Tuesday Open Line

All across the country, the winter darkness is ablaze with colorful lights — from small towns to big cities, along streets and in storefronts, as well as private homes. Some neighborhoods have such massive annual displays they draw people from miles away. While the exact time and place of the first outdoor holiday lights is not known, one of the first occurred in Denver in 1914 when an electrician named David Sturgeon dipped light bulbs in colored paint to light a tree outside his desperately ill grandson’s window. Written up in the local newspaper, the idea soon caught on around the country. Christmas lights are part of the $2.2 billion of electric light bulbs and parts made and sold each year in the U.S. Profile America is in its 16th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.