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EGGstravagent: The White House Gears Up For 141st Easter Egg Roll

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Author: Jeff Powers
Created: 17 April, 2019
Updated: 14 August, 2022
2 min read

On Monday, the South lawn of the White House will host the 141st version of the egg roll that began in 1878 under the Administration of President Rutherford B. Hayes.

Easter Egg Roll 2018

That's the official year the egg roll began but historians say informal festivities began with egg-rolling parties under President Abraham Lincoln.

The egg roll became so popular that President Ulysses S. Grant signed a bill that banned the rolling of eggs on Capitol grounds, citing landscape concerns.

War Brings Pause and Venue Change

The egg roll was paused due to World War I and World War II.

From 1917 to 1920 and from 1943 to 1945 the egg roll tradition took a back seat to the more pressing issues of peace. Although in 1917 the roll happened but it was forced to the U.S. Capitol and the National Zoo.

President Harding brought the egg roll back to the White House in 1921, but it got canceled again starting in 1942 because of World War II.

President Truman declined to restart it, citing food shortages. It wasn’t until his successor, President Eisenhower, took office in 1953 that the hunt was reinstituted.

Wooden Easter Egg Tradition

The commemorative wooden Easter eggs began in 1981, an idea instituted by First Lady Nancy Reagan.

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2019 Wooden Easter Egg

The tradition became a keepsake cherished by guests that donned the signature of the President and First Lady.

Thousands of colorful wooden Easter eggs are making the journey from Maine to the White House for this year’s annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

For the second year in a row, Maine Wood Concepts, a wood turning factory located in New Vineyard, Maine, will turn out about 100,000 birch Easter eggs to meet the exacting specifications of the White House Historical Association.

The 2019 Commemorative Egg

As the annual White House Easter Egg Roll is celebrated on Monday, another annual tradition is also being celebrated.

The Commemorative Egg announcement.

While the beloved egg roll involves some 74,000 eggs on the South Lawn, the Commemorative Egg is a singular offering.

Each year, the First Lady of the United States receives this gift from America’s egg farmers. The tradition dates back to 1977.

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Melania Trump 2019 Commemorative Egg

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