I am ashamed to admit it, but I didn't know the full history behind all of the cherry blossom trees here in D.C., and I even have two in my own yard. The trees were a gift from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo and are a symbol of the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan. Since then, many gifts have been exchanged between our two countries.
In 1910, Japan sent 2,000 trees to us, but they were diseased. So, a second batch of 3,000 trees arrived in 1912. In a simple ceremony on March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted the first two trees from Japan on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park.
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