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On this day…

On this day in 1923, President Calvin Coolidge touches a button and lights up the first national Christmas tree to grace the White House grounds in the USA.

Not only was this the first White House “community” Christmas tree, but it was the first to be decorated with electric lights–a strand of 2,500 red, white and green bulbs. The balsam fir came from Coolidge’s home state of Vermont and stood 14.6 meters (48 feet) tall. Several musical groups performed at the tree-lighting ceremony, including the Epiphany Church Choir and the U.S. Marine Band.

At 17:00 on Christmas Eve, President Coolidge touched a button at the foot of the tree which lit the ornaments. Later that evening, President Coolidge and First Lady Grace were treated to carols sung by members of Washington D.C.’s First Congregational Church.


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