Millions of children in Europe had at least a semblance of Christmas a century ago today in part due to the people of the United States. The USS Jason left Brooklyn’s Bush Terminal on 14 November 1914 en route to Europe. Its mission was to deliver six million toys to the children of war-ravaged Europe. The Jason was the first Christmas ship of the Great War. It left so early because it had many stops to make. British torpedo boats escorted the Jason into Devonport England in late November. The toy project maintained strict neutrality. After unloading toys for the children of England, the Jason sailed to Holland to drop off a shipment for the Belgians. Then it was on to Genoa Italy in mid-December for a final unloading intended for the children of Germany, Russia, and Austro-Hungary.
(image/Library of Congress)