Tag Archives: tradition

DC Black History: Easter Monday at the National Zoo

Yesterday, March 24th, 2008 Black families gathered at the National Zoo Monday for an Easter tradition. The Easter Monday event started in 1891 when blacks were not allowed to go to the White House Easter Egg Roll (until the Dwight Eisenhower presidency). It’s now called the The African American Family Celebration and has been a Washington-area multicultural tradition for many years. Visitors enjoy a variety of special family activities, including an Easter egg roll and hunt, crafts, and entertainment ranging from children’s dance troupes to costumed characters and storytellers.

Smithsonian Institution Archives, Record Unit 95, Box 35, Folder 19, Neg#  MAH-16831
Easter Monday at the National Zoo, 1900s

The annual Easter Egg Roll on Easter Monday at the National Zoological Park. At the top of the hill, the original 1891 Animal House, also known as the Lion House, designed by William R. Emerson is visible. By the turn of the century the National Zoological Park had become a popular spot to spend Easter Monday. Crowds spent the day seeing the animals, picnicking, and enjoying the Annual Easter Egg Roll on Lion and Tiger Hill, shown here. – Source


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