The Easter Egg Roll is an annual event, and is held on the White House Lawn each Easter Monday for children and their parents. It is a race where the children push
an egg through the grass with a long-handled spoon. The event includes White
House personalities in Easter Bunny costumes, speeches and book reading by
cabinet secretaries along with exhibits of decorated eggs.
Dolly Madison, the wife of President James Madison is credited with beginning the
Egg Roll in 1814. The original site was on the grounds of the United States Capital,
but in 1877 a new lawn was planted and the gardeners cancelled the event. Congress then passed a law making it illegal to use the grounds as a children’s playground. At
the request of a number of children, including his own, the then President Rutherford
B. Hayes and his wife Lucy brought the event to the White House lawns. The event
was abandoned during Franklin D. Roosevelt’s presidency, and revived by Mamie Eisenhower during her husband’s term in office.