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President Obama Lights the 2010 National Christmas Tree

Friday, December 10th, 2010

Rockefeller Center in New York City isn’t the only place in the world with a spectacular Christmas tree.  Yesterday evening, President Obama and his family celebrated the 87th Annual National Tree Lighting Ceremony in Washington, D.C. by lighting the 2010 National Christmas Tree

Music artists B.B. King, Common, Maroon 5, Ingrid Michaelson, Sara Bareilles, and more also joined the First Family.  This year, the National Tree Lighting was also sponsored by the Underwriters Laboratories, a product safety organization that recently partnered with actress Debra Messing for their “Commit a Minute to Safety” campaign to keep families safe during the holidays.

Some notable events in the National Christmas Tree timeline include:

  • 1923: A 48-foot Balsam fir tree is planted on the Ellipse and officially dubbed the National Christmas Tree.  President Coolidge is the first president to light the tree. 
  • 1945: President Truman lights the National Christmas Tree for the first time since 1941, when America went to fight in World War II.
  • 1963: The Christmas tree lighting is delayed for 30 days after President Kennedy is assassinated on November 22.  President Johnson lights the tree and General Electric (GE) designs the tree lights and decorations for the first time.
  • 1978: A new Christmas tree, a Colorado blue spruce, is found at the home of a couple living in York, Pennsylvania.  At 15 years old and 30 feet tall, the tree is transported to D.C. and planted on the Ellipse. President Carter is the first president to light the new tree. 
  • 2010: Today the tree is 46 years old and stands at almost 42 feet tall.


Photo courtesy of Charlie Samuels.

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