Marching To 'Easter Monday On The White House Lawn'

Apr 1, 2013

John Philip Sousa was more than a bandmaster — he was a portraitist who captured a broad range of American life. From military outfits and fraternal organizations to the Liberty Bell, a newspaper, multiple universities and even a beach resort, Sousa painted indelible musical pictures of his country.

One of his happiest marches depicts the day each year when children rule in Washington. Easter Monday on the White House Lawn from the suite Tales of a Traveler celebrates the White House Easter Egg Roll, now in its 135th year.

The "President's Own" U.S. Marine Band began appearing at the egg roll during the Rutherford B. Hayes administration. This year's edition also features cooking and sports demonstrations in conjunction with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! campaign.

While you may not be or have a child able to attend the event, the White House website features highlights from previous years, information on ordering commemorative eggs and even a coloring book. And the joyous spirit of the day is captured in the march above.

Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit