A Sapling from Hampton University’s Emancipation Oak Recently Was Planted at the White House

The Emancipation Oak on the campus of Hampton University, which reportedly was planted in 1610, is now more than 100 feet in diameter. It is listed as one of the 10 Great Trees of the World by the National Geographic Society. The tree got its name because slaves gathered under its limbs in 1863 to hear a reading of the Emancipation Proclamation.

This spring President Barack Obama gave the commencement address at Hampton University. He returned to Washington with a sapling from the historic tree, which has since been planted on the White House lawn. The sapling was placed next to a tree planted in the 1830s by President Andrew Jackson in memory of his wife.