First Lady Lady Bird Johnson Plants a Cherry Blossom Tree
This photograph of First Lady Lady Bird Johnson and Madame Takeuchi, wife of the Japanese ambassador to the United States, was taken on April 4, 1965 while they participated in a reenactment of the original 1912 planting. Mrs. Johnson accepted a gift of an additional 3,800 trees from the Japanese government and many were planted near the Washington Monument. Since 1912, the blooming cherry blossoms have signaled the arrival of springtime in Washington D.C. First Lady Helen Taft was responsible for the planting of the 3,020 Japanese cherry blossom trees along the Tidal Basin and grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Many first ladies have continued to take an active role in the cherry blossom celebrations and in recent years have served as honorary chairs of the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.