Christmas lights first were put up around Temple Square, according to a 1997 article by Jerry Johnston, at the direction of LDS Church President David O. McKay. President McKay asked Irvin T. Nelsen, the Temple Square gardener, to put lights up everywhere. "President McKay," Nelsen said, "if we put lights in the trees, it will kill them."
"That's how I knew you were the man to do it," President McKay said. "You'll make sure the lights don't kill the trees."
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