amazing Cherry trees in Washington, D.Ca gift from Japan that blooms spectacularly each spring into a treasured symbol of renewal, planted by First Lady Helen Heron Taft and other notables on this day in history, March 27, 1912.
“Blossom is officially in bloom!” The National Cherry Blossom Festival was excited in an online announcement Thursday, marking the eagerly anticipated highlight of the event Spring tourism season in the nation’s capital.
The opening ceremonies for the annual festival, which this year runs through April 16, took place on Saturday.
The original shipment of 3,020 cherry trees, representing 12 different varieties of flowering fruit trees, arrived in Washington, D.C. on March 26, 1912—a living symbol of goodwill from Tokyo people Introduced by Mayor Yukio Ozaki
Officials wasted no time planting it in a nationally esteemed spot around the Tidal Basin the next day.
Mayor Ozaki was joined in the celebration by officials from both sides of the Pacific Ocean.
“First Lady and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Ambassador of Japan, planted the first two trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park, a site commemorated today by a simple bronze plaque in Japan’s Stone Lantern Square,” according to the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
“Cherry blossoms, known in Japan as sakura, are known the world over for their sparkling beauty and fleeting delicateness.” Japan National Tourism Organization
The effort to beautify Washington, D.C., with cherry trees was supported by Eliza Roham Skidmore, journalist, photographer, and scholar of Asian cultures.
Among her claims to fame, she was the first woman to serve on the board of directors of the National Geographic Society.
The Japan National Tourism Organization stated, “Cherry blossoms, known in Japan as sakura, are known the world over for their brilliant, delicate, fleeting beauty.”
“However, they are more than just beautiful trees, as sakura has strong ties to Japan’s history, culture, and identity.”
The US National Park Service says: “For more than 100 years, (the United States and Japan) have celebrated cherry trees in bloom in solidarity.”
The two countries enjoyed strong relations at the beginning of the twentieth century.
The United States, among other examples of relationship status, supported Japan in the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-05. American shipyards built warships for Japan during the conflict.
The Taft-Katsura Agreement was negotiated after the war between then-Secretary of War William H. Taft and Prime Minister of Japan Katsura Taro. It was a statement of common interests in the Pacific.
The solidarity represented by the cherry trees planted a few years after the agreement, during the Taft administration, was violently torn apart by Japan. Surprise attack on Pearl Harbor On December 7, 1941.
More than 2,400 Americans were killed in the brutal attack.
The cherry trees of Washington, D.C., have become an obvious target for America’s wrath as they come Entered World War II.
“On the night of December 10, 1941, an unknown number of vandals snapped four of the trees on the west side of the basin,” the National Park Service notes.
“The United States and Japan are gradually becoming friends again. At present, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a major annual event.” National Park Service
“Two of the trees were original 1912 specimens. One tree was also marked To Hell With the Japanese.”
The Cherry Blossom Festival was canceled from 1942 to 1947 while Washington, D.C., became the brain center for the Allied war effort.
Adds the National Park Service, “Many people insisted that the trees be renamed ‘Oriental’ cherry trees. Customers complained if the stores carried Japanese merchandise. The Freer Art Gallery hid all of its Japanese artwork.”
Tokyo, which gave 33 years ago United State It was destroyed by US forces in a massive bombing raid in early March 1945.
The ensuing firestorm killed an estimated 100,000 people and proved to be the deadliest bombing raid of World War II, claiming more casualties than the atomic bombings of Hiroshima or Nagasaki.
Washington, D.C.’s beautiful cherry trees have once again become a symbol of international unity, hopes for peace, and shared love of natural beauty after war, as nations worked to overcome the human tragedy of armed conflict.
The National Park Service wrote: “After the defeat of Japan in 1945, the United States and Japan gradually became friends again. Nowadays, the National Cherry Blossom Festival is a major annual event.”
“There was no more vandalism of the trees, save for the occasional beaver.”