DC
03/23/2012 04:42 pm ET

U.S. Postal Service To Release Cherry Blossom Centennial Stamps With Help From Japan Ambassador

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Postal Service on Friday announced the upcoming introduction of its Cherry Blossom Centennial 45-cent Forever stamps.

This marks the first time D.C.'s cherry blossoms have been featured on a stamp.

On hand to mark the special occasion will be Japan Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe, the stamp's designer, Phil Jordan, the stamp's artist, Paul Rogers, 2011 Cherry Blossom Queen Allison Speaker and the National Cherry Blossom Festival Executive Director Diana Mayhew.

The two stamps that make up the issue are near mirror images of each other, capturing the full scope of the cherry blossoms surrounding the Tidal Basin at peak bloom. The issue marks 100 years since 3,000 trees were first planted on March 27, 1912.

They were a gift from civic leaders in Tokyo to the United States.

D.C.'s cherry blossoms are celebrated each year by the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place at the National Building Museum at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

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