Today's Article - The White House Christmas Tree

This article is for quizzes on Wednesday December 21st...

The White House Christmas Tree, also known as the Blue Room Christmas Tree, is the official indoor Christmas tree at the residence of the President of the United States, the White House. The first indoor Christmas tree was installed in the White House sometime in the 19th century (there are varying claims as to the exact year) and since 1961 the tree has had a themed motif at the discretion of the First Lady of the United States.
There are two claims to the "first" genuine White House Christmas tree. President Franklin Pierce is said to have had the first indoor Christmas tree at the White House during the 1850s, variously reported as 1853 or 1856. Others claim the first tree was during President Benjamin Harrison's administration (either in 1888, 1889, or 1891). First Lady Caroline Harrison helped decorate the tree, which was installed in the second floor oval parlor today's Yellow Oval Room.[5] There is an 1880 reference to President John Tyler in the 1840s, hosting a children's party at which there was a Christmas tree with gifts.

The White House Christmas tree is selected from various growers nationwide. Growers in the state of North Carolina have provided 11 trees, more than any other state. The states of Washington and Wisconsin, as of 2011, share the second highest total of trees provided for the White House with seven. The White House Christmas tree has been displayed in the Blue Room many times since 1961. It has also occasionally been displayed in the Entrance Hall.

Generally, there is more than one Christmas tree in and around the White House, for instance, in 1997 there were 36, in 2008 there were 27. Traditionally, the tree in the Blue Room is the official White House Christmas tree. The White House Christmas tree usually stands nearly 20 feet tall and the crystal chandelier in the Blue Room must be removed for the tree to fit the room. Frequently, the tree's height is reported as 18 or 18½ feet tall. The Blue Room tree is donated each year by the National Christmas Tree Association (NCTA). The NCTA has donated the tree since 1966; it is chosen through a contest among members of the trade group. The 2015 Christmas Tree was chosen from the Bustard's Christmas Tree farm in Pennsylvania.


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