INTERESTING History of the Washington, DC Cherry Blossoms

The long, gray days of winter can drag. Are you ready for spring?

Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore, a diplomat in the late 1800s, had spent time in Japan and was enamored with the beautiful trees.

Year after year, she proposed planting cherry trees in Washington, DC.

Unfortunately, elected officials repeatedly brushed aside her proposals. Eliza persisted  for more than two decades.

In 1909, Eliza finally found support. First Lady Helen Taft lived in Japan and appreciated the beauty of the cherry blossoms.

Upon hearing about Helen Taft’s interest in cherry trees, Japan gifted 2,000 trees to the United States in 1910.

Unfortunately, we destroyed the trees upon discovering they were diseased.

In 1912, Japan renewed its donation and presented us with over 3,000 cherry trees, making Eliza’s dream finally come true.

We held our first “festival” in 1927, celebrating Japan’s gift to America.

We held our first “festival” in 1927, celebrating Japan’s gift to America.

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For more on the DC Cherry Blossoms, including when the festival takes place,

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