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  • 2 years ago
134-The Christmas Truce

134-The Christmas Truce

In December 1914 a remarkable thing happened on the Western Front: British and German soldiers stopped fighting and left their trenches to greet one another, exchange souvenirs, bury their dead, and sing carols in the spirit of the holiday season. In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Christmas truce, which one participant called "one of the highlights of my life." We'll also remember James Thurber's Aunt Sarah and puzzle over an anachronistic twin. Intro: In 1898, G.W. Roberts of Birmingham made a full-size piano from 3,776 matchboxes and 5 pounds of glue. In 1892, 69 men raced 302 miles on stilts, from Bordeaux to Bayonne and Biarritz and back. Sources for our feature on the Christmas truce: Terri Blom Crocker, The Christmas Truce: Myth, Memory, and the First World War, 2016. Stanley Weintraub, Silent Night: The Story of the World War I Christmas Truce, 2001. Chris Baker, The Truce: The Day the War Stopped, 2014. Peter Hart, "Christmas Tru