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Topics in Chronicling America - Christmas Truce

"Miracle is Wrought by Christmas Spirit in Hostile Trenches," announces Philadelphia’s Evening Public Ledger for March 24, 1915. Following months of trench warfare, unofficial ceasefires erupt along the Western Front during Christmas of 1914. Climbing from their trenches onto battle-scarred "no man’s land," British and German soldiers shake hands, swap cigarettes and jokes, and even play football. "We all have wives and children…we’re just the same kind of men as you are," one German said. Read more about it!

The information and sample article links below provide access to a sampling of articles from historic newspapers that can be found in the Chronicling America: American Historic Newspapers digital collection (http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/). Use the Suggested Search Terms and Dates to explore this topic further in Chronicling America.


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Important Dates:

  • December 12, 1914. Pope Benedict XV fails to arrange a truce among warring European nations during the Christmas holidays.
  • January-March, 1914. Word reaches America that an unofficial “Christmas truce” was celebrated in trenches on the Western Front.
  • December, 1915. Americans are disheartened when no such spontaneous armistice occurs the following Christmas.

Suggested Search Strategies:

  • [Try the following terms in combination, proximity, or as phrases using Search Pages in Chronicling America.] Christmas Truce, fraternized, peace, Christmas armistice.

Sample Articles from Chronicling America:

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  January 25, 2013
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