This year marks the 50th anniversary of the tradition.

Since 1971 the people of Halifax, Nova Scotia have given a Christmas tree to the people of Boston to show their appreciation for what was done 104 years ago.

It's hard to imagine, but on December 6th, 1917, in the midst of World War One, two ships collided in the Narrows by Halifax, Nova Scotia, one of the ships carried high explosives, and the huge explosion that followed killed an estimated 2000 people and injured hundreds more.  To that date, it was the biggest explosion known to man, the equivalent of 5,800,000 lbs. of dynamite.

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Not only did the ships blow up but buildings came down and fire consumed the area. Halifax was in turmoil.

Some 663 land miles away in the midst of a snowstorm and within 10 hours of the explosion, Bostonian's filled an entire train with doctors, nurses, volunteers, and supplies and then rushed to aid the people of Halifax.  A pretty amazing feat and certainly one that is not forgotten 'til this day.

This year's tree for Boston comes from Cape Breton and as you can see the residents of that area are quite proud to offer up the 60-year-old spruce, part of what is now a perpetual repayment of sort for the compassion and help received 104 years ago.

The Tree for Boston is usually shipped across the Gulf of Maine to Portland, where it is then trucked to the City of Boston. The tree is normally displayed on a small island within Frog Pond on the Boston Common.

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