Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Franklin Pierce Puts Up First White House Christmas Tree

Pol Light Moment #35 occured in December of 1856, when Franklin Pierce put up the first Christmas Tree in the White House.  Franklin Pierce was the 14th President of the United States, serving from 1853-1857. Pierce also was a United States Senator from New Hampshire from 1937-1942.

Franklin Pierce put up the Christmas tree for the enjoyment of a group of children from a Sunday School class in Washington (Hyms and Carols of Christmas, The White House Christmas Trees). Gifts from around the tree were passed out to the children and the song Hark, the Herald Angels Sing was sung.

Kevin Rawlings' book We Were Marching on Christmas Day indicates that the Sunday School class was from the historic New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. However at the time that Pierce attended services in the building it was known as the Second Presbyterian Church. The place of worship for the Second Presbyterian Church would later become the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church when it merged with another congregation (New York Avenue Presbyterian Church History).

For more information on Franklin Pierce putting up the first Christmas Tree in the White House read these articles.
There is also mention of this event in the online Special Collections Library of ipl2.

Pol Light does not endorse political candidates. We present a brighter side to politics when they are found on either side of the aisle. We don't have to agree with all of a person's politics to recognize these bright moments.

The photo of Franklin Pierce is in the Public Domain.

1 comment:

  1. I have yet to find credible evidence that Pierce was the first President to put a Christmas tree in the White House.