“A Christmas Classic: Bing, Berlin, and the Story of ‘White Christmas’” is a new digital history exhibit produced by Ray Rast (Gonzaga University Associate Professor of History) and a team of Gonzaga students. The exhibit explores the history behind the best-selling Christmas song of all time, the hard-working Jewish immigrant who wrote it, and the Irish Catholic crooner who made it a hit.
The exhibit also explores the trajectory of the Christmas tradition in America, showing how “White Christmas” helped make the holiday season more commercialized but also more inclusive — and thus more American.
The exhibit reminds us that “White Christmas,” released amidst the turmoil of World War II, blended a longing for the past with "dreams" of a brighter future. The song resonated with millions of Americans who were separated from their loved ones during the war years — many of them for the first time.
As Christmas approaches at the end of this difficult year, the song retains a poignant timeliness.
Visit the exhibit at https://achristmasclassic.org.