Once the White House was opened to public egg rolling festivities in 1878, first families had to decide whether they were going to join the throng of celebrants or just organize and play host to it. Previously, the South Lawn was reserved for their own private Eastertide activities. Now the very grounds represented a famous rite of spring for the nation's capital. President Benjamin Harrison gave his grandson limited exposure to the crowds. The Clevelands kept their daughters Ruth and Esther in the house away from the crowd. The Theodore Roosevelt clan studied the action from the South Portico. First Lady Edith Wilson invited family friends and cabinet members to join in the fun. Two Hoover grandchildren spoke from the bandstand for the "talkies" in 1931.
The Harding, Coolidge, F. D. Roosevelt and George W. Bush administrations: Library of Congress, White House
Source Credits: C.L. Arbelbide, "With Easter Monday You Get Egg Roll at the White House," Prologue, Volume 32, Spring 2000; White House Curator's Files, and the White House Historical Association Files