From remarks by President Harry S Truman in Washington, Dec. 24, 1952:

As we light this national Christmas tree tonight here on the White House lawn -- as all of us light our own Christmas trees in our own homes -- we remember another night long ago. Then a child was born in a stable. A star hovered over, drawing wise men from afar. Shepherds in a field heard angels singing: "Glory to God in the highest, and on Earth peace, good will to men." That was the first Christmas, and it was God's great gift to us.

This is a wonderful story. Year after year it brings peace and tranquillity to troubled hearts in a troubled world. And tonight the earth seems hushed, as we turn to the old, old story of how "God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."

Tonight our hearts turn first of all to our brave men and women in Korea. They are fighting and suffering and even dying that we may preserve the chance of peace in the world. The struggle there has been long and bitter. But it has a hopeful meaning.

It has a hopeful meaning because it is the common struggle of many free nations which have joined together to seek a just and lasting peace. We know, all of us, that this is the only way we can bring about peace in the conditions of our time on this Earth. Whether we shall succeed depends upon our patience and fortitude. We still have a long road ahead of us before we reach our goal. We must remain steadfast.

And as we go about our business of trying to achieve peace in the world, let us remember always to try to act and live in the spirit of the Prince of Peace.