What a wonderful variety of ornaments we can get to decorate our Christmas trees! Here is an array of ornaments perfect for any U.S. history buff, whether that someone is yourself or a loved one.
1. ALEXANDER HAMILTON
Lest we start to think that Alexander Hamilton looked like Lin-Manuel Miranda (creator of the hit Broadway musical Hamilton), let us remember his portrait is on the $10 bill. It's this portrait that also graces the Alexander Hamilton Christmas ornament from Mat and Amie of Nestled Pines Woodworking. The quote on the piece—"A promise must never be broken"—is from a 1791 letter to his eldest son, Philip.
2. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Benjamin Franklin has been paraphrased and misquoted for over 200 years. What he said was, "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Holly White painted that quote, along with Franklin's face, on a plush Christmas ornament offered through her shop HollyAndHerHobbies.
3. ABRAHAM LINCOLN QUOTES
This glass ball has a treasure inside. The curled bits of paper are actually hand-cut from a book titled Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859-1865. Quotes from Abraham Lincoln are carefully excised, curled, and placed inside until the ball is filled. The result is a historically meaningful ornament from Etsy store noveladornment.
4. THE GETTYSBURG ADDRESS
This wooden ornament is only 4 inches tall, yet it contains the complete text of the Gettysburg Address, as delivered by President Lincoln at the dedication of the military cemetery. It's offered by Dennis and Nancy Solomon of PalmettoEngraving.
5. SITTING BULL
SarahWoodJewelry has a series of ornaments featuring photographs of Native American historical figures on tin with leather and copper trim. This one features Hunkpapa Lakota chief and holy man Sitting Bull, who united the Sioux tribes to oppose U.S. government policies toward Native Americans, which included defeating General Custer at Little Big Horn. Other ornaments from the shop depict Chief Joseph and Geronimo.
6. THEODORE ROOSEVELT
Our 26th president led the Rough Riders, championed national parks, and inspired the teddy bear. Now Teddy Roosevelt is a wooden Christmas ornament, handcrafted by Rachael Peden. Her Etsy shop has a wealth of historical figures in wood ready to deck your Christmas tree, from George Washington and Abraham Lincoln to Edgar Allan Poe and Davy Crockett.
7. ROSIE THE RIVETER
When American men were sent off to fight in World War II, women stepped into their jobs for the war effort. Over time, those hard-working women came to be represented by a character called Rosie the Riveter. You can pay tribute to the working women of World War II with this pewter Christmas ornament in the style of the iconic poster. You'll find it at the Etsy shop ARRARosieShoppe, along with other souvenirs depicting Rosie.
8. VJ DAY IN TIMES SQUARE
New Yorkers celebrated the end of World War II with dancing in the streets. Photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt was in Times Square on VJ Day and captured an unforgettable photo of a sailor kissing a nurse that became the image everyone associates with the war's end. Nina at AdornamentsNY makes a version of that kiss as a Christmas tree ornament that can be personalized with names.
9. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Kimmy at scrambledpegs offers wooden figurines of famous people from history, and she'll be glad to add a hook and ribbon so that you can hang them on your Christmas tree. Pictured here is Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. Other historical figures from the Etsy shop include peg dolls depicting Mary Shelley, Marie Curie, Sally Ride, Pope John Paul II, Nelson Mandela, Anne Frank, and Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
10. APOLLO MISSION
The Kennedy Space Center gift shop sells Christmas ornaments commemorating notable NASA missions. This one shows Santa Claus and Rudolph in an Apollo lunar capsule, modeled after the ones used during actual missions. Other ornaments in the shop commemorate the space shuttle program, and there are even a couple sporting the classic NASA logo.