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Pershing Square Christmas tree

Pershing Square Christmas tree

Nov. 28, 1949: A 105-foot tree is lighted in Pershing Square before 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, a claim in 1949 of “world’s largest Christmas tree” is hard to verify, so the claim will have to remain unchallenged. Suffice to say, it was a big tree.

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

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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1 Comment

  1. December 22, 2010, 5:18 pm

    I was about four months old when this shot was taken.🙂

    By: laeconomy

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