Today’s an eggs-ellent day in Washington, DC, for young people! It’s the annual White House Easter Egg Roll, where hundreds of children gather to roll eggs and play games on the South Lawn of the President’s House.
But the tradition did not start at the White House. It began on the lawns and terraces of the Capitol after the Civil War. Children of all races and backgrounds rolled eggs and played games on the turf around the Capitol.
But in 1878, children who arrived at the Capitol on Easter Monday were turned away.
Congress had passed a law to prevent these young citizens from taking such liberties on the grounds, and it became the “duty of the Capitol police hereafter to prevent any portion of the Capitol grounds and terraces from being used as playgrounds or otherwise.”
It’s not clear how the party was rolled over to the White House, but a newspaper clipping in Rutherford B. Hayes’s personal scrapbook shows he was the first President to officially allow the Executive Mansion to be used for egg rolling. (There were informal egg rollings there as early as Lincoln’s administration.)
The good times and egg rolling continued through the following Presidential administrations with a few brief interruptions. In 1917, during World War I, the egg roll was canceled until 1920 because of concerns of the waste of … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on April 25, 2011, under - Civil War, - Cold War, - Great Depression, - Presidents, - World War I, - World War II, News and Events.
Tags: Capitol, Easter, Egg Roll, Presidents, Prologue magazine, White House