Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore’s love of the beauty of the cherry blossoms sparked the first lobbying campaign to plant the Japanese trees around the Tidal Basin.
Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore is seen in this undated portrait. Enchanted by the culture of Japan, by 1894 she had been pestering federal officials for almost a decade to plant some of the gorgeous trees she had seen in Tokyo around Washington's reclaimed Potomac River mud flats, she would say later. She attended the first planting in 1912.Photo by Wisconsin Historical Society
President Trump and first lady Melania Trump lit the National Christmas Tree for the first time. The program was hosted by television personality Kathie Lee Gifford and actor Dean Cain and featured performances by the Beach Boys, Jack Wagner, Wynonna Judd, Craig Campbell and others.