White House hosts 140th Egg Roll

The plans were hatched, the eggs were boiled.Orchestrated by the East Wing, 140th White House Easter Egg Roll ...

Posted: Apr 2, 2018 7:04 PM
Updated: Apr 2, 2018 7:04 PM

The plans were hatched, the eggs were boiled.

Orchestrated by the East Wing, 140th White House Easter Egg Roll festivities were Melania Trump's second crack at the event, and her first as a full-time White House resident. Last year, Trump, who was living in New York through the completion of the school year, oversaw the event, which marked a scaling-down and return to basics for the annual eggstravaganza. But this year's Egg Roll showcased a first lady who has more fully embraced the role of White House hostess, just weeks before the White House holds its first formal state visit with France.

Speaking to guests from the Truman Balcony, President Donald Trump celebrated the weather and wished attendees a happy Easter, giving the first lady a special shoutout.

"I want to really thank the first lady, Melania, who has done an incredible job. She worked so hard on this event," he said to applause. During brief remarks, he also thanked the White House Historical Association and touted his administration's economic success and strong military.

The Trumps then headed to the egg rolling activity station, where the President presided, blowing the whistle for several rounds. Barron Trump, 12, and other family members sat around a picnic table with children decorating cards for the troops.

This year's Egg Roll featured activity stations, including the first lady's new addition of lawn bowling, as well as the egg rolling, egg and cookie decorating stations, a state egg display, cards for troops and costumed characters. The White House expected nearly 30,000 attendees at the event, which featured entertainment from the US Marine, Army, Air Force and Navy Bands. Readers at the reading nook included the first lady, director of national intelligence Dan Coats, Secretaries Elaine Chao and Betsy DeVos, and director of legislative affairs Marc Short.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry was on hand for the event, as well as outgoing National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and the President's new nominee to head the Department of Veterans Affairs, Dr. Ronny Jackson.

Labor Secretary Alex Acosta was in full dad mode, spotted photographing his children as they rolled their eggs.

Additional members of the first family were present, including Eric and Lara Trump and baby Luke, Donald Trump Jr. and Vanessa Trump and their five children, Tiffany Trump.

Rolling tradition

The egg rolling tradition began in the 1870s on Capitol grounds. After a particularly rotten 1876 roll in which eyewitness John C. Rathbone observed "the wanton destruction of the grass on the terraces of the park," President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation to protect Capitol grounds, which prohibited egg rolling, per the National Archives.

But in 1878, a more egg-friendly President Rutherford B. Hayes allowed children to roll their eggs on the White House South Lawn.

According to an article in that evening's edition of the Evening Star, per the National Archives, the children were quite pleased with their new egg rolling headquarters: "Driven out of the Capitol grounds, the children advanced on the White House grounds to-day and rolled eggs down the terraces back of the Mansion, and played among the shrubbery to their heart's content."

Now, 140 years later the tradition continues, this year as a collaboration between the White House, the White House Historical Association, and the National Park Service.

It's always been a big production for the first lady's office.

Florence Harding dyed the eggs herself in 1921, The Washington Post reported.

In 1927, the Post reported that Grace Coolidge brought her pet raccoon, Rebecca, out on the grounds on a leash, much to the raccoon's chagrin.

"The crush was too much for Rebecca and she showed her displeasure plainly. But the first lady was not so easily discouraged. She carried the pet indoors and returned to the delight of the crowd," the report said.

Eleanor Roosevelt oversaw the egg roll during her husband's four terms in office, including 1937, when more than 50,000 children attended. Cold weather was to blame for depressed turnout in 1940, when just under 5,500 children attended, per the Syracuse Herald-Journal.

Recent history

During the Obama administration, first lady Michelle Obama used the Egg Roll to promote her "Let's Move" initiative, and the star-studded lineup included performances by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. Beyonc- and Jay-Z were among the attendees in 2016.

The tradition of the costumed Easter Bunny began with a Pat Nixon staff member in 1969, per the White House Historical Association.

Former Trump administration press secretary Sean Spicer has a history with the Egg Roll himself: as a staffer in the George W. Bush administration, he was the man inside the Easter bunny suit. He did not reprise the role last year -- that we know of.

To this day, the Egg Roll remains one of the only times of the year that the White House South Lawn is open to the public (with tickets) to enjoy.

In addition to the thousands of hard boiled eggs on the South Lawn, guests will receive an official wooden White House Easter Egg, which this year features a presidential seal on the front and the President and First Lady's signature on the back.

The Incredible Egg, which provides all 30,000 real eggs for rolling, dyeing, and eating, also provides the first lady with a commemorative egg gift of her own. The 2018 Commemorative Egg, the 41st of its kind, was designed by Master Egg Artist Deborah Grassel, who holds a Masters in Egg Art from the International Egg Art Guild.

The ornate glass real egg opens up to feature a miniature President and Mrs. Trump standing on a bridge and was presented to the first lady by representatives of the American Egg Board on Monday morning.

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 592709

Reported Deaths: 9340
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion818931301
Lake44495668
Allen32035543
Hamilton28533305
St. Joseph26847372
Elkhart24132341
Vanderburgh18759213
Tippecanoe17482122
Johnson14583285
Porter14464160
Hendricks13931242
Madison10600213
Vigo10513174
Clark10300132
Monroe9109108
Delaware8861133
LaPorte8825155
Howard7916138
Kosciusko788877
Warrick648290
Hancock642597
Bartholomew629294
Floyd6184105
Wayne5956157
Grant5848110
Dubois546172
Boone536367
Morgan519491
Henry496164
Marshall494984
Cass473160
Noble462157
Dearborn461344
Jackson416145
Shelby404279
Lawrence382075
Clinton366340
Gibson357856
DeKalb338563
Montgomery336651
Harrison332642
Knox328239
Miami311243
Steuben308742
Adams296535
Whitley295525
Wabash293945
Ripley293745
Putnam286847
Huntington285058
Jasper284434
White268438
Daviess262172
Jefferson253138
Decatur242882
Fayette242448
Greene235660
Posey232826
Wells230147
LaGrange224761
Clay218732
Scott217337
Randolph209041
Jennings193235
Sullivan189331
Spencer182717
Fountain180425
Washington178218
Starke172041
Jay163122
Fulton160230
Owen160137
Carroll153015
Orange152133
Rush150818
Perry148727
Vermillion145533
Franklin143833
Parke12908
Tipton128432
Pike114125
Blackford108022
Pulaski95137
Newton89721
Brown85730
Benton84510
Crawford7669
Martin70413
Warren6607
Switzerland6235
Union6145
Ohio4707
Unassigned0374

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 831066

Reported Deaths: 10281
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin97996705
Cuyahoga826131062
Hamilton61629439
Montgomery41873399
Summit33603729
Lucas30316597
Butler29859228
Stark24951413
Warren18974139
Lorain18217212
Mahoning16815336
Lake15491135
Clermont15235104
Delaware1392977
Licking12765132
Trumbull12445306
Fairfield1226080
Greene11682133
Medina11191165
Clark10648264
Wood10000154
Allen9579126
Portage8923106
Miami890573
Richland8848116
Marion7341113
Tuscarawas7162174
Columbiana7117124
Pickaway705750
Wayne6815165
Muskingum676342
Erie5943118
Hancock540490
Ross532787
Scioto523663
Geauga487755
Darke458589
Ashtabula440572
Lawrence436652
Union432828
Mercer425887
Sandusky424462
Auglaize415159
Seneca415155
Huron413638
Shelby411021
Jefferson404566
Belmont397840
Washington373140
Athens36549
Putnam365372
Madison341429
Knox337722
Ashland333838
Fulton327143
Defiance320178
Crawford315169
Preble312434
Brown298219
Logan293229
Ottawa283034
Clinton279643
Williams271166
Highland263618
Jackson258343
Guernsey244025
Champaign242827
Fayette228029
Morrow22404
Perry222618
Holmes219462
Henry211947
Hardin205033
Coshocton198920
Van Wert198044
Gallia191626
Wyandot191449
Adams165815
Pike165217
Hocking164423
Carroll150116
Paulding139921
Noble118340
Meigs103521
Monroe96129
Harrison8598
Morgan79628
Vinton67213
Unassigned00
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 13°
Angola
Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 31° Lo: 22°
Feels Like: 15°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
24° wxIcon
Hi: 33° Lo: 19°
Feels Like: 16°
Fort Wayne
Clear
23° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 13°
Lima
Partly Cloudy
23° wxIcon
Hi: 34° Lo: 21°
Feels Like: 13°
Evening Light Snow Tuesday
WFFT Radar
WFFT Temperatures
WFFT National

Community Events