• The first commercial Christmas cards were commissioned in London, in 1843, by Sir Henry Cole, with illustration by John Callcott Horsley. President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first official White House card in 1953.
• "Rudolph" was actually created by Robert May for Montgomery Ward in the late 1930's as a holiday promotion. The song was written later by Johnny Marks, and recorded by Gene Autry in 1949; it promptly sold about 2 million copies.
• Christmas became an official national holiday in the USA on June 28, 1870.
• Poinsettias are the most popular Christmas plant and are the number one "flowering" potted plant in the United States.
• Franklin Pierce put the first Christmas tree in the White House (in 1856), for a group of Washington Sunday School children. Benjamin Harrison is credited with starting the tradition of the White House tree, being the first to have a decorated family Christmas tree in the White House in 1889, and Calvin Coolidge put the first National Christmas Tree on the White House lawn (not in the White House) in 1923.
• The first reported electrically lit Christmas tree was in December, 1882. The world's first practical light bulb was invented by Thomas Edison in 1879, and a mere three years later, in 1882, an officer of Edison's electric company, one Edward Johnson, electrically lit a Christmas tree for the first time. In 1917, after a tragic fire in New York City that was caused by Christmas candles, Albert Sadacca (fifteen years old at the time) invented safety lights for Christmas trees.
Decorating a live Christmas tree outdoors became popular, and eventually moved to indoor trees. The outdoor lights also moved onto houses, and decorating houses in lights became (and has remained) popular.
• Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states, including Hawaii and Alaska.
• In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was not lighted except for the top ornament. This was done because of the American hostages in Iran.
• According to the Guinness World Records, the world's tallest cut Christmas tree was a 221' Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) erected and decorated at Northgate Shopping Center, Seattle, Washington, USA, in December 1950.
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