By 1859, exactly two centuries after Massachusetts outlawed celebration of the December holiday, the generally conservative national Sunday School Union began publishing Christmas hymns and liturgies. This action was yet another sign that the creation of a national Christmas holiday was inevitable. That honor was left to President U.S. Grant, who in 1870 signed legislation that would provide future generations of Americans with a day off to celebrate as they see fit.
Merry Christmas to all.
Salem historian Jim McAllister is a regular contributor to these pages.