An Example of International Cooperation

In an era when Nationalism appears to be the ascending political philosophy, I ran across what I think is a good example of how international cooperation can make a small but meaningful difference in our lives. This is an entry in the March 27 issue of The Writer’s Almanac

On this day in 1912, President Taft’s wife, Helen, and the wife of the ambassador from Japan planted the first of Washington, D.C.’s cherry trees. The cuttings were scions from the most famous trees in Tokyo, the ones that grow along the banks of the Arakawa River. Workers took over, and thousands of cherry trees, all gifts from the Japanese government, were planted around the Tidal Basin. During the Second World War, Tokyo lost scores of cherry trees in the allied bombing raids; after the surrender, horticulturalists took cuttings from the trees in Washington and sent them back to Tokyo. Years later, some of the Washington trees died, and Tokyo sent cuttings back across the Pacific.

Of course, this is just a summary. The complete history of Washington, D.C.’s cherry trees can be read through the link in the above paragraph. It’s quite a story.

From The Writer’s Almanac of Friday, March 27, 2020 (

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