The image of Santa Claus as we know him today turns 150 years old this Christmas season. One hundred and fifty years ago the white-bearded and jolly image of Santa Claus was used as a propaganda mechanism for recruiting soldiers in the Union Army, much like the “Uncle Sam” that we know today. Christmas 1863 saw Santa in a Union camp in Thomas Nast's first depiction of Santa as seen in the illustration from Harper's Weekly. Christmas became a national holiday in 1870 by the authority of President U.S. Grant.

The image of Santa Claus as we know him today turns 150 years old this Christmas season. One hundred and fifty years ago the white-bearded and jolly image of Santa Claus was used as a propaganda mechanism for recruiting soldiers in the Union Army, much like the “Uncle Sam” that we know today. Christmas 1863 saw Santa in a Union camp in Thomas Nast's first depiction of Santa as seen in the illustration from Harper's Weekly. Christmas became a national holiday in 1870 by the authority of President U.S. Grant.