Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas Tree = Tradition?

Not in the 19th century.  Christmas trees were popularized during the 1600s in Germany.  Over the years, the practice was spread across Europe but it wasn't until the 1800s that the first Christmas tree appeared in the US.  And most people didn't even like it.  Cleveland, Ohio 1851, a reverend who had recently emigrated from Germany put up a Christmas tree in his local church.  He was roundly condemned since nobody before had ever put up a Christmas tree in an American church.  For the rest of the 19th century, Christmas tree remains controversial.  New York Times editorialized against the Christmas tree in the 1880s.  When Teddy Roosevelt became president he denounced the practice of cutting down trees for Christmas, declaring the practice a waste of timber.

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