First National Christmas Tree
On December 24, 1923, President Calvin Coolidge lit the first national Christmas tree outside the White House. It’s a tradition that continues to this day, though it has evolved significantly over the years.
First Printing of “A Visit from St. Nicholas”
“A Visit from St. Nicholas” was first printed anonymously on December 23, 1823. Eventually attributed to Clement Clarke Moore, the poem gave Americans the version of Santa we have today.
First Christmas Seals
On December 7, 1907, the first Christmas Seals went on sale. The first stamps were created to help save a Delaware tuberculosis sanitarium, but later issues went on to support the Red Cross, National Tuberculosis Association, and American Lung Association.
Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
On December 6, 1964, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer first premiered on television. Based on a popular book and song, it became an instant classic, appearing on television every year since.
Birth of J.C. Leyendecker
Illustrator Joseph Christian Leyendecker was born on March 23, 1874, in Montabaur, Rhine Province, German Empire. He was one of the most popular and recognized illustrators of his day – popularizing the images of Baby New Year, Santa Claus, and more.
First Run of the Best Friend of Charleston
On December 25, 1830, the Best Friend of Charleston completed its first run.
NORAD Tracks Santa
On December 24, 1955, NORAD’s predecessor tracked Santa Claus for the first time.
Debut of A Charlie Brown Christmas
On December 9, 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas first aired on television.
The Feast of Saint Nicholas
Saint Nicholas of Myra died on December 6, 343. This date has long been celebrated as Saint Nicholas Day or the Fest of Saint Nicholas.