Contact: Audrey Fischer (202)-707-0022

October 5, 1999

The Spirit of Christmas in Wartime Is Subject of Library Publication

I'll Be Home for Christmas: The Library of Congress Revisits the Spirit of Christmas During World War II has recently been published by the Library of Congress in cooperation with Delacorte and the Stonesong Press.

World War II was one of the key events that shaped the 20th century, leaving an indelible mark on mankind. With a title inspired by the popular 1943 song, "I'll Be Home for Christmas," the book presents stories, correspondence, illustrations, diary excerpts and more than 100 photographs from the Library's vast resources that capture the wartime era during the holiday season.

"Although Christmas is a season of peace, across five Christmas seasons many men and women served their country during World War II so that future generations could live in peace," said Librarian of Congress James H. Billington in the preface of the text. "Whether these stories are from the papers of General George Patton, a soldier's diary, or our recently acquired collection of memorabilia from entertainer Bob Hope, you will marvel at how the spirit of Christmas was kept alive during World War II both at war and on the homefront."

Gathered within the pages of I'll Be Home for Christmas are the poignant stories of faith and sacrifice, the power of love, patriotism, and commitment. In times of war, no matter what the situation or the place, citizens and soldiers tried to re-create as best they could the feelings of Christmas and sentiments of hope for peace on Earth.

I'll Be Home for Christmas -- a 209-page, hardbound book -- is available for $25 from the Library of Congress Sales Shop (Credit card orders: 202-707-0204).

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PR 99-143
ISSN 0731-3527

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