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President Obama and the Obama family participated in their first lighting of the National Christmas Tree on Thursday. The lighting of the tree is a tradition that dates back to the Coolidge administration in 1923.

The ceremony took place on the Ellipse just south of the White House, with Michelle Obama and the Obamas’ daughters helping the president press a button that lighted the tree, a 40-foot Colorado spruce that was planted in 1978.

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