Today, President Obama and the First Lady welcomed more than 35,000 guests to the White House South Lawn for the 137th annual White House Easter Egg Roll. The day's activities included live music performances, "egg"-tivity centers, cooking stations, storytelling, and, of course, Easter egg rolling.
To celebrate the fifth anniversary of the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative, this year’s Easter Egg Roll theme is #GimmeFive – and Mrs. Obama is challenging Americans across the country to share five things they’re doing to eat better, stay active, and lead a healthier life.
Whether real or wooden eggs are used, the White House Easter Egg Roll has remained a day full of festive spirit since 1878. Today, in 2015, the 137th annual event celebrates the "eggceptional" commitment the President has to America’s future generation.
Check out the highlights and history of the White House Easter Egg Roll:
Let The Good Times Roll: The First White House Easter Egg Roll
On Easter Monday, with egg baskets in hands, unknowing egg rollers arrived at the Capitol, only to be turned away by the Capitol Hill police. This was thanks to The Turf Protection Law of 1876, which prohibited the practice of the traditional egg roll on the Capitol grounds.
However, President Rutherford B. Hayes kept the tradition alive by inviting children to the White House lawn for the Easter egg roll in 1878 after he was approached by a young boy who exclaimed, "Are you going to let us roll eggs in your yard?"
Today, the White House continues to open the South Lawn for Easter enthusiasts.
Egg Roll and Technology
At her first Egg Roll in 1933, Eleanor Roosevelt greeted visitors and listeners alike for the first time over the radio, on a nationwide broadcast.
The Obamas made Easter Egg Roll history today as the first the White House to team up with Snapchat to create an Easter Egg Roll "Our Story." Using special Easter Egg Roll filters, Snapchatters shared their experiences in Snaps from the South Lawn.
The Easter Bunny
In 1969, Pat Nixon, introduced the White House Easter Bunny, usually a White House staffer dressed in a special White House rabbit suit. The tradition continues today.
Cue The Music
In 1889, President Benjamin Harrison started the egg roll music tradition by inviting "The President's Own" Marine Band to play at the event. Today, the Easter Egg Roll featured performances by Fifth Harmony, MKTO, “So You Think You Can Dance” All-Stars, and many more.
How The Games Began
First Lady Pat Nixon's staff initiated the first— and last— formal Easter egg hunt using real hard-boiled eggs. Only days later were all the eggs found, leaving their odorous mark on the South Lawn.
By 1974, the Nixon administration had a better grasp on the Easter Egg Roll. After borrowing some stainless steel spoons from the White House kitchen, the most famous of Easter Monday activities— organized egg-rolling races— was introduced.
Today President Obama, continues to enjoy this legendary egg roll.
After the races, President Obama played some more Easter games on the basketball court.
The ultimate "eggcitement" happened in 1981, when guests discovered autographed wooden eggs during the straw pit egg hunt. By 1987, the event's theme was inscribed on each egg, and in 1989, President George H.W. Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush added their facsimile signatures. Years later, the Clintons' cat, Socks, even "paw-printed" a few eggs.
Today President Obama’s dogs, Sunny and Bo, continue to add their "signature" to the 2015 Egg Roll Souvenir Collection.
Honorable Mention: This Huge Bat Who Greeted Eggrollers Today