The 100-years-old cherry blossom festival held in Washington has a long and interesting history. A rare photo gallery which contains images taken in the last hundred of years, with the oldest from 1910, was published by the Huffington Post to honor the anniversary of the famous Japanese celebration.
Japan sent 3,020 cherry trees in 1912 as a gift to the U.S., symbolizing friendship between the two countries. The annual festival was kept through the history despite the conflicts in the Second World War and is currently one of the biggest touristic attractions of the American capital.
It is less known, however, that the 1912 tree transport was not the first one. Two years before Japan had sent 2,000 trees from Tokyo, but at the arrival in the U.S. it was discovered they were diseased and had to be burnt at the advice of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
When the 1912 shipment arrived, 12 species of healthy trees were planted around the city and in the White House Gardens. It took however another 23 years until the first edition of the “Cherry Blossom Festival” was organized in the city, in 1935.
You can check out here the historic photo gallery.