Capital Art Gallery with a Focus on “The Beauty of Washington

40 Massachusetts Ave., N.E., Union Station Street Level, West Hall #152, Washington, D.C. 20002-4285, (202) 289-9882-Gallery, (703) 995-0841-FAX, E-Mail: CapitalArt@Verizon.net , Web Site: www.CapitalArt.wikispaces.com

The National Cherry Blossom Festival is an annual spring celebration in Washington, D.C. commemorating the March 27, 1912, gift to the city of Japanese cherry trees from Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. Mayor Ozaki donated the trees in an effort to enhance the growing friendship between the United States and Japan and also celebrate the continued close relationship between the two peoples. 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 of these trees on the north bank of the Tidal Basin in West Potomac Park. By 1915 the United States government had responded with a gift of flowering dogwood trees to the people of Japan. In 1927, a group of American school children reenacted the initial planting; the first festival was held in 1935, sponsored by civic groups in the nation's capital. Three thousand, eight hundred more trees were accepted in 1965 by First Lady Lady Bird Johnson. In 1981 the cycle of giving came full circle. Japanese horticulturalists came to take cuttings from the trees in Washington, D.C. to replace Yoshino cherry trees in Japan that had been destroyed in a flood. With this return gift, the trees again fulfilled their roles as a symbol and agent of friendship. The most recent event in this cycle occurred in the fall of 1999. It involved the formal planting in the Tidal Basin of a new generation of cuttings from a famous Japanese cherry tree in Gifu Prefecture reputed to be over 1500 years old. In 1994 the Festival was expanded to two weeks to accommodate the many activities that happen during the trees blooming. Today the National Cherry Blossom Festival is coordinated by the National Cherry Blossom Festival, Inc., an umbrella organization consisting of representatives of business, civic and governmental organizations. More than 700,000 people visit Washington each year to admire the blossoming cherry trees that herald the beginning of spring in the nation's capital.

The Jefferson Memorial page also contains cherry blossom pictures.

Web site is under construction; additional photographs will be periodically added.

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