The National Cherry Blossom Festival
is a spring celebration in Washington, D.C.
, commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift of Japanese cherry tree
from Mayor Yukio Ozaki
to the city of Washington. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States
and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two nations.
The effort to bring cherry trees to Washington, D.C.
, preceded the official planting by several decades. In 1905, Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
returned from her first trip to Japan
and approached the U.S. Army Superintendent of the Office of Public Buildings and Grounds
with the idea of planting cherry trees along the reclaimed waterfront of the Potomac River
. Scidmore, who would go on to become the first female board member of the National Geographic Society
, was rebuffed, though she would continue proposing the idea to every Superintendent for the next 24 years. Several cherry trees were brought to the region by individuals in this period, including one that was the location of a 1905 cherry blossom viewing
and tea party hosted by Scidmore in northwest D.C. Among the guests was prominent botanist David Fairchild
and his fiance Marian, the daughter of inventor Alexander Graham Bell
In 1906, David Fairchild imported 1000 cherry trees from the......