth Hoffman said...

There's something special when holiday stories highlight that era in our history. I'll have to add this one to my list.

Lesa said...

Both the Great War & WWII in England's history, Beth. Very interesting.