The Woman Behind Washington DC’s Cherry Blossom Trees01:25
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Buds and open flowers of cherry trees border the Tidal Basin, in Washington. (AP)
Buds and open flowers of cherry trees border the Tidal Basin, in Washington. (AP)

It's cherry blossom time in Washington, D.C.  The city's love affair with the cherry trees started in the early 1900s when the Japanese government sent more than 3,000 trees as a gift to the United States to be planted along the Potomac River.

While many are familiar with the tree's pale pink flowers, few know of the American responsible for getting the trees here.  Her name was Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore.  She was a journalist and travel writer in the late 1800s, and after 20 years of campaigning, she finally succeeded in bringing 3,000 cherry trees from Japan to decorate the Potomac's swampy tidal basin.

We speak with Andrea Zimmerman, author of the young adult book “Eliza’s Cherry Trees.”

This segment aired on March 25, 2011.

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