I decided this week, in light of Easter, I would write about the Annual White House Easter Egg Roll. Each year since 1877, the First Family hosts hundreds of children and their families on the White House lawn for the annual Egg Roll (an Egg Roll is a game where you push a hard-boiled egg up and down a track with a spoon) and other
celebrations. The first Egg Roll is thought to have been hosted by Dolly Madison in 1814. It did not become an official, annual event, however, until 1878 when President Rutherford and First Lady Lucy Hayes hosted. (According to the White House, there are historical accounts of Egg Rolls dating back to the Lincoln White House). The original Egg Roll and egg hunt were held on the grounds of the US Capital, but in 1877, the Capital grounds were re-grassed and re-planted and the groundskeepers cancelled the event and Congress passed a law declaring the Capital grounds “not a children’s playground.”
Because of this, the children went down the street to the White House where President and Mrs. Hayes allowed them to come onto the grounds and hold their Egg Roll. There have been 134 Egg Rolls nearly every year since then. The event was cancelled for a few years during both World War I and World War II due to rationing. Once Dwight Eisenhower came to the White House, he and his wife, Mamie, re-established the annual Egg Roll and it has continued ever since.
Each First Family brings in music, TV, and movie stars to perform for the guests and read stories to the children. Each year brings more and more visitors; it has become the largest event held at White House.
I hope everyone enjoyed this little history, and had a Happy Easter holiday.
Sources: http://www.WhiteHouse.gov; easter.nationalparks.org