Thank You Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore
We wouldn’t have the Cherry blossoms in Washington, DC without one remarkable women Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore. Thanks to 24 years of her persisted effort we have one of the top things to see in Washington, DC. Making Washington DC the number one place to visit in April. Our blossoms from the Cherry Trees make our National Mall just gorgeous, and remind us that we will always have a connection to Japan.
Although the US Park Service describes her actions, it is so limited that it really does a disservice to Women’s History. I quick look at a webpage dedicated to Mrs. Scidmore and you will find she was rather well accomplished. Her accomplishments are author, photographer, and a Board member of the National Geographic Society. Before achieving these accomplishments, she travelled with her brother George Hawthorne Scidmore who was a diplomat in the Far East Region. She visited Japan many times between 1885 and 1928. Because she was accompanying her diplomate brother, she was able to see many locations that most tourists would never have a chance to see.
But one thing is certain about her travels, she loved to write about what she saw, and she fell in love with Cherry Trees. Through her dedication and persistence, she wrote President & Hellen Taft letter after letter detailing her idea for Cherry Trees to adorn the Tidal Basin. However, when it came time for Helen Taft and Iwa Chinda to dedicate the first Cherry Blossom Tree she was not invited. This slight will vex her till the day she passed away in 1928.