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Photos: the White House Easter Egg Roll throughout history

Each Easter Monday, thousands of children and their families flock to the White House for an annual day of spring festivities. Originally, it was held in from of the Capitol, but in 1876, the celebration took a toll on the Capitol grounds and Congress subsequently passed a law banning the lawn to be used as a playground for children.

The “Easter Egg Roll” as it is known today dates back to 1878, when President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the South Lawn to the neighborhood children recently forbidden from playing with colorful Easter eggs on the yards of the Capitol.

The First Family has hosted a day of games, music and food nearly every year since.

Children and adults on grounds of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, 1889 (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Children and adults on grounds of the White House for the annual Easter Egg Roll, 1889. Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Boys at the White House Easter egg roll, 1911 (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Boys at the White House Easter egg roll, 1911. Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Children at the 1923 White House Easter Egg Roll (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Children at the 1923 White House Easter Egg Roll. Photo courtesy Library of Congress

Easter at the White House, 1926 (Photo credit: National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress)

Easter at the White House, 1926. Photo courtesy National Photo Company Collection, Library of Congress

First Lady Grace Coolidge brings pet Raccoon Rebecca to the 1927 Easter Egg Roll (Photo Credit: White House Historical Association)

First Lady Grace Coolidge brings pet Raccoon Rebecca to the 1927 Easter Egg Roll. Photo courtesy White House Historical Association

Boys chase after eggs at the 1929 Easter Egg Roll (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

Boys chase after eggs at the 1929 Easter Egg Roll. Photo courtesy Library of Congress)

Children dance around a maypole at the White House Easter Egg Roll, ca. 1930 (Photo credit: White House Historical Association)

Children dance around a maypole at the White House Easter Egg Roll, circa 1930. Photo courtesy White House Historical Association

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt greet visitors at the 1939 Easter Egg Roll (Photo credit: Library of Congress)

President Franklin D. Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt greet visitors at the 1939 Easter Egg Roll. Photo courtesy Library of Congress

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wecomes first of Easter Egg Rollers, 1940.  (Photo credit: Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress)

First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt wecomes first of Easter Egg Rollers, 1940. Photo courtesy Harris & Ewing Collection, Library of Congress

Easter Egg Roll at the White House, 1961. (Photo credit: Robert Knudsen, White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston.)

Easter Egg Roll at the White House, 1961. Photo courtesy Robert Knudsen, White House/John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Tricia Nixon signs autographs at the 1971 Easter Egg Roll (Photo Credit: National Archives)

Tricia Nixon signs autographs at the 1971 Easter Egg Roll. Photo courtesy National Archives

Jimmy Carter with grandson Jason Carter at the White House Easter Egg Roll, 1977 (Photo Credit: National Archives)

Jimmy Carter with grandson Jason Carter at the White House Easter Egg Roll, 1977. Photo courtesy National Archives

Basket of wooden eggs for the Easter Egg Roll in 1982 (Photo credit: White House Historical Association)

Basket of wooden eggs for the Easter Egg Roll in 1982. Photo courtesy White House Historical Association

Children participate in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, 1989. (Photo Credit:  George Bush Presidential Library and Museum)

Children participate in the Easter Egg Roll at the White House, 1989. Photo courtesy George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the Start of an Easter Egg Roll Race, 2006 (Photo Credit: National Archives/George W. Bush Presidential Library)

President George W. Bush and Mrs. Laura Bush at the Start of an Easter Egg Roll Race, 2006. Photo courtesy National Archives/George W. Bush Presidential Library

President Barack Obama is joined by his daughters Sasha and Malia at the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama is joined by his daughters Sasha and Malia at the 2009 White House Easter Egg Roll. Photo by Chuck Kennedy, courtesy the White House

People attending the annual Easter Egg Roll walk along the South Lawn of the White House, April 5, 2010. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson)

People attending the annual Easter Egg Roll walk along the South Lawn of the White House, April 5, 2010. Photo by Lawrence Jackson, courtesy the White House

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