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Japanese lantern stone statue in West Potomac Park

Japan Donates Cherry Trees to DC

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We’re back to a few days of cold, nasty weather. This seems like a good time to think back to the gorgeous weekend we just had, and talk about cherry blossoms.

Letter from Yei Theodora Ozaki to Mrs. William Howard Taft
Letter from Yei Theodora Ozaki to Mrs. William Howard Taft

In 1912, the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, gave about 3,000 flowering cherry trees to Washington, DC as a sign of friendship. On March 27, 1912 First Lady Helen Herron Taft, wife of President William Taft, planted the first two trees with the mayor of Tokyo’s wife. To the right, you can read the first page of the letter detailing the gift. Find the rest of the handwritten letter here. The Library of Congress does a great job detailing the history of the flowering cherry trees here and here. Though peak cherry blossom season has come to an end, the National Cherry Blossom Festival continues with events throughout the month. By the way, if you were trying to see the iconic trees at the Tidal Basin this weekend, you might have noticed how busy it was. For future reference, DCist compiles a nice list of other places in DC to find flowering cherry trees away from the tourist masses! Now for some pictures of the cherry blossoms in fullbloom!

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First Lady Helen Herron Taft
First Lady Helen Herron Taft

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