On December 24, 1931: The first Christmas tree went up at Rockefeller Center. Workers who were constructing Rockefeller Center decorated the 20 foot balsam fir with strings of cranberries, garland, and tin cans. Today, the lighting of the tree at Rockefeller Center has become one of the signature elements of Christmas in the City.
JETTING OUT OF JFK
On December 24, 1963: Idlewild Airport in Queens was renamed John F. Kennedy International Airport in honor of the late president, one month after his assassination. Today JFK airport is one of the largest airports in the world, carrying over 50 million passengers each year.
On December 24, 1963: Metal singer Neil Turbin was born in Brooklyn. Turbin was the first lead singer for the band Anthrax from 1982 until mid 1984, when he was fired from the band. He currently fronts the heavy metal band Death Riders.