March 21, 2022 – Peninsula, OH
James A. Garfield National Historic Site to Host an Easter Monday Egg Roll
Families and friends of the James A. Garfield Alliance are invited to join us for this year’s Easter Egg Roll, reminiscent of historical events held at the White House for more than 100 years. Although Northeast Ohio’s Easter Egg Roll may not be as old as that in Washington D.C., for years it has served local residents with its free activities including games, crafts and prizes geared toward children. Weather permitting, the event will take place on Monday, April 18, 2022, at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site in Mentor, OH. Click here to register.
The annual Easter Egg Roll is one of the oldest and most beloved events in presidential history. Dating back to the 1970s, Washington D.C. citizens of all socio-economic backgrounds enjoyed gathering on the west grounds of the U.S. Capitol building, where children rolled brilliantly dyed hard-boiled eggs down the terraced lawn. But by 1876, Congress restricted public access of the grounds over concerns for the landscape. This decision went unchallenged in 1877 due to rain. Then, in 1878, President Hayes opened the White House’s South Lawn to the public on the Monday after Easter, paving way for a new tradition and preserving the Easter Egg Roll event for years to come.
Although he was only President for 200 days, James A. Garfield experienced one Easter Egg Roll while in the White House. On Monday, April 18, 1881, he reflected on its history in his diary:
“American presidents and their families have hosted these Easter parties on the South Lawn since 1878, during President Rutherford B. Hayes’ administration.”
Although typically held annually, the event in Washington has been canceled intermittently due to World War I, World War II, restoration of the White House during Truman’s presidency, inclement weather, and most recently the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, President and Mrs. Biden hope to resume this White House tradition in 2022. For those interested in attending the event in Washington D.C., a free ticket lottery will be held online at recreation.gov. For more information, visit the www.whitehosuehistory.org and www.nps.gov.
Northeastern Ohio residents who would like to participate in the Easter Monday Egg Roll at the James A. Garfield National Historic Site can register for the event here. This event is made possible with thanks to its many sponsors and volunteers.
This event is subject to weather. Tune into the site’s Facebook page (@GarfieldNPS) for updates.
James A. Garfield National Historic Site is located at 8095 Mentor Avenue (U.S. 20) in Mentor, Ohio, approximately 25 miles east of Cleveland. The site offers guided Garfield home tours, museum exhibits, a biographical film, walking paths, and two outdoor cell phone tours. For information call (440) 255-8722, write 8095 Mentor Avenue, Mentor, OH 44060, or visit www.nps.gov/jaga. Find the site as @GarfieldNPS on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Images from the Library of Congress & White House Historical Association