1939 - 1940 Tree Lightings

The Ellipse

The site for the tree lighting tradition came full circle when the ceremony returned to the Ellipse in 1939. Each of these two years, live red cedar trees were transplanted from land near George Washington's home in Mount Vernon to the Ellipse. At the 1940 ceremony President Franklin D. Roosevelt prefaced his prepared remarks with an announcement that if it was desirable he and Mrs. Roosevelt would like the celebration moved to the South Lawn of the White House grounds next year remarking that such a shift in locale would make for a "more homey" celebration.

History of National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies

1923 | 1924-1933 | 1934-1938 | 1939-1940 | 1941-1953 | 1954-present

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

1100 Ohio Drive, SW
Room 344

Washington, DC 20242

Phone:

(202) 208-1631
Phone number for the White House Visitor Center and President's Park offices.

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