A Brief History of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree


War on Christmas?
In 1942, Rockefeller Center unveiled three small trees dedicated to the war effort — each trimmed in either red, white or blue. Though it wasn't the first time more than one Christmas tree stood there (two were erected in 1936 to celebrate the opening of the skating rink), it was the first time organizers announced that the trees would be replanted after the holiday season. In 1944, in keeping with wartime blackout regulations, the trees remained unlit, as did every other outdoor Christmas tree in the city that year. After the war's end in 1945, organizers more than made up for the previous years of darkness by using six ultraviolet light projectors to make all 700 fluorescent globes on that year's tree appear to glow in the dark.

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