House Speaker Dennis Hastert has told federal officials that the lighted, decorated tree on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, known in recent years as the "Holiday Tree," should be renamed the "Capitol Christmas Tree."
The name change on Tuesday comes one day after the Engelmann spruce was delivered from New Mexico to Capitol Hill for decorations and displays until Jan. 2.
Hastert will light the tree, referred to as the "People's Tree" by the New Mexico-based committee that delivered it, during a ceremony on Dec. 8.
The re-named tree was called a Christmas Tree until the late 1990s, when it was changed to the name "Holiday Tree." The source of the name change in the 1990s is unclear, but this year's Web site could not be changed and still refers to it as a holiday tree.
Calling a Christmas tree a Christmas tree has become a politically charged prospect in jurisdictions across the country, from Boston to Sacramento and in dozens of communities in between. The city of Boston changed the name of its Holiday Tree back to Christmas Tree after being threatened with several lawsuits.
While the political correctness has trapped some communities into taking the Christianity out of Christmas in order to accommodate the minority of Americans who don't celebrate the holiday, the White House continues to call its tree a Christmas Tree.
November 29, 2005
The Capitol Christmas Tree returns
It's a small victory in the war against political correctness, but we takes 'em where we gets 'em: