The Easter Egg Roll is one of the White House’s biggest annual events.
It is held on Easter Monday and is attended by children and parents who acquire their free tickets via an online lottery system. In 2018 around 30,000 guests attended.
However, the history of this seemingly harmless celebration, in which children roll eggs down the South Lawn with a wooden spoon, has had its share of controversy.
Back in the 1870s, when the Easter Egg Roll started, it was originally celebrated at the Capitol building in Washington, D.C. But this soon came under criticism, as some spoilsports claimed that the Easter Egg Roll made a mess of the grass. Opposition was so great that a law banning the Roll was passed in 1876.
The following year it was too rainy to celebrate the Roll, but in 1878 the children who went to the Capitol with their eggs, were turned away by the police. They apparently headed for the White House where the gates were opened and the tradition of the Easter Egg Roll at the White House began.