- Al Sharpton, Trayvon Martin’s parents rally against Fla. ‘stand your ground’ law
- Hillary Clinton campaign got illicit funds from D.C. scandal figure
- Obama administration backs off plan to cut prescription-drug program
- Tickets linked to stolen passports purchased by Iranian middleman
- More than 3,500 police planned for Boston Marathon
- Ottawa day care suspends 2-year-old for ‘outside’ cheese sandwich
- Liam Neeson tells NYC mayor to ‘man up’ in horse carriage fight
- Real-life Dr. Doolittle to reveal how to talk to animals
- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
Obama family to light National Christmas Tree
This year’s host is “How I Met Your Mother” actor Neil Patrick Harris. Scheduled performers include singers Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds, Ledisi, Jason Mraz and James Taylor and the band The Fray. ABC’s “Modern Family” actor Rico Rodriguez will also appear for the ceremony that begins at 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
President Calvin Coolidge started the tradition by lighting a live, 48-foot fir decorated with 2,500 electric bulbs in 1923.
This year’s giant blue spruce is new, transplanted in October on the Ellipse, south of the White House.
The previous tree died after just a year from transplant shock. Before that, a tree that stood for more than 30 years was destroyed by winds in February 2011.
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