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82 Years of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, In Photos

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This week, thousands of New Yorkers and tourists will crowd Rockefeller Center to see a 76-foot-tall Norway spruce light up in a blaze of glory. The annual tree lighting has been an official holiday celebration since 1933, but the tradition actually started two years prior during construction of the complex. In 1931, in the midst of the depression, workers erected a 20-foot tall Christmas tree in the middle of the site (pictured above), decorating it with tin foil, garland paper, and metal cans.

· 2013 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting [official]