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Contact: Susan Ashman, (413) 734-8551
SPRINGFIELD, MA:You asked, we listened! Ranger Susan Ashman will present Christmas at the Springfield Armory once again. The program begins at 1:30pm on Saturday, December 20th, 2014 in the museum theater and continues in the Commanding Officer's house on the grounds of the National Historic Site. Admission is free.
During this program, beginning in the Museum Theater, historic images reveal how workers at the Armory kept their morale up during the Christmas season while loved ones fought overseas. Following the presentation, a Ranger-led tour of the Commanding Officer's house with light refreshments and recorded period music allow us to perhaps begin to understand how World War II influenced the type of music produced for the Christmas season.
Armory Historian, Richard Colton, commented that during WWII Springfield Armory celebrated Christmas with time-off from Christmas Eve through Christmas Day. Office and shop parties were held at the Armory and in downtown hotels. But with wartime, the somber grim realities of the cost of total war steadily showed itself as critical materials and personnel were increasingly needed to fight the Axis powers. Soon, even Christmas trees were stripped of their aluminum tinsel and glass, replaced with homemade substitutes. Before long, popular Christmas music also changed to reflect separation and longing of loved ones as in "I'll Be Home for Christmas" and "White Christmas."
Ranger Ashman offers this holiday program to give visitors an opportunity to explore the Commanding Officer Quarters where thirty-four Commandants and their families lived and entertained. This WWII Christmas program gives visitors a chance to see the human side of this historic site justly famous for its exceptional historical military firearms collection among other things.
Springfield Armory National Historic Site commemorates and preserves the site of our Nation's first armory, established in 1794. It's the home of the world's largest historic American military firearms collection. The site is openWednesday–Sunday 9 AM- 5 PM. Admission is free. For information call 413-734-8551, check www.nps.gov/spar or go to www.facebook.com/sparnhs.