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The Cherry Tree Friendship

      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.
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