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Credits: 1887-1900 › Library of Congress, White House Historical Association


In 1878, Easter Monday celebrants who were not allowed to roll eggs on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol headed up Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. The children knew about the low hills on the South Lawn, and hoped their egg rolling games would be permitted there. President Rutherford B. Hayes instructed his guards to let the youngsters through the gates. It proved to be a very popular change of venue. By Easter Monday 1880, an article in the Evening Star reported that eager egg rollers had taken "absolute possession of the grounds south of the White House."