Speaker Ryan to light up the Capitol Christmas Tree Dec. 2

New House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Monday that he would light up the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree on Wednesday, Dec. 2, another first for the speaker who has only been in his position for a few weeks.

The Capitol tree is a 74-foot Lutz spruce from Alaska's Chugach National Forest, and it traveled for more than three weeks and 4,000 miles to get to the West Lawn of the Capitol. It's the first ever tree from Alaska.

The Capitol Christmas Trees have gotten taller over the years. When the tradition started in 1964, a 24-foot Douglas Fir from Pennsylvania was used, according to the Architect of the U.S. Capitol, which keeps track of the trees.

The tree size increased to 30 feet by 1968 and and 45 feet by 1971.

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