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BackStory with the American History Guys Holiday 2011 Special
Christmas may be the Big Kahuna of American holy days... but it wasn't always so. For many centuries, it was a time of drunken rowdiness, when the poor would aggressively demand food and money from the rich. Little surprise, then, that the Puritans banned Christmas altogether. In fact, it wasn't until the 1820s that the holiday was re-invented as the peaceful, family-oriented, and yes, consumeristic ritual we celebrate today.
BackStory's year-end special takes on the fascinating history of the "holiday season" in America. Beginning with contemporary debates over the proper role of religion in the public square, the History Guys move backwards in time, searching for the roots of the holidays we celebrate today. Has Christmas grown more or less religious? When did gifts enter the picture? Was Hanukkah always as important to American Jews as it is today? What does the history of holidays have to do with the history of the American economy? These are just a few of the questions on the table as the History Guys explore the history of the winter holidays.Tune in to KSJD on Sunday at 9am for a special holiday Sundries program from BackStory with The American History Guys as they examine the history of the Christmas holiday in American.
Click HERE for the BackStory Radio web page on this episode.