US presidents have had Christmas trees at the White House for years. But only one was a bona fide Christmas tree farmer, according to his voter registration card.
Many presidents have lit a national Christmas tree outdoors on the Ellipse. They’ve also entertained guests round the bedecked White House Christmas tree inside the Executive Mansion, in the big Blue Room.
But only one raised and sold Christmas trees himself. He even wrote “Christmas tree farmer” on the occupation line of his voter registration card. Who was it?
We’ll give you a hint – he also hosted perhaps the most sober and moving White House tree ceremony of modern times.
He planted the evergreens when they were six inches high. Every two years or so a hired hand would weed them. Trees that reached the age of 10 years were cut for sale. FDR’s secretary Grace Tulley would write chain stores to remind them the president had trees in stock; these outlets would buy them up.
He hoped to produce trees “in such quantity that it would be a really profitable venture,” said Ms. Tulley in historian Stanley Weintraub’s new book, “Pearl Harbor Christmas.”