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Tyrone History Museum hosts special Christmas program; features ‘Toys of Yesteryear’

This year to help celebrate Tyrone’s Yuletyme Christmas, the History Museum will be open Sunday, December 2 from 1 to 4 p.m. featuring the exhibit “Toys of Yesteryear”.
Two display cases are filled with old toys of all kinds, on loan from friends.
The toys are 65 to 90 years old and include a cast iron bank, oil cloth animals and dolls stuffed with excelsior (a shredded wood filling), carved wooden toys, teddy bears, handmade stuffed elephant and monkey, a rocking horse chair and wooden blocks.
The second display case features a toy train setup from the 1947-50 time frame.
The museum will also host a special presentation by Kevin Rawlings, author of “We Were Marching on Christmas Day”.
Rawlings will dress as the Thomas Nast patriotic Civil War Santa Claus, in red, white and blue, as he presents his program at the Tyrone History Museum on Thursday, December 6 at 7 p.m.
During his program he will talk about Christmas as it related to the era of the American Civil War and the history of the real Saint Nicholas and his evolution from a real bishop from Asia Minor to the mythical character Thomas Nast illustrated during his tenure at “Harper’s Weekly” and to the present day makeover by advertising artist Haddon Sunblom for Coca Cola.
Rawlings will also discuss the history of Christmas trees, Christmas cards, Christmas carols, gift giving and other facets of the holiday and how they were assimilated into American culture.
A program will also be presented by Rawlings at the Tyrone Area Middle School for fifth and sixth grade students.
Thomas Nast (1840-1902) was a famous German-American caricaturist and editorial cartoonist in the 19th century and is considered to be the father of American political cartooning.
Nast drew for Harper’s Weekly from 1859 to 1860 and again from 1862 until 1886.
He is credited for creating a classic version of Santa Claus, drawn in 1863 for Harper’s Weekly, the Republican Party elephant and the Democratic Party donkey, along with penning an updated version of Uncle Sam.
The museum will be open each Sunday and Wednesday from 1 to 4 p.m. through Sunday, December 16.