Today in History, March 27, 1912:
First Lady Helen Taft and the wife of the Japanese Ambassador, Viscountess Chinda, plant two Cherry Blossom trees along the Potomac near the Jefferson Memorial.
They were part of 3,020 Cherry Blossom trees given to the US by the Japanese to be planted in DC. The city of Tokyo had actually given 2,000 trees in 1910, but they were diseased by the time they reached the US and could not be used.
A private Japanese citizen then paid to have the 3,020 trees sent in their place. The beautiful trees bloom each Spring, and are the subject of festivals.
The trees came from a famous collection in Tokyo, which was mostly destroyed during bombing in WWII. After the war, the US sent cuttings from DC’s trees to replenish the Tokyo collection from whence they came.