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Cherry Blossoms on the Potomac

This week Thinking Color is off to our nation’s capital to observe another spring related color phenomenon. Each year tourists from around the country gather on the banks of the potomac to witness the annual blossoming of 2,000 cherry trees.  For several days each spring the trees produce a brilliant show of shades of pink.


The cherry trees were a gift from the mayor of Tokyo, Japan to the mayor of Washington D.C. in 1912. Shipping 2,000 trees from Japan to the east coast of the United Sates was no easy feat and many of the trees arrived diseased. It took an extraordinary effort by Eliza Scidmore of the National Geographic Society to nurse the trees back to health.


Today the Cherry Blossom Festival has grown from modest beginnings to attracting an estimated 1.2 million visitors for the week-long celebration. Visitors to the festival can witness almost every conceivable shade of cherry blossoms from coral to hot pink.

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