First Lady Plants Cherry Trees – 105 Years Ago Today


On this day in 1912, First Lady Helen Taft and Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted two imported Japanese trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River, near the Jefferson Memorial. The event celebrated a gift from the Japanese government to the United States of 3,020 cherry trees, which were later planted near the first two along the Potomac Tidal basin, as well as in East Potomac Park and on the White House grounds.

The trees, uprooted from the banks of the Arakawa River near Tokyo, were a gift from a Japanese citizen, replacing a shipment two years earlier that had ended in misfortune: the trees were killed by disease during the journey. After World War II, the U.S. government sent to Tokyo cuttings from the trees planted in 1912 as a goodwill token aimed at beginning to restore  beauty to the Japanese capital, its landscape, and the extensive cherry tree collection ravaged by warfare.

That is a great illustration of forgiveness. When all the bullets quit firing, be they physical or otherwise, we need to all calm down, step back, and renew the relationship.


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