Saturday, February 19, 2011

Jeebus Getting Tired Of Symbol Of His Birth Constantly Being Used As Political Football

Winds Fell National Christmas Tree

"WASHINGTON — High winds whipped through Washington on Saturday, downing power lines in a few places, fueling brush fires and even toppling the National Christmas Tree.

The National Weather Service had issued a high wind warning for the city, cautioning that some gusts could reach 60 miles per hour. No one was reported injured from the fallen lines or the fires.

The Christmas tree, a Colorado blue spruce, more than 40 feet tall and nearly 48 years old, had been donated by a family in Pennsylvania, according to the National Christmas Tree Web site. It was moved by the National Park Service in 1978, the Web site reads, becoming a permanent fixture on the Ellipse in President’s Park. The tree had no known health problems when it fell, said a Park Service spokesman, Bill Line."

From Wikipedia:

"Having used cut trees from around the country since 1954, the Christmas Pageant of Peace reintroduced a living tree into the ceremony in 1973, responding to hundreds of letters from individuals and environmental groups around the country requesting that conservation concerns be addressed. A 42-foot Colorado blue spruce from Pennsylvania donated by the National Arborist Association was planted in the Ellipse earlier that year. In order to conserve energy, the 1973 tree was decorated primarily with non-energy-consuming decorations such as garlands and balls. With less weight and heat on the branches, this also helped preserve the tree. Yet, this tree deteriorated within a few short years and was replaced with a 34-foot Colorado blue spruce from Maryland in 1977. Unfortunately, the 1977 tree was destroyed in a windstorm months afterwards. A 30-foot Colorado blue spruce from York, Pennsylvania was planted in the Ellipse in 1978 and was employed as the National Christmas Tree until February 19, 2011 when the tree was toppled in high winds.

In 1979, the National Christmas Tree was only partially lit. When President Jimmy Carter sent his daughter Amy to light the tree on December 13, the switch lit only the top star on the big tree and only tiny blue lights illuminated the state trees on the Pathway of Peace. The President announced that the National Christmas Tree, a nationwide symbol, would remain dark until the American hostages in Iran were set free. General Electric had designed a scheme of multiple lighting and visual effects and an all white tree to coordinate with the theme of "Joy and Light," celebrating the 100th anniversary of Thomas Edison's invention of the practical incandescent lamp. However, the tree remained unlit. In 1980, President Carter lit the National Christmas Tree for only 417 seconds, each second symbolizing one day of captivity of the Americans hostages in Iran. When the hostages were eventually released on January 20, 1981, the tree was hastily re-decorated in time for their return.

In 1995, the National Christmas Tree was lit by solar energy for the first time. In 2007, LED Christmas lights were used, and the tree topper was refurbished to use them also."


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