Sunday, April 29th: Today’s celebration had its start back in the 1930’s. Today celebrates PEACE ROSE DAY. French hybridizer, Francis Meilland, discovered notes about the development of a new cross bred rose. The family, who had developed many delightful roses, was attempting “to produce a new rose of great hardiness with very long shoots and with a robust and decorative foliage. …”

Meilland recalled that the seedling then was not very sturdy. Work continued and in June 1939 notes state, “this plant proved the great revelation of the season and attracted the most attention among visitors.”

That summer, buds were sent toGermany,Italy, and theUnited States. Then, September 3, 1939, “all communications withFranceceased, After the invasion in June, 1940, the same thing happened withItalyand thenEngland. The result was that the German firm which was to have distributed this rose, No. 3-35-40, put it on sale under the name of ‘Gloria Dei,’ and the Italian firm sold it under the name of ‘Gioia.’ InFrance, my father decided to dedicate this rose to the memory of my mother, Mme. A. Meilland, who had died a few years previously.”

The notes continued, “Until June, 1945, we had not the least idea as to what had become of this rose in the United States, It was only then that the Conard-Pyle Company told us of the successful experiments it had been making in cultivating it, and that in agreement with certain other rose growers of repute, it had decided to call it ‘Peace,’ to symbolize, as it were, the happy event to make the end of the (war’s) trials and suffering.”

Peace was scheduled to be baptized under the auspices of the American Rose Society on April 29, 1945, coincidentally the dayBerlinfell.

When the United Nations first met in San Francisco, heads of the 49 delegations received a single Peace rose, accompanied by this message from the Rose Society: “This is the Peace Rose which was christened at the Pacific Rose Society Exhibition in Pasadena on the day Berlin fell. We hope the Peace Rose will influence men’s thoughts for everlasting World Peace.”

What a great day to celebrate, a beautiful rose, named for the noble idea of ‘Peace’. Celebrate life; celebrate peace!

April 2012

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