Friday, December 25, 2015


JFK+50:  Volume 6, No. 1808


Trenton, New Jersey (JFK+50)  239 years ago this Christmas evening, General George Washington led 2400 American soldiers across the ice-packed Delaware River to attack the Hessian winter camp at Trenton.

The historic crossing began at 11 p.m. and was made at three different locations along the Delaware River.  One of the General's Continental soldiers, Elisha Bostwick, later wrote...

"I heard his Excellency...encouraging the soldiers...'Keep by your officers.  For God's sake, keep by your officers!"

General Washington's rout of the professional German troops hired to fight on the side of the British during the American Revolutionary War came on December 26th.

Emanuel Leutze's* original painting of "The Crossing," completed in 1851, was destroyed in a British air raid on Germany during World War II.  Two of Leutze's other versions remain, one located at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and the other at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum in Winona, MN.

*Emanuel Gottieb Leutze (1816-1868) was born in Germany and came to America as a child.  EGL lived in Philadelphia and opened a studio in NYC in 1859.  That year he painted a portrait of Chief Justice Roger B. Taney which hangs today at the Harvard School of Law.  His painting of Washington Crossing the Delaware is, by far, his most famous.


"Washington Crosses the Delaware, 1776," Eyewitness to History,

"Washington Crossing the Delaware," Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City,

Washington Crossing the Delaware
Emanuel Leutze (1851)
Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City


Knoxville, Tennessee, USA (JFK+50) The White family extends the best wishes of the season to all visitors of JFK+50.   In 1962, President John F. Kennedy issued a message which included these words...

"This morning I (met) our representatives in the distant lands of Asia. They were returning to their posts for the Christmas holiday.  Talking with them afterwards, I was struck by the fact that in that far off continent Moslems, Hindus, Buddhists as well as Christians, pause from their labors on the 25th of December to celebrate the birthday of the Prince of Peace.

There could be no more striking proof that Christmas is truly the universal holiday of all men.  It is the day when all of us dedicate our thoughts to others, when all are reminded that mercy and compassion are the enduring virtues, when all show by small deed and set that, verily, it is more blessed to give than to receive.

It is the day when we remind ourselves that men can live in peace with his neighbors, and that it is the peace-makers who are truly blessed."


President and Mrs. Kennedy
December 12, 1962
Photo by Robert Knudsen
JFK Library