PHOTOS: The National Christmas Tree through the years

Thursday, December 01, 2016 11:00PM
President Franklin Roosevelt is shown above at Christmas-tree lighting ceremony Dec. 24, 1939 in Washington. (AP Photo)
Starred with many lights is this national Christmas tree which was set a twinkling on the White House grounds at ceremonies in Washington on Dec. 24, 1940 in which F.D.R. shared. (AP Photo)
President Dwight Eisenhower shakes hands with Elizabeth Lamphere, 17-year-old girl scout, after lighting the National Christmas Tree on Dec. 23, 1958. (Bob Schutz/AP Photo)
President Eisenhower, right, faces the National Christmas Tree as he lighted it in Washington formally opening the annual Christmas Pageant of Peace on Dec. 23, 1960. (AP Photo)
Amy Carter stands with President Jimmy Carter on a stage at the Ellipse in Washington Thursday, Dec. 16, 1977, after he pushed a button illuminating the National Christmas Tree. (AP Photo)
President Jimmy Carter and daughter Amy look on after they pushed the button that turned on the lights of the National Christmas Tree on Dec. 14, 1978. (Ira Schwarz/AP Photo)
President Jimmy Carter waves after he and his daughter Amy pressed the button that turned on the lights of the National Christmas Tree on Dec. 15, 1978. (Ira Schwarz/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree is shown being lighted by President Jimmy Carter and daughter Amy on the Ellipse in Washington on Tuesday, Dec. 14, 1978. (Mark Wilson/AP Photo)
President Bill Clinton and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton stand in front of the National Christmas Tree after the first family pushed the button to light the tree, Dec. 9, 1993. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree shines brightly Thursday, Dec. 7, 1995 on the Ellipse in Washington. A zoom lens technique was used to produce this photograph. (Mark Wilson/AP Photo)
With the White House in the background, the National Christmas Tree sits aglow on the Ellipse in Washington Thursday, Dec. 5, 1996. (Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse is official lighted in Washington DC. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 1998. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
The national Christmas Tree and the Washington Monument as seen at dusk from the south lawn of the White House Sunday, Dec. 12, 1999. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree on the Ellipse near the White House after being lit at the annual Pageant of Peace tree lighting ceremony in Washington, Monday, Dec. 11, 2000. (Michael DiBari/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree is lit up, opening the annual Christmas Pageant of Peace Thursday, Dec 4, 2003. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)
The National Christmas tree is seen in The Ellipse in front of the White House after the annual tree lighting ceremony in Washington Thursday, Dec. 2, 2004. (Gerald Herbert/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree is seen in front of the White House following its lighting during the 2005 Christmas Pageant of Peace, Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005. (Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree is lit at the Ellipse, near the White House, left, during a ceremony marking the beginning of a three-week Christmas Pageant of Peace, Dec. 7, 2006. (Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree shines bright with the White House in the background in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 5, 2007. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo)
President George W. Bush and first lady Laura Bush are joined by Lindsey Van Horn, left, and Kayleigh Kepler, right, during the lighting ceremony on Dec. 4, 2008. (Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo)
This Dec. 4, 2008 photo shows the National Christmas Tree, near the White House in Washington, illuminated during a ceremony. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
The White House is seen in the background after the lighting of the National Christmas Tree, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2009, in Washington. (Haraz N. Ghanbari/AP Photo)
President Barack Obama and his family attend the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse, just south of the White House, in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. (J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo)
The National Christmas Tree is pictured with the White House in the background after it was lit on the Ellipse across from the White House in Washington, Thursday, Dec., 1, 2011. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama, Malia Obama, Sasha Obama and Michelle Obama's mother Marian Robinson, participate in the ceremony on Dec. 6, 2012. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
President Barack Obama, right, with, first lady Michelle Obama, left, and daughters Malia and Sasha, participate in the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 4, 2014. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
President Barack Obama, with Michelle Obama, and daughter Sasha, sing with Santa Claus and others during the lighting ceremony for the 2016 National Christmas Tree. (Alex Brandon/AP Photo)
President Barack Obama, first lady Michelle Obama and their daughter Sasha lighting the 2016 National Christmas Tree on Dec. 1, 2016. (Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP Photo)
President Obama lit the National Christmas Tree on Thursday night. The festivities took place under the tree on the Ellipse near the White House in Washington, D.C.

The ceremony has helped usher in the holiday season for nearly a century, ever since President Calvin Coolidge first pushed the button to light the National Christmas Tree in 1923.

See photos the sparkling National Christmas Tree through the years in the gallery above.
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