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Informal egg-rolling parties were hosted at the White House by President Andrew Johnson and, in 1873 by President Grant. But, the liveliest of these events in the 1870’s took place at the U.S. Capitol.
1876: Senate Bill No. 700 is introduced April 19. Bill passed April 29 to keep egg rolling off the Capitol grounds.
1878: Federal law enforced April 22. President and Mrs. Hayes offer their backyard, giving egg rolling an “official” home.
1889: President Benjamin Harrison requests “The President’s Own,” Marine Band to play, with John Philip Sousa directing.
1917: Canceled because of World War I. Children roll their eggs at the Capitol and the National Zoo. President and Mrs. Harding resume the White House party in 1921.
1929: Lou Hoover introduces maypole and folk dancing activities.
1942: Canceled because of World War II. As Easter of 1946 nears, President Truman encourages “the conservation of food,” and cancels the egg roll. President and Mrs. Eisenhower revive the event in 1953.
1974: Pat Nixon organizes egg-rolling races, and adds spoons from the White House kitchen.
1975: Betty Ford introduces Ukrainian egg-decorating demonstrations. Plastic eggs are used in egg roll. Real eggs return in 1977.
1980: Rosalynn Carter gives out 10,000 souvenir plastic eggs with a welcome message inside.
1981: Nancy Reagan, who attended the egg roll as a child, introduces the egg hunt and autographed souvenir wooden eggs.
1991: Barbara Bush provides special Easter cards to be mailed to the troops in the Persian Gulf in Operation Desert Storm.
1993: Hillary Rodham Clinton expands the egg roll to the Ellipse to include additional activities for both children and adults.
2001: Laura Bush reintroduces the petting zoo to the South Lawn.
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