This President Hosted The Very First Easter Egg Roll

With Easter right around the corner, people are gearing up to celebrate the holiday with their family traditions and springtime fun. In the commercial sense, Easter brings with it thoughts of baby animals, flowers, and adorably decorated eggs. Not to mention the Easter Bunny himself hopping around carrying baskets of goodies.

There are a lot of parks and community areas that hold Easter events, but none compare to that of The White House. Year after year, the nation's capital hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll on the south lawn of the property. Nowadays, there's a lottery system in place via where thousands of households can enter for a fair chance to attend this famous Easter event, providing that there's a child under age 13 among them, along with at least one adult. This tradition has been going on for so long that it might be easy to forget how it started or which president it started with.

President Rutherford B. Hayes started the Easter Egg Roll tradition

On April 22, 1878, the first annual Easter Egg Roll commenced at the White House after President Rutherford B. Hayes agreed to open up the White House grounds for children and their families on Easter Monday, according to The White House Historical Association. The decision came after legislation passed a law to ban public use of the capitol grounds. As many families used this for their Easter festivities, the White House grounds opening up gave them a place to have fun and saved them from some serious holiday blues.

The Easter Egg Roll has grown over time, with various presidents adding to the event. In 1885, Grover Cleveland added "egg roll receptions." In 1889, Benjamin Harrison livened the event up a little when he had the United States Marines Band, "The President's Own," play live music on the grounds (via White House History). Then, on April 1, 1929, the Egg Roll was broadcast on the radio for the very first time by station WRC in Washington D.C, growing the buzz even further.

President Hayes created an event thousands look forward to every year

Ever since that first year, the South Lawn of the White House has been the bustling home of the Easter Egg Roll, with only a few cancellations. One of those was due to wartime food restrictions in 1918, during World War I, when the destruction of eggs was considered unacceptable. Thus the Egg Roll was canceled that year, according to The White House Historical Association.

The other years the Easter Egg Roll was put on hold were for reasons pertaining to threats to National Security during World War II in 1942, and again by President Truman for food conservation in the post-war years of 1946-1948. Most recently, the Easter Egg Roll had to be called off in order for White House Staff to maintain safe social distancing and prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 (via White House History). This year the historical event is being brought back and will take place once again on the South Lawn of the White House grounds.