Ms. Taft Plants a Tree: How the Cherry Blossoms Came to Washington

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About the Event

We’ve all heard the story about how the Japanese cherry blossoms came to Washington. “In 1912 the Mayor of Tokyo, Yukio Ozaki, in a gesture of friendship, gave 3,000 Japanese cherry trees to Washington.” End of story. But the real story is a lot more complicated — and a lot more interesting. It involves some very fascinating people, whose lives and interests all connected. Working together, just five Japanese and Americans, they brought the trees to our Nation’s Capital to create one of the most famous sites in the world.

Ambassador John R. Malott, who served as President of the Japan-America Society of Washington DC for 12 years, told the story in his book, Mrs. Taft Plants a Tree: How the Cherry Blossoms Came to Washington. Join us on June 25 as Amb. Malott tells the story to JASC members. Born in Kankakee, raised in Manteno, and educated at Northwestern, Amb. Malott recently moved to Oak Park and joined our Society.

About the Speaker

JRM Head ShotAmbassador John R. Malott’s career in the US Foreign Service and as a non-profit leader focused on Asia and in particular Japan. During his 31-years in the US Department of State, he served as US Ambassador to Malaysia; Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for South Asian Affairs: US Consul General in Osaka; Director of the Office of Japanese Affairs in Washington; economic officer at the US Embassy in Tokyo; US Consul in Kobe, Japan; Deputy US Consul General in Mumbai, India; and civilian advisor to the US Army in the Mekong Delta during the Vietnam War.

After retirement from the State Department, Amb. Malott served for twelve years as President of the Japan-America Society of Washington DC. In 2017 the Emperor of Japan awarded him the Order of the Rising Sun with Gold Rays and Neck Ribbon for his lifelong contribution to the US-Japan relations. A native of Manteno, Illinois and a graduate of Northwestern, he now lives in Oak Park.


June 25
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm
Free – $20.00
Event Category:


10 Going


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