Formal acceptance of the
cherry trees at the ceremony ended an incident
which began in 1951, when Boy Scouts of Tokyo, unaware of U.S. Plant
regulations, sent 1,000 cherry trees to our Peace Gardens.
The trees had to be burned and Salt Lake City was
left with an 1,800$US freight bill which he city commission could
not legally pay. Local scouts and business leaders came to the
rescue by raising funds to the fee. Some 3.200$US was collected. By
this time the Pan American Airline had cancelled the freight bill. Paving
the way for a peaceful solution on both sides of the Pacific.
With 1,000$US of the money, Salt Lake City bought
the Japanese cherry trees U'S' grown to avoid the confliction with
the quarantine law. The balance was used to purchase the supplies
for the Japanese Scout Troops in Japan.
Added to the garden during this program, was a
Japanese Tori gate and Tea House, given to us by the Japanese
government through the aid of the Consul in Seattle. These had been
used at the Seattle Industrial Exhibit. The Consul was represented
by Miss Kazuko Terasawa.
The architect, who had been sent to Seattle, from
Tokyo to erect the two articles, came to Salt lake City to assemble
them for us.
This dedication ceremony, was a beautiful,
colorful event, giving us a never-to-be-forgotten occasion.
Our local newspaper and radio gave us especially
good coverage of this affair. Spot announcement s were given on most
all of the radio stations.
The United States Information Agency, through the
International Press Service, gave us coverage. They sent us copies
of articles used in Tokyo and Okinawa.
The International Reel Services took pictures
during the ceremony. Such were used on "News of the Day" by M. G. M.
They were sent directly to California, to be used by the National
Encampment of Boy Scouts, who were in session at the time.
An interesting result of the day, was that of a
Provo lady, Mrs. Harmon, who had attended. She was later asked to
write an article about our gardens and the cherry tree incident for
the National Garden Association to be held during the late summer.
(She spent a few hours at my home writing this report.)
Our "Avenue of Cherry Trees" along the opposite
bank of the river will, in a few years, equal the beauty of those
that blossom along Washington's Tidal Basin path.
Those lovely additions to the Japanese section
have greatly enhanced the beauty of our Gardens. When completed, the
International Peace Gardens, with its many unique features will be a
mecca for tourists that cannot be excelled.