The History of the White House Easter Egg Roll

The History of the White House Easter Egg Roll

"On the day following Easter the president's back yard not only assumes the normal and rightful function of all backyards as a playground for young people, but it does it in no half-hearted fashion.... Any child is free to come and go at will without any card of admission, and they do come in swarms that cover the greensward and have been estimated at from 10,000 to 30,000 in different years—depending on the weather." —"Easter Egg Rolling in the President's Back Yard," The Washington Herald, April 16, 1911.   This Monday thousands of eager tykes will descend upon the White House's South Lawn for the annual Easter Egg Roll. It's a holiday tradition that stretches back to 1814 (five years before Jacob Bromwell founded his company!) when First Lady Dolley Madison, wife of President James Madison, invited D.C.-area children to roll their decorated, hard-boiled eggs in a race. Only it wasn't held on the White House lawn, but rather the grounds of the United State Capital.   This went on until 1877 when Congress passed a law prohibiting the use of a property as a children's playground after a new lawn was planted. President Rutherford B. Hayes and his wife, Lucy, then moved the event to the White House at the request of their own children, where the tradition has continued happily ever since. In 1953 Mamie Eisenhower proposed that event be opened to black children, who were allowed to participate starting the following year.   Today the demand is so great to attend the Egg Roll that willing participants must enter a lottery online and choose a time slot. But the day isn't just for rolling eggs; from 7:30 AM to 6:45 PM there will be costumed characters, Easter treats, live entertainment, military bands, a Bunny Hop stage, and more. It's an extremely full and busy day, and a fun way for kids age 13 and under and their families to say goodbye to another Easter season!   On behalf of all of us at Jacob Bromwell, we wish you and your loved ones a happy Easter or Passover!

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