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Egg Rolling

About Easter

Egg Rolling

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Egg roll at the White House lawn, 1929 Egg roll at the White House lawn, 1929

Egg rolling, or an Easter egg roll is a traditional game with Easter eggs. Different nations have different versions of the game, usually done with colored eggs.

In the United States, the Easter Egg Roll has become a much-loved annual event on the White House lawn for children and their parents. The Egg Roll itself is a race, where children run in parallel lanes, pushing an egg through the grass with a long-handled spoon. Surrounding events, such as appearances by White House personalities in Easter Bunny costumes, speeches and book-reading by Cabinet secretaries, and exhibits of artistically-decorated eggs, make the day into a bigger festival.

President Hayes was the first to host the Easter Egg Roll for children on the White House. The original site was on the grounds of the United States Capitol. Congress ended the tradition after a particularly active Easter Egg Roll in 1876. At the request of several children, President Hayes brought the event to the White House in 1878.

The practice was abandoned during Franklin D. Roosevelt's presidency, and revived by Mamie Eisenhower during her husband's term in office. Mrs. Eisenhower opened the event to African American children for the first time.

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