New Year’s Day cards, all but unknown today, were at one time quite a popular item.
The Streets of Salem blog features several New Year’s Day cards from the beginning of the 20th century up through the beginning of World War I.
The one above caught my attention immediately because I didn’t immediately recognize its significance.
The Czar of Russia, the Emperor of Japan and President Theodore Roosevelt were all interesting individuals, to be certain, but why would someone think to make a New Year’s Day card featuring the trio, particularly given that pigs, pixies and shamrocks were more typical fare for such missives?
Then it occurred to me what all three had in common, and why Roosevelt was in the middle: Teddy had toward the end of 1905 helped negotiate an end to the Russo-Japanese War.
The conflict lasted from February 1904 until September 1905 and is considered the “first great war of the 20th century,” even if it’s a largely forgotten war today.