Celebrations Today – March 27
Holidays and observances
- Christian feast day:
- Alexander, a Pannonian soldier, martyred in 3rd century.
- Amador of Portugal
- Augusta of Treviso
- Charles Henry Brent (Episcopal Church (USA))
- Gelasius, Archbishop of Armagh
- John of Egypt
- Romulus of Nîmes, a Benedictine abbot, martyred c. 730.
- Rupert of Salzburg
- Zanitas and Lazarus of Persia
- March 27 (Eastern Orthodox liturgics)
- Armed Forces Day (Myanmar)
- International whisk(e)y day
- World Theatre Day (International)
Celebrations Today – USA: March 27
National Joe Day
National Spanish Paella Day
National Legal Assistants Day
National Make Up Your Own Holiday Day
National Purple Day
National Solitude Day
National Spinach Festival Day
Today in US History: March 27
View of Washington Monument, Cherry Blossoms and Tidal Basin
Theodor Horydczak, photographer, circa 1920-1950.
Washington as It Was: Photographs by Theor Horydczak, 1923-1959
On March 27, 1912, First Lady Helen Herron Taft and the Viscountess Chinda, wife of the Japanese ambassador, planted two Yoshino cherry trees on the northern bank of the Potomac River Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C. The event celebrated the Japanese government’s gift of 3,000 trees to the United States. Trees were planted along the Potomac Tidal Basin near the site of the future Jefferson Memorial, in East Potomac Park, and on the White House grounds.
The text of First Lady Taft’s letter, along with the story of the cherry trees, is available from the National Park Service’s official Cherry Blossom Festival Web site. From the opening screen, scroll down to the paragraph beginning, “The history of the cherry trees.”
Fifty-three years later, the Japanese government made a second gift of 3,800 cherry trees. In 1965, Mrs. Ryuji Takeuchi, wife of Ambassador Takeuchi, and First Lady Lady Bird Johnson participated in the ceremonial planting. This time, the trees were planted on the grounds of the Washington Monument.
First Lady Helen Herron Taft, copyright March 16, 1909.
By Popular Demand: Portraits of the Presidents and First Ladies, 1789-Present
The planting of cherry trees along the Potomac fulfilled travel writer and photographer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore’s long and determined quest. Returning from her first trip to Japan in 1885, Scidmore advanced the idea of bringing the trees to the District of Columbia with U.S. government officials. She was ignored.
In 1909, Scidmore decided to raise money for the purchase of the trees herself. She wrote of her plans to the new First Lady, Helen Herron Taft, and received an enthusiastic response. “I have taken the matter up,” the First Lady wrote Mrs. Scidmore, “and am promised the trees.” Upon learning of the First Lady’s plans, the Japanese consul in New York broached the idea of making a gift of the trees to the U.S. government.
- Explore turn-of-the-century Washington. Search the collection Taking the Long View: Panoramic Photographs, 1851-1991 on view AND Washington, D.C. to see how the city looked when the first trees were planted.
- Learn about the history of the nation’s capital. Search the Today in History Archive on District of Columbia. This search retrieves features on over 60 events, including:
- the 1790 establishment of the capital
- the 1862 abolishment of slavery
- the 1884 completion of the Washington Monument
- the 1897 opening of the Library of Congress’s Jefferson Building
- More information about Japan is available through Japan: A Country Study, part of a continuing series of books prepared by the Federal Research Division of the Library of Congress.
- The Today in History feature on the Harris Treaty explores early diplomatic relations between the United States and Japan.
- Selected Internet Resources — Cherry Blossoms
- The Cherry Blossom Festival: Sakura Celebration Webcast by Ann McClellan.
Today in History – March 27-External Links
Today’s Weather in History
Today in Earthquake History
This Day in Naval History
Today’s Document from the National Archives
Today’s Events, Births & Deaths –Wikipedia
Today in History by AP
On this Day -1950 to 2005 – Today’s Story–BBC
On This Day: The New York Times
This Day in History –History.com
Today in Canadian History – Canada Channel
History of Britain that took place On This Day
Russia in History –Russiapedia