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Christmas is on its way to the Capitol in the form of a 70-foot Engelmann Spruce from the Boise National Forest in Idaho. The 2003 Capitol Holiday Tree embarked on its 2,500-mile journey east on Saturday after it was harvested Nov. 3.

Before reaching D.C., the tree, chosen by Landscape Architect of the Capitol Matthew Evans, will travel through 50 Idaho communities and make numerous stops in states along the way. It is expected to arrive Dec. 1 and will be erected on the West Lawn of the Capitol. To track the travels of the holiday tree, visit

The tree-lighting ceremony, which has taken place every year since 1964, is scheduled for 5 p.m. Dec. 11 on the West Lawn. More than 5,000 handmade ornaments created by Idaho residents and 10,000 lights will adorn the tree. Donors from Idaho will also provide up to 80 companion trees, which will be placed in government offices during the holiday season.

— Carolyn Shuckerow

Book Fair Features More Than 70 Authors

With more than 70 of today’s best-known authors scheduled to attend with pens in hand, tonight’s 26th Annual National Press Club Book Fair and Authors’ Night is probably the best place for book enthusiasts to chat with, and get signatures from, a few of their favorite authors.

And for Hillites, this year’s event will have no shortage of political literary representation. Among them, Sen. Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) will be on hand to sign “An Independent Man,” former House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-Texas) will be present with his new book, “Armey’s Axioms,” and former Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) will be available to sign his two books, “Healing America” and “Our Culture of Pandering.”

The event is a fundraiser for the Eric Friedheim Library, an NPC nonprofit organization.

The fair will take place from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th St. NW. It is free for NPC members and $5 for nonmembers.

— John McArdle

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