Helen Taft met William Howard Taft during a bobsledding party and asked her to marry him 3 years later. Two months into Taft's presidency Helen suffered a stroke which impaired her speech in which she never fully recovered. Due to her condition she only entertained moderately, and with the help of her sisters. In her biggest contribution during her time in the White House, Helen arranged for the planting of 3,020 Japanese cherry trees at the Washington Tidal Basin. She physically planted the first two saplings in ceremonies in March of 1912.
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