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Wed 3 Dec 2014 12:13 PM

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Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony

The regular and definite procedure of a Christmas tree-lighting ceremony on the Capitol Grounds started in 1964 although records at the Architect of the Capitol show correspondence from 1919 indicating that a Christmas tree was purchased that year.

Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), assisted by Aaron Urban, 10, of Linthicum, MD, threw the switch to light the Capitol Christmas Tree in front of the U.S. Capitol on December 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. Urban, who is fighting brain cancer, is helping light the tree as the kickoff for his one-true-wish, being granted by Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, to spend Christmas in New York City. The tree is an 88-foot white spruce from the Chippewea National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota. (Getty Images)
Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
Speaker of the House, John Boehner (R-OH), assisted by Aaron Urban, 10, of Linthicum, MD, threw the switch to light the Capitol Christmas Tree in front of the U.S. Capitol on December 2, 2014 in Washington, DC. Urban, who is fighting brain cancer, is helping light the tree as the kickoff for his one-true-wish, being granted by Make-A-Wish Mid-Atlantic, to spend Christmas in New York City. The tree is an 88-foot white spruce from the Chippewea National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota. (Getty Images)
Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
People stand under an umbrella next to an 88-foot white spruce that was lit as the Capitol Christmas Tree at the US Capitol in Washington, DC, December 2, 2014. (AFP/Getty Images)
Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
Members of the U.S. Army Band 'Pershing's Own' perform during the lighting ceremony of the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree at the West Front of the Capitol December 6, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This year's tree was a 65-foot tall Sierra white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in California. (Getty Images)
Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
U.S. Speaker of the House Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) (R) lights up the 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree with Seven-year-old Johnny Crawford (L) of Sonora, California, at the West Front of the Capitol December 6, 2011 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. This year's tree was a 65-foot tall Sierra white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest in California. (Getty Images)
Traditional Capitol Hill Christmas Tree lighting ceremony
The 2008 Capitol Christmas Tree stands on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol after a lighting ceremony December 2, 2008 in Washington, DC. The 70-foot-tall Subalpine Fir was a gift of the state of Montana and it was decorated by ornaments handmade by schoolchildren of the state. (Getty Images)