Easter Egg Roll

Easter Egg Roll

Between March 23 and April 26; Monday following Easter
Starting in the middle of the 19th century, it was customary for young children to roll Easter eggs on the lawn of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. But Congress objected to the damage they inflicted on the grass and in 1878 stationed guards there to halt the practice. President Rutherford B. Hayes, who enjoyed children, said they could use the White House lawn. President Franklin D. Roosevelt stopped the custom during World War II, but then it was restored again in 1953 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Today the Egg Roll takes place on the Ellipse behind the White House, and children up to age eight are invited to participate. In addition to rolling their own hard-boiled eggs, the children hunt for about 1,000 wooden eggs—many of them signed by past presidents or celebrities—that have been hidden in the grass. A crowd of up to 10,000 adults and children gathers for the annual event, and sometimes the president greets the crowd from the balcony of the White House.
CONTACTS:
President's Park
White House Liaison
1100 Ohio Dr. S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20242
202-208-1631; fax: 202-208-1643
www.nps.gov
National Archives and Records Administration (NARA)
Prologue: Quarterly Journal of the NARA
700 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC 20408
866-272-6272 or 301-713-6800
www.archives.gov
SOURCES:
AmerBkDays-2000, p. 243
BkFest-1937, p. 16
EncyEaster-2002, p. 161
(c)
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