On the Square: U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree
The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is making a stop in Independence on its way to Washington D.C. for the holidays. Come to the Uptown Market on the Square to get a look at the tree and sign the banner that will be displayed with the tree in the capitol.
Independence Parks and Recreation will have a variety of events to commemorate the occasion. The tree will be on display 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.
What is the Capitol Christmas Tree?
The tradition of the Capitol Christmas Tree, or “The People’s Tree,” began in 1964 when Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives John W. McCormack placed a live Christmas tree on the Capitol lawn. The tree lived three years before succumbing to wind and root damage.
Then, in 1970, the Capitol Architect asked the U.S. Forest Service to provide a Christmas tree. Since then, a different national forest has provided “The People’s Tree” each year. The 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is being provided by the Willamette National Forest in Oregon.
This year marks the 175th anniversary of the “Great Migration” of wagon trains on the Oregon Trail. In 1843, approximately 1,000 pioneers made the 2,170-mile journey from Independence to Oregon. In the 25 years that followed, 400,000 people traveled west from Independence with dreams of a new life, gold and lush farmlands.
Commemorating this anniversary, the 2018 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is taking the Oregon Trail in reverse toward Washington D.C.