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Miami University
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White House 2008 ornament celebrates Miami alumnus Benjamin Harrison


The 2008 White House Christmas ornament. (Photo courtesy of The White House Historical Association.)
This year's White House Christmas ornament honors the presidency of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893), the 23rd president of the United States and an 1852 graduate of Miami University. His story is featured in the 2008 White House Christmas Ornament Historical Essay available online at

Inspired by the Harrison family's Victorian Christmas tree, the first documented tree to decorate the White House, the ornament presents the White House as a family home. The ornament is the 28th in a series started by the White House Historical Association in 1981.

A devoted family man, Harrison said, "We shall have an old-fashioned Christmas tree for the grandchildren upstairs, and I shall be their Santa Claus."

This year's gold finished ornament is an interpretation of the first tree. Beneath the tree are the presents the Harrison children received: a toy train and a wooden sled for Benjamin, Mary's rosy-cheeked doll sits on a tricycle and nearby is Marthena's dollhouse. A three-foot high Santa Claus completes the scene.

For more information about the ornament, including how to order, visit, or call toll free 1-800-555-2451. For more information about Harrison at Miami, go to the Miami University library's digital archives accessible through the Bicentennial Web site at


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