From the Archives: 1949 Pershing Square Christmas tree

The lighting ceremony for the 105-foot tree attracted a crowd of 4,000. The 85-year-old tree came from the Sequoia National Forest.

The Los Angeles Times reported the next morning:

The "world's largest Christmas tree" — all 15 tons and 105 feet of it — came to life in Pershing Square last night.

A 10-year-old girl, Joan Blair, of the Los Angeles Orphanage, aided Mayor [Fletcher]Bowron in turning on 2,000 colored lights spread throughout the huge white fir.

The ceremony, held at 6:20 p.m. before more than 4,000 persons, signified the official opening of Los Angeles' Christmas season.

"Los Angeles is a city with a great heart," Mayor Bowron said, "and a city with a great heart should have a great Christmas tree." ...

Before the internet, the 1949 claim of "world's largest Christmas tree" was hard to verify. The claim will have to remain unchallenged. Suffice to say, it was a big tree.

This image was taken by an unidentified Los Angeles Daily News photographer. A similar image was used on the front page on the Los Angeles Times.

This post was originally published on Dec. 22, 2010.

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