During the 1870s, Capitol Hill was a popular spot for children to play on Easter, often rolling eggs (and themselves) down the hill. But as more and more people began to participate, the grounds took a beating from the increased traffic, according to .
In 1876, Congress passed a law forbidding children to play on Capitol Hill, so in 1878 President Rutherford B. Hayes issued an order that children were allowed to roll their Easter eggs on the White House lawn if they wanted—and so, the tradition of the White House Easter Egg Roll was born!
Apart from the dark days of World War I and World War II—and when President Harry S. Truman renovated the White House—the White House's Easter celebration has taken place every year since. Interested in attending? While the event is open to the public, tickets are required and only available by applying through the official .
A boy holds the hand of a younger girl at the first White House Easter Egg Roll in Washington D.C.
Children on the lawn of the White House during William McKinley's presidency, taking part in the annual Easter Egg Roll.
Thousands of children and their parents gathered on the White House lawn to take part in the greatest Easter Egg rolling contest Washington had ever seen at the time.
First Lady Grace Coolidge holds up her pet raccoon, Rebecca, for a crowd of children at the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.
President Hoover turned over the south grounds of the Executive Mansion for the annual Easter Egg Roll.
First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt and her granddaughter Sistie stroll through the crowd during the Easter event.
Eleanor Roosevelt waves as she hosts the annual Easter Egg Roll.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower holds his granddaughter during the Egg Roll.
President Eisenhower welcomed these three sisters and other Washington children to the White House lawn for the annual Easter festivities.
These kids were among the thousands of children who attended the 1956 Easter Egg Roll.
Youngsters rolled their eggs during the 1961 egg roll despite the absence of the star attractions, President Kennedy and his family.
Several hundred children and their parents braved a spring drizzle to take part in the traditional Easter Egg Roll, hosted by President Lyndon B. Johnson.
President Ronald Reagan and Mrs. Reagan, surrounded by bunnies and children at the 1982 Easter Egg Roll.
First lady Nancy Reagan hugs a participant as President Reagan signs Easter eggs.
Vice President George Bush and Mrs. Bush get hugs from Easter bunnies.
President Bush helps granddaughter Ellie with her egg.
President Bill Clinton blows the whistle to begin the 1993 egg roll.
President Bill and Hillary Rodham Clinton with a bunny couple at the 1995 Easter Egg Roll.
A mother and her 18-month-old daughter participate in the annual Easter Egg Roll in front of the White House.
This year's White House Easter festivities included the egg roll, story telling, historical re-enactments, musical performances, and other entertainment.
White House Pastry Chef Roland Mesnier puts the finishing touches on a 50-pound chocolate Easter egg for the annual Easter event.
First Lady Laura Bush reads Tom Rabbit during the annual Easter Egg Roll. Thousands of children participated in the day, which included book readings, cartoon characters, and other activities on the lawn.
At the 2003 Easter Egg Roll, children took part in rolling Easter eggs, hearing stories, and hugging cartoon characters. While the event is usually open to the public, due to security concerns the 2003 festivities were limited to invited children of military personnel only.
The Easter Bunny waves prior to the start of the annual Easter Egg Roll, which attracted several hundred children in the rain in 2004.
First lady Laura Bush reads Duck for President during the Easter Egg Roll.
School teacher and daughter of President George W., Bush Jenna Bush, reads from Where the Wild Things Are as her mother, first lady Laura Bush, looks on during the annual Easter Egg Roll.
Guests attend the annual Easter celebration hosted by President Obama.
In 2014, the White House Easter Egg Roll was themed "Hop Into Healthy, Swing Into Shape," and more than 30,000 attendees were treated to live music, sports courts, cooking stations, storytelling, and Easter egg rolling.
President Donald Trump shows a note he wrote while writing to service members with children during the Easter Egg Roll on April 17.
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump blow the whistle to begin an Easter egg roll at the White House Easter Egg Roll on the South Lawn.