5¢ National Christmas Tree
Issue Date: November 1, 1963
City: Santa Claus, IN
Printed by: Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Printing Method: Giori Press
Color: Dark blue, bluish black and red
U.S. #1240 is the second stamp issued specifically for use during the Christmas season. It pictures the National Christmas Tree with the White House in the background.
The National Christmas Tree
The first National Christmas Tree in Washington, D.C., was decorated in 1923, during President Calvin Coolidge’s term. Paul D. Moody, President of Middlebury College in Vermont (Coolidge’s home state), donated the 48-foot Balsam Fir. President Coolidge first lit the tree’s 2,500 electric bulbs on Christmas Eve.
Beginning in 1932, loudspeakers were installed in the tree to play Christmas carols, earning it the nickname “The Singing Tree.”
The lighting of the tree by the President has become an annual televised event followed by a month of holiday festivities known as the Pageant of Peace. Groups of nearby trees and other decorations leading to the National Christmas Tree are known as the Pathway to Peace.