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Easter Egg Roll: The President's Own Comes Marching In

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This watercolor was painted in 2001 by Barbara Gibson. The Gibson's composition shows famous American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa conducting the U.S. Marine Band in 1889, during the Benjamin Harrison administration. Sousa is renowned for his famous marches including "The Stars and Stripes Forever", "Semper Fidelis", and "The Washington Post."

White House Historical Association

Eleven years after the Easter Monday egg rolling festivities came to the White House, President Benjamin Harrison scored a hit by adding music to the affair. In 1889, he had the United States Marine Band, known as "The President's Own," play lively tunes while the children romped on the South Lawn. John Philip Sousa, who directed the band, took delight in treating the egg roll guests to rousing marches. Sousa honored the occasion in his 1929 composition "Easter Monday on the White House Lawn." U.S. Marine Band concerts were always a highlight of the event, and they continue to provide egg roll celebrants with music to make this day even more special.