Famous Christmas Trees: How Many Montana Trees Have Made The Cut?
One of the bigger Holiday traditions that America celebrates is the unveiling of different Christmas Trees such as the National Christmas Tree, the Tree at Rockefeller Center, and the Capitol Christmas Tree.,
These unveilings have become beloved Holiday traditions that started back in 1923, with the first National Christmas Tree. The tree was a 48-foot Balsam Fur that came from Vermont. Since then, each year, a tree is chosen and taken to Washington DC to be on display near the White House.
The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree tradition started in 1931 during the depression and each year since a tree is chosen and put on display at Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhatten.
Then there is the Capitol Christmas Tree. This tree is put on display each year outside of the United States Capitol with the United States Speaker of the House normally given the honors of lighting the tree.
So the question is, has the National Christmas Tree, The Rockefeller Christmas Tree, or the Capitol Christmas Tree ever come from Montana?
The answer to that question is yes.
In fact, the first and only National Christmas Tree from Montana happened in 1958 while President Eisenhower was in office. It was a 74-foot Englemann Spruce and was lit with seven thousand lights.
The President said at the time "I pray that all darkness, which at times has encompassed the world, may be illuminated by the light of understanding and cooperation of all the nations that earnestly seek peace in the year ahead."
Wise words that surely are applicable to today.
So how about the other two? What about the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree and the Capitol Christmas Tree? A tree from Montana has never been chosen to be the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, but that's not the case for the Capitol Christmas Tree.
The first tree from Montana selected to be the Capitol Christmas Tree happened in 1989 and was an Engelmann Spruce reaching almost 90 feet tall and coming from the Kootenai National Forrest.
Montana would have to wait until 2008 to have another tree on display. The Subalpine Fur was 70 feet tall and came from the Bitterroot National Forrest. Not only did the tree come from Montana, but so did the decorations, as Montanans made five thousand ornaments representing the state's history and accomplishments.
In 2017 the Kootenai National Forrest produced another Engelmann Spruce to be used as the Capitol Christmas Tree, this one reaching almost 80 feet in height.
It is certainly an honor to have a tree from Montana chosen to represent not only the state but the nation. It's also a nice reminder to remember the Christmas season and why we celebrate this magical time of year. While the Holidays might mean many things to many people, may we all wish for peace on earth and goodwill to all.
Credit: The National Park Service, AOC.gov, Rockefeller Center