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Vintage Christmas Cards from veterans on display in Fayetteville

The Washington County Historical Society hosted a local veteran and Christmas card collector.

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Veterans’ Christmas cards and letters dating back to the 19th century were on display in Fayetteville Sunday, Dec. 19.

From 2-4 p.m., the Washington County Historical Society hosted a “Vintage Christmas Card Display” at the Headquarters House on Dickson Street. The display featured over 500 antique Christmas cards and letters from veterans and soldiers.

"I wanted to collect something with a specific purpose and the Civil War, and the military spoke to me,” said collector Bill Underdown. “That's why I started collecting it."

Underdown began nearly two decades ago. He says he did not want to collect any traditional World War II items from soldiers.

"I wanted to collect something different,” Underdown said. “My two favorite things were Christmas and the military. So, it seemed like a normal thing to put together."

Underdown brought rare Christmas items to the event for everyone to see. From Christmas letters written by soldiers during the Civil War, to greeting cards from WWII.

The rare mementos date as far back as the 19th century.

"Almost everything here was touched by a veteran in some way or another and it's to help us remember what our veterans went through."

The display made attendee Marion Tichenor emotional. 

“It's very spiritually and emotionally thought-provoking,” Tichenor said. “It gave a very in-depth meaning to Christmas and to connections with the military in the past and the present."

The display helps Arkansans remember and honor those in the past and in the present who fought for their country and are not able to come home for the holidays.

"All of these individuals made a sacrifice in one kind or another,” Underdown said. “Giving up liberty, in some cases giving up their lives."

    

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