Christmas Day in 1919 was on a Thursday. In Washington DC, the federal government celebrated its first Christmas since 1916 following the cessation and wrap up of The Great War. (Though the Armistice had been signed in November 1918, they were still winding down operations by Christmas that year a few weeks later.)
John D. Rockefeller also made national headlines by announcing a $100 million dollar donation (roughly $1.5 billion today) with half of it going to increase salaries for college professors and the other half going to fight diseases.
Closer to home (this was about 35 years before a Rockefeller would live in Little Rock), philanthropy abounded as well. The Arkansas Democrat had a program at the Kempner Theatre for needy children. In addition to performances by several local singers, they were invited on the stage to receive a gift beneath a large Christmas tree. The Democrat and its readers donated the approximate $2,000 (equivalent of $30,000 in 2019) for the gifts. Elsewhere in Little Rock, the Salvation Army, Red Cross, and YWCA also presented toys, clothing, and food baskets to those in need.
Soldiers convalescing at the Camp Pike hospital were given an entertainment and gifts. Likewise, at St. Vincent’s Infirmary, staff presented presents to patients and to each other.
The only government office open was the Police Court in Little Rock to address those arrested the night before. One man, who had been caught with an oversized revolver, was set free but given a warning. The only person arrested for enjoying Christmas cheer a bit too much was a woman. The judge ordered her to be released, as soon as she was sober enough to go on her way.