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The Ellipse in Washington, District of Columbia — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The National Christmas Tree

 
 
The National Christmas Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
1. The National Christmas Tree Marker
Inscription.

At 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge walked from the White House to the Ellipse and “pushed the button” to light the first National Christmas Tree. A crowd of 3,000 witnessed the inaugural lighting of the 48-foot, cut Balsam fir, donated by Middlebury College, Vermont. For the next thirty years, live trees were lit at various locations on or near the White House grounds. Finally, in 1954, the ceremony returned to the Ellipse.

Cut trees served as National Christmas Trees until 1973. It was then decided to plant a permanent live tree. The current National Christmas Tree, a 40-foot Colorado blue spruce was transplanted from York, Pennsylvania, in October 1978. Since President Coolidge began the tradition in 1923, each presidential administration has participated in the lighting of the National Christmas Tree.

[Photo captions:]

President Coolidge lights the first National Christmas Tree in 1923.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt speaks at the lighting of the National Christmas Tree ceremony on Christmas Eve, 1941. The Oriental spruce, shown above in the color photograph, still stands today on the south lawn of the White House.

The National Christmas Tree decorated (above) in 1996. The Colorado blue spruce was transplanted (right) to
The National Christmas Tree image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
2. The National Christmas Tree
the Ellipse in 1978.


 
Erected by National Park Service, Department of the Interior.
 
Location. 38° 53.704′ N, 77° 2.174′ W. Marker is in The Ellipse, District of Columbia, in Washington. Marker is at the intersection of E Street, NW and the Ellipse, on the right when traveling east on E Street, NW. Touch for map. Marker is accessible to pedestrians just south of the White House. It is off the sidewalk on the south side of E Street - at the north edge of the Ellipse in President’s Park. Marker is in this post office area: Washington DC 20005, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Zero Milestone (within shouting distance of this marker); White House Kitchen Garden (within shouting distance of this marker); William Tecumseh Sherman (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Boy Scout Memorial (about 700 feet away); Original Patentees Memorial (about 800 feet away); Alexander Hamilton Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Division War Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); The United States Treasury (approx. 0.2 miles away).
 
Also see . . .  U.S. National Christmas Tree Blown Down by Heavy Winds. (Submitted on April 1, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.)
The original National Christmas Tree Marker - in the grass on the Ellipse image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, April 4, 2010
3. The original National Christmas Tree Marker - in the grass on the Ellipse

National Christmas Tree
Transplanted October 11, 1978
Christmas Pageant
of
Peace
Committee

 
Categories. Horticulture & ForestryMan-Made FeaturesNotable EventsPeace
 
The National Chanukah Menorah image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 4, 2010
4. The National Chanukah Menorah
at the Ellipse on the 8th night of Chanukah 2010.
The National Christmas Tree - lighting ceremony, 2010 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 9, 2010
5. The National Christmas Tree - lighting ceremony, 2010
The new National Christmas Tree - a 26-foot Colorado blue spruce planted 2011 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 20, 2011
6. The new National Christmas Tree - a 26-foot Colorado blue spruce planted 2011
- note the "original" tree marker in place, lower right.
The National Christmas Tree Marker image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, December 20, 2011
7. The National Christmas Tree Marker
- note that the frame for the marker panel (lower middle) featuring the previous tree (planted in 1978 and blown down in 2011) is presently empty.
The National Christmas Tree - 2012 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 14, 2011
8. The National Christmas Tree - 2012
National Christmas Tree - signage, 2012 image. Click for full size.
By Richard E. Miller, November 14, 2011
9. National Christmas Tree - signage, 2012
"... the living National Christmas tree, a Colorado blue spruce from northwestern Virginia transplanted on the Ellipse on October 27, 2012. ..."
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on April 6, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,619 times since then and 59 times this year. Last updated on December 9, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on April 6, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   4. submitted on December 8, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   5. submitted on December 10, 2010, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   6, 7. submitted on December 20, 2011, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland.   8, 9. submitted on December 8, 2012, by Richard E. Miller of Oxon Hill, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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