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Credits: 1900-1929 › Library of Congress


In the beginning, children came into the White House with baskets of brightly dyed hard-boiled eggs. On Easter Monday, 1885, young egg rollers marched into the East Room, hoping for a personal audience with President Grover Cleveland. When he came down from his office to greet them, he was charmed, and indoor egg roll receptions became customary. These visitors ruined the East Room carpet, which, as the Washington Post reported, was "ground full of freshly smashed hard-boiled egg and broken egg shells." Still, when Cleveland returned in 1893 for a second, non-consecutive term, he continued to grant the egg rollers carte blanche access to the house and grounds.