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President Carter Lights First National Menorah

In this photograph, President Jimmy Carter lights a menorah in celebration of Hanukkah on December 17, 1979. This was the first lighting of the National Menorah, and took place in Lafayette Park, across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House. President Carter, in dressed in a tuxedo for a State Dinner held in honor of Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Great Britain, put on an overcoat and walked across the street to the ceremony, which featured a small crowd of a few dozen. The lighting of the National Menorah historically takes place on the Ellipse and is overseen by a politician of the Jewish faith.
Date of Work
December 17, 1979
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum/NARA