To show support for New York City’s essential workers on the frontline of the coronavirus pandemic, a number of buildings turned blue Thursday night. Madison Square Garden, One World Trade Center’s spire, Beacon Theatre, Pier 17, Hudson Yards’ Vessel, and more join more than 100 landmarks across the country as part of the #LightItBlue campaign. The nationwide lighting will occur weekly every Thursday.
Image of the first Christmas tree in City Hall park in 1913; via Library of Congress
In 1912, the nation’s first public Christmas tree went up in Madison Square Park and sparked a new trend that would soon spread to parks across the city and beyond. The following year, acting Mayor Ardolph Kline initiated a similar tradition when he asked a young boy to help him light a Christmas tree in City Hall Park. By 1934, tree lighting celebrations became a citywide effort, with the Parks Department putting up 14 fifty-foot Norway Spruce trees throughout the city. Mayor Fiorello H. LaGuardia dedicated the trees from City Hall Park and broadcasted the ceremony to sites across the city.