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 Home > News & Policies > April 2002

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 1, 2002

President and Mrs. Bush Host Easter Egg Roll
Remarks by the President at Annual Easter Egg Roll
The South Lawn
9:15 A.M. EST

Complete Easter Egg Roll Information

President's Remarks

THE PRESIDENT: Welcome to the White House. Laura and I are so glad you came this year, especially given what happened last year: it rained. But today we have beautiful weather, and we hope you have a great time here at the traditional Easter Egg Roll.

An early visitor gets in a game of patty-cake with the Easter Bunny during the Annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House Monday, April 1. In addition to meeting such notables as the Easter Bunny, children played games, listened to story book readings and had their pictures taken all over the place. White House photo by Tina Hager. I want to thank all the members of my Cabinet and their family members who are here. I want to thank the children's book authors who are here. And we hope you listen to those who read books to you. We want to encourage you to read a lot. As a matter of fact, we think it's important that you read more than you watch TV. (Applause.)

I want to thank the entertainers who are here. Of course, I want to thank the Easter Bunny. (Laughter.) We want to thank all the embassies that are highlighting their spring traditions. I want to thank the volunteers who have worked so hard to make this a successful Easter Egg Roll. Secretary of Education Roderick Paige reads to children during on of the many story book hours at the Annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House April 1. Other readers including Laura Bush, Secretary of Transportation Norm Mineta and Marc Brown, children's book author of Arthur Meets the President. White House photo by Evan Parker.

You know, one of the things that children say to me all the time, they say, I want to come see your home, Mr. President. I said, this isn't our home; this is your home, and you're welcome to the yard of your home. We're so glad you're here. (Applause.)

Do you know that since 1878, Presidents have hosted this event. And it is our honor to continue this tradition. The first President who did so was a guy named Rutherford B. Hayes. He decided to have the Easter Egg Roll here at the White House because the members of the United States Congress said you couldn't be -- they wouldn't want to host the Easter Egg Roll anymore on the congressional grounds. President George W. Bush waves to several thousand guests who came for the Annual Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn of the White House Monday, April, 1. Honoring an Easter tradition that was started in 1878 by President Rutherford B. Hayes, the President and Mrs. Bush opened the peoples home to children and games. White House photo by Eric Draper.

Just to show you we don't hold a grudge, we've invited members of the U.S. Congress here. And you're welcome, and thank you all for coming. (Laughter.)

I also am really looking forward to starting the Easter Egg Roll. I want everybody to have a great time here. It is our honor to host you all. And I'd like to end by this simple -- this simple statement: may God bless your families, and may God continue to bless the United States of America. (Applause.)

END 9:17 A.M. EST