|Currier & Ives|
One of the best known winter songs, written by James Lord Pierpont in the 1850s, was first titled as "One Horse Open Sleigh." There is some historical debate on where Pierpont actually wrote the carol. Medford, Massachusetts claims the birthplace of the song, while historians have placed Pierpont in Georgia during this time period. People of Medford claim he wrote the song in a local tavern in 1850, but historians have since found that Pierpont was an organ player for his brother's church in Georgia and married the mayor of Savannah during this time period. As far as we have been able to pinpoint, Pierpont stayed on even after the church was closed due to abolitionism.
Whether Pierpont wrote the song in a tavern in Massachusetts or in a church in Georgia, his sleigh-ride carol has become timeless and worldwide—even universal!
On December 16, 1965, Gemini 6 called Mission Control to say:
The crew then put on a show of "Jingle Bells," featuring a harmonica and sleighbells.We have an object, looks like a satellite going from north to south, probably in polar orbit... I see a command module and eight smaller modules in front. The pilot of the command module is wearing a red suit....