A Special Gift to Washington from the City of Tokyo
Early in the twentieth century, Washington’s renowned sakura blossom trees were presented as a gift of friendship from the city of Tokyo to the nation’s capital. After an initial 1910 shipment of trees had to be destroyed due to infestation, a 1912 gift of 3,000 new trees brought forth the resplendent cherry blossoms that bloom yearly at the Potomac River’s Tidal Basin, East Potomac Park, the Washington Monument grounds, the Library of Congress, and other local sites. The story of this gift is documented in correspondence and exquisite watercolor drawings of the original cherry blossom varieties.
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