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Each year, the National Cherry Blossom Festival commemorates the 1912 gift of 3,000 cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo to the city of Washington, DC. The gift and annual celebration honor the lasting friendship between the United States and Japan and the continued close relationship between the two countries.

It took the coordination of many to ensure the arrival of the cherry trees. A first batch of 2,000 trees arrived diseased in 1910, but did not deter the parties. Between the governments of the two countries, coordination by Dr. Jokichi Takamine, a world-famous chemist and the founder of Sankyo Co., Ltd. (today know as Daiichi Sankyo), Dr. David Fairchild of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Eliza Scidmore, first female board member of the National Geographic Society, and First Lady Helen Herron Taft, more than 3,000 trees arrived in Washington 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.

Over the years, gifts have been exchanged between the two countries. In 1915, the United States Government reciprocated with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1981, the cycle of giving came full circle. Japanese horticulturists were given cuttings from the trees to replace some cherry trees in Japan which had been destroyed in a flood.

Today’s National Cherry Blossom Festival has grown from modest beginnings into the nation’s greatest springtime celebration. In 2012, the Festival expanded to five weeks (from 16 days in recent previous years) to provide a grand tribute to the 100-year anniversary of the gift of trees. Today, more than 1.5 million people visit Washington, DC each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees and participate in diverse programming that heralds spring in the nation’s capital.

This year is the second latest peak bloom of the cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C. since 1992. It comes nearly a week later than the long-term average peak, April 4, and 11 days after the more recent average, March 31 (since 1992). It falls one day after last year’s peak bloom date, April 9. The blossoms’ bud development got off to a slow start thanks to cold March temperatures, about 4 degrees below average. But warm temperatures in the first 10 days of April, roughly 2 degrees above average, helped the buds gain some ground.

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Comments (100)

Buts Yuri on April 22, 2014

Beautiful photo !LIKE-77! Greetings from Ukraine. * Buts_YV*

Marlon Antonelli on April 23, 2014

Nossa, quanta beleza!

~Marlene~ on April 23, 2014

Vittorio… Yuri… and… Marlon…

Many thanks to all for the kind words and your visits. I'm very happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

cjlin on April 24, 2014

I guess the old tree is over 100 years. What a beauty. YSL. cjlin

~Marlene~ on April 27, 2014

Yes, it was beautiful, cjlin, and I was so happy to have been there for this lovely annual event. Thanks so much for the YSL and your visit. Both are very much appreciated!

Best wishes, Marlene

Bassam Jayousi on April 29, 2014

Wonderful blossom, great view and photography.!! Like+Ys

Best wishes, Bassam

~Marlene~ on April 30, 2014

My thanks, Bassam, for the lovely comment and the Like. I am honored by the Y* and your visit! Welcome back!

Best wishes, Marlene

WINGEGUE on April 30, 2014

A very pretty sight. * L * Greeting Günter.

~Marlene~ on May 2, 2014

Thank you so much, Günter, for the lovely comment and the Like. It was truly a special place to be!

Best wishes, Marlene

Agneta Bodin on May 2, 2014

Hallo Marlene, we were at the same Beautiful place. I came a few days later. Very Beautiful. like

Greetings, Agneta

Lucho_G on May 3, 2014

Excelente captura Marlene.
Like, Saludos desde Argentina. Lucho

~Marlene~ on May 3, 2014

**Agneta… Lucho…

Thank you both so much for kind words and your visits. I'm very happy you Like it! I'm sorry to have missed you Agneta! :-)

Best wishes, Marlene

Richard McL on May 15, 2014

~Marlene~ Just a wonderful presentation of our Nations Capital in your photographic gallery. I congratulate for producing such fine work. Most Photographs are L&F. Warm wishes from Richard in Northern California.

~Marlene~ on May 15, 2014

Many thanks, Richard, for your visit, your kindness and generosity. I am very honored by your YSL!

Best wishes, Marlene

Karl Hartwig on May 16, 2014

Gefällt mir sehr gut! L und herzliche Grüße sendet Karl

~Marlene~ on May 18, 2014

Thank you so much, Karl, for the nice comment and your visit. I'm very happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

Alfred Schaffer on May 28, 2014

Spring like a dream! Like!


~Marlene~ on May 30, 2014

Thank you so much, Alfred, for the lovely comment and the Like. Both are very much appreciated!

Best wishes, Marlene

Renatorius (Reno) on August 14, 2014

cool shot///lile

~Marlene~ on August 15, 2014

Thanks again, Renatorius, for nice comment. I'm very happy you Like it!

Best wishes, Marlene

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Photo details

  • Uploaded on April 12, 2014
  • © All Rights Reserved
    by ~Marlene~
    • Camera: Canon PowerShot SX30 IS
    • Taken on 2014/04/08 13:59:39
    • Exposure: 0.002s (1/640)
    • Focal Length: 9.72mm
    • F/Stop: f/4.000
    • ISO Speed: ISO160
    • Exposure Bias: 0.00 EV
    • No flash