Happy Birthday, D.C. Cherry Trees!

Yukio Ozaki Tidal Basin

Yukio Ozaki, center, donated the cherry trees to Washington as mayor of Tokyo and came to see them later by the Tidal Basin. (Photo: USDA)

The cherry trees are blooming, and Washington is now celebrating a very special event: the centennial of its first trees donated by Japan.

On March 27, 2012, First Lady Helen Taft stood by the Tidal Basin and planted the first of 3,000 flowering cherry trees sent from the mayor of Tokyo. The Japanese ambassador’s wife planted the second one.

Eliza Scidmore, one of the few people present that day, watched her dream come true after nearly three decades.

Read my article about it at National Geographic’s “News Watch.”

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