• View of the White House's north side from Layfatte Park

    President's Park (White House)

    District of Columbia

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  • White House Visitor Center Rehabilitation and Closure Information

    The White House Visitor Center is closed for rehabilitation. A temporary visitor center is located near the Ellipse Visitor Pavilion, just west of the intersection of 15th and E streets, NW.

  • White House Fence Restoration and Sidewalk Closure

    The National Park Service is restoring the White House fence along Pennsylvania Avenue, portions of which are believed to date back to 1818. During this restoration work, sections of the White House sidewalk will be temporarily closed for public safety. More »

  • Construction Project Affecting the White House Sidewalk

    Due to a construction project, a portion of both the White House sidewalk and Pennsylvania Avenue near East Executive Avenue will be closed until April 2015.

1934 - 1938 Tree Lightings

1934 National Christmas Tree

Of the two Fraser firs planted in Lafayette Square, the west tree was selected for the 1934 lighting ceremony.  In the background is the statue of Andrew Jackson.

National Park Service Historic Photograph Collection/Harpers Ferry Center

Lafayette Park

In Lafayette Park, north of the White House, two Fraser fir trees were planted, in 1934, on the east and west sides of the Jackson Statue in hopes that they would be used in alternate years. President Franklin D. Roosevelt never missed the ceremony nor the opportunity to deliver a Christmas Eve message heard by radio listeners coast to coast. During one on the lighting ceremonies the President repeated pushed the button only to have the tree remain dark. Newspapers later reported the button pushed by the President actually signaled an electrician (stationed down a manhole under the street) to light the tree.

by C. L. Arbelbide
January 6, 2001

Did You Know?

Richard Nixon – 37th President: 1969-1974

On July 21, 1969, at approximately 11:49 p.m., President Nixon talked to Apollo II astronauts, Neil A. Armstrong and Col. Edwin E. (Buzz) Aldrin, Jr., on the moon from the Oval Office at the White House by radio-telephone.