The National Christmas tree is a large tree near the White House. It is decorated every year during the beginning of the Christmas season. It is televised and for the entire month long festivities and is known as the Pageant of Peace and the smaller decorated trees on the way to the big tree are known as the Pathway to Peace. The first National Christmas tree is attributed to President Calvin Coolidge in 1923.
The Christmas tree was donated by Middlebury College and the President turned the switch to light the tree for the first time. It was then the organizers of the event who declared the tree to be called as the “National Christmas Tree”.
However, the tree was changed in the year 1973 with a 42-foot Colorado blue spruce. The tree was donated by the National Arborist Association, was brought from Pennsylvania, and was transplanted in the same place. It was planted as the permanent National Christmas tree. However, the tree did not live longer and the last time it was decorated and lighted was in 1976.
It was replaced by another 30 foot Colorado blue spruce, which was donated by an anonymous family from Maryland. This tree was also transplanted with hopes of serving as permanent tree. However, it was used for a year before a windstorm destroyed it in 1978.
The next tree was brought from the Myers family farm in Pennsylvania in 1978. Mrs. Myers had received a gift on Mother’s day that the family donated later for the National Christmas tree and it stands still today. The National Park Service, horticulturalist cares the tree until this day.
It was from the year 1981, the tree have been decorated and lighted every year. The Christmas tree topper (Star) is placed by the Vice President’s wife with help from the Chairman of the Pageant. The President turns on the light every year in an officially that is televised. The lights used today are special energy-saving LED lights.