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First National Christmas Tree in America

It was the 30th President of the U.S. Calvin Coolidge who lit up the first national Christmas tree on the White House grounds. This began a tradition followed by every administration. Then in 1981, the 40th President of the U.S. Ronald Reagan started up another custom and authorized the first official White House ornament. Copies of this ornament could be purchased.

It was also the first Christmas tree to be decorated with strands of electric lights. The strand of lights had 2,500 red, green and white bulbs. The tree was a balsam that came from the state of Vermont. It was 48 ft. tall. At this tree-lighting ceremony, entertainment was provided by such musical groups as the U.S. Marine Band and the Epiphany Church choir. Later on, carols were sung by members of the First Congregational Church in Washington, D.C.

History states that it was the 23rd President of the U.S. Benjamin Harrison who set up the first indoor Christmas tree in 1889. This tree was decorated with candles and ornaments. In 1929, First Lady Lou Henry Hoover started the annual tradition that became the duty of all first ladies – the trimming of the official White House indoor Christmas tree.

In the photo is the present National Christmas Tree 2019

  • Question of

    Do you have special Christmas traditions?

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    Have you ever seen the White House Christmas tree?

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