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First Lady Melania Trump and President Donald Trump hosted the 139th Easter Egg Roll at the White House on Monday, April 17, 2017.
The Easter Egg Roll falls under the first lady’s remit. Mrs Trump carefully researched the history of the event and decided to return to tradition.
CNN had a good, if biased, article on how this developed. Excerpts follow, emphases mine:
“She wanted to get back to the tradition, so we’re bringing back some traditional elements, like military bands, and focusing on the family itself,” Stephanie Grisham, Melania Trump’s communications director, told CNN.
Those traditional elements include the egg roll, an egg dying station, a cookie decorating station, an art wall, a thank-you card station where children can write notes to troops and veterans, and a reading nook …
Tickets were allocated to schools, children’ hospitals and military and law enforcement families, as well as the families of White House staff, according to [Press Secretary Sean] Spicer.
Planning an egg roll is a tricky balancing act, a collaboration between the East Wing, the White House Visitors’ Office, and volunteers …
Wells Wood Turning crafted 18,000 custom commemorative wooden eggs that will be given to each child in attendance. They arrived at the White House last week in five colors, including, naturally, a shiny gold.
Here are the eggs. Note the similarity in the first couple’s signatures:
CNN also gave us the history behind this popular — and very visible — White House event:
The egg rolling tradition began in the 1870s on Capitol grounds. After a particularly rotten 1876 roll, President Ulysses S. Grant signed legislation to protect Capitol grounds, which prohibited egg rolling, per the National Archives.
But in 1878, President Rutherford B. Hayes allowed children to roll their eggs on the White House South Lawn, and 139 years later, the tradition continues.
It’s always been quite a production for the first lady’s office.
Florence Harding wore a feathered hat in 1922. Grace Coolidge brought her pet raccoon, Rebecca, in 1927. Eleanor Roosevelt oversaw the egg roll during her husband’s four terms in office, including 1937, when more than 50,000 children attended.
The tradition of the costumed Easter Bunny began with a Pat Nixon staff member in 1969, per the White House Historical Association.
Spicer has a history with the Egg Roll himself: as a staffer in the George W. Bush administration, he was the man inside the Easter bunny suit.
With a new administration this year and not many staff in place, the planning time was short. Wells Wood Turning of Buckfield, Maine contacted the White House on February 20 to say that they needed to know how many eggs to make because time was running out.
Mrs Trump also had a skeleton staff at that point, so all hands were on deck. The White House engaged the services of event planning company Harbinger, which has organised events for a wide array of clients. The Obamas used C3 Presents.
That said, hundreds of volunteers are needed every year for the Egg Roll. After all, 21,000 people were expected this year. Easter baskets must be filled with a variety of sweet treats and other fun items. Four hundred volunteers, most of whom live locally, showed up on Holy Saturday to organise the gifts and work on other aspects of the event:
Part of the prep happened this Saturday, when 100 or so volunteers worked elbow-to-elbow in a fenced-in, tented portion of the Ellipse, behind the South Lawn of the White House. Creating a lengthy assembly line, they spent hours stuffing candy, coloring books and commemorative eggs into goodie bags for families attending the roll.
According to a source who participated in the preparation the weekend, the volunteers — many holdovers from years’ past and former administrations — arrived at 10 a.m. ET, working alongside Visitors Office and Social Office staffers. Truckloads of donated products were unpacked, grouped and placed into their designated spots, said one volunteer team leader. The items included arts and crafts supplies, as well as non-perishable foods. And yes, the source confirmed, there were also Peeps.
Peeps are a marshmallow Easter candy, most of which are coated with brightly coloured sugar.
Everything is carefully planned and diligently executed:
By the end of the afternoon, thousands of bags were completed, with the goal each child will receive a souvenir goodie bag and commemorative egg, added the source.
“Everyone at the White House is very excited about (Monday’s) Easter Egg Roll. Preparations are continuing through the weekend to ensure that every child who attends has a positive experience they’ll remember for years to come,” said Grisham.
Whereas Mrs Obama favoured popular music at the Easter Egg Roll, Mrs Trump scaled such music back, preferring to bring back the military bands from older Easter Monday events.
CNN says that special thanks go to Rickie Niceta Lloyd, Mrs Trump’s social secretary and the White House Visitors Office which organised four orientation sessions for the volunteers beforehand.
The next few tweets give us a glimpse of what went on over Easter weekend:
This was the graphic for the event. The bunnies have wooden spoons in their paws, because egg rolling contestants need them to push the eggs to the finishing line (see below):
By the time the Trumps appeared on the balcony, the lawn had a crowd awaiting the official opening of the event:
President Trump introduced the event, followed by the the first lady:
Watch Mrs Trump nudge her husband to put his hand over his heart for the National Anthem, performed by the United States Marine Corps band. I saw another clip of this and Barron was first, closely followed by his mother:
Journalists covered the event for television. CNN’s Jim Acosta shared a laugh with a Mutant Ninja Turtle:
However, Today‘s Al Roker, who is the NBC morning show’s weatherman and co-host, appeared less amused. I think he is still angry Hillary lost:
One boy had Acosta’s number. As Acosta gave a live report, the lad on the left kept mouthing ‘Fake News!’ The video below should go straight to the 17-second mark (H/T: The Conservative Treehouse):
If that gets taken down, Newsbusters has a copy.
The following video from Fox News 10 in Phoenix shows how crowded the White House lawn was. President Trump turns up at the 27:52 mark to have pictures taken with guests. He also signed hats and programmes:
In the following video, jump to the 17:25 mark to watch the first Egg Roll of 2017. It only lasts 20 seconds:
Here’s a view from the finishing line:
The First Family was present at the starting line for the first Egg Roll. Trump’s daughter Tiffany (Marla Maples’s daughter) is in the pink dress and son Eric (Ivana Trump) is between Mrs Trump and Barron:
The Trumps went on to engage with their young guests:
The two clearly enjoyed each other’s company (click on top left photo below). (Donald Trump Jr, his wife and daughter are in the same photo. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln characters are in the baseball shirts, top right. Al Roker continues to be unamused, bottom left.)
Eric Trump and his wife Lara Lee brought along their dogs.
The American Egg Board supplied hen’s fruit (top left) and a fun display, An Egg’s Journey (top right):
Bro4 provided popular music. Martin Family Circus also entertained the guests.
Mrs Trump managed to persuade her husband’s press secretary and much of the cabinet to follow her lead in reading to the children in the Reading Nook. She chose Party Animals by Kathie Lee Gifford, wherein different animals find out how much they have in common. Mrs Trump said it was a particular favourite:
Press Secretary Sean Spicer read How to Catch the Easter Bunny with young Joshua, the only one in the audience who knew the story:
Attorney General Jeff Sessions read It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny, accompanied by his wife and four of their grandchildren:
Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Dr Ben Carson, accompanied by his wife and granddaughter, read The Grouchy Ladybug:
General Kellogg read Giraffes Can’t Dance. He did a great job, too:
Education Secretary Betsy De Vos and Counsellor to the President Kellyanne Conway also read to the youngsters. Conway chose God Gave Us Easter. Mrs De Vos, with one of her grandchildren, gathered the children up closely around her.
Military bands, the boy band and the circus act performed on the Bunny Hop Stage.
The United States Army Band chose traditional songs that the many of the children would not have heard before as well as better known numbers:
The Air Force Band and their Singing Sergeants brought an accomplished bluegrass air to proceedings:
First Son Barron, who turned 11 on Monday, March 20, is as tall as his mother:
I also hope this was a great success for First Lady Melania Trump. I am especially pleased that she blended the traditional with the contemporary so well, ensuring that Easter Monday was a delightful day out for all her guests.
President Donald Trump and his family attended an Easter service at Palm Beach’s Episcopal church, Bethesda-by-the-Sea, on April 16, 2017.
The Palm Beach Post tells us:
Bethesda-by-the-Sea was founded in 1889, making it the first church in Palm Beach County and the oldest Protestant church in South Florida. The rectory was designed by Marion Sims Wyeth, who also drew the plans for the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee and the original Norton Museum of Art, according to the Preservation Foundation of Palm Beach.
The church’s architecture, dozens of stained-glass windows and gardens make it a popular spot for weddings and photo shoots.
It is a beautiful church, in line with most Episcopal houses of worship in the United States, as the following tweets will demonstrate.
I also enjoyed looking at members of the congregation. They remind me of the people I attended church with during my young adulthood in an Episcopal church. I miss them! (We are quite scruffy here in England when it comes to Sunday worship.)
Bethesda-by-the-Sea is the Trumps’ church:
Trump has a history with the church: He married first lady Melania there in 2005, and his youngest son, Barron, was christened there. The Trumps attended the most recent Christmas Eve service at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, receiving a standing ovation as they entered the sanctuary. Last Easter, the president, first lady and Barron attended the church’s 11 a.m. Sunday service.
And when Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his wife, Akie Abe, visited Mar-a-Lago in February, the first lady included a trip with Akie Abe to Bethesda-by-the-Sea as part of her hosting.
This is a good photo of the interior:
The Palm Beach Post advised people wishing to go to the 11 a.m. service — the one the first family attended — to make arrangements to show up early because of security arrangements. Easter services are crowded anyway, and nearly everyone who regularly attends Bethesda-by-the-Sea shows up for worship.
This is how the morning of April 16 went at the church, thanks to the tweets from Aleese Kopf, reporter for the Palm Beach Daily News — a.k.a. The Shiny Sheet, because of the smooth paper.
The Sun Sentinel shows the Trumps’ arrival. Daughter Tiffany (mother Marla Maples, second wife) holds a pink handbag:
The next set of tweets comes from Michael Delauzon, who works at the White House.
The first family entered from a door near the pulpit and the altar.
The rector, The Rev. James Harlan, greeted them:
The man in front of Barron is not the president. He is likely to be Melania’s father:
The president has the aisle seat.
In ‘UPDATES: Trump attends Easter service at Palm Beach church‘, the Palm Beach Post reported that a well-dressed, concerned but polite protester had been along the route to the church. She held up a pro-immigrant sign asking that Trump express concern for them. As if Donald Trump doesn’t know about immigrants! The Palm Beach Post surmised she probably went unnoticed by the first family.
The article went on to say:
A block away, the president, first lady Melania Trump and their son Barron; Trump’s daughter, Tiffany; and the first lady’s parents entered the church for 11 a.m. services from a series of tents erected to give the family privacy.
The Rev. James Harlan, the church’s rector, gave a welcome message before the service with instructions on receiving communion- and turning off cell phones and cameras …
Trump left after taking communion. The first family planned to brunch at Mar-a-Lago with Trump’s sons, Eric and Donald Trump Jr., followed by an afternoon Easter egg hunt.
Stephanie Grisham, the first lady’s director of communications, provided the photo of Mar-a-Lago:
The Trumps left later that day to return to Washington, DC.
Tomorrow I hope to have a post about the Easter Egg Roll on the White House lawn, which took place on Monday, April 17.
Yesterday’s post concerned Melania Trump’s opening her husband’s February 18 rally in Melbourne, Florida with the Lord’s Prayer.
The following day, The_Donald — a welcoming forum for Trump supporters and ex-leftists — featured a long thread about the first lady’s call to prayer.
Most of The_Donald’s readers are Millennials and gamers. They also do not mince words. Sometimes their language is salty. Therefore, it was heartening to read their support of prayer.
Selected comments follow, demonstrating that perhaps the United States is returning to the Lord. And, as others know, where the US goes, the rest of the world often follows. Emphases mine below.
FullMetalSquirrel: Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.
KrakNup (replied): It’s hard to believe that we can converse and post passages like this without being totally shut down. It’s been too many years since that was so.
GCMythix (further reply): Exactly, it’s amazing how this community is so open to all types of people. This is the first place on the internet I haven’t been completely disregarded for my faith. I’ve been made fun of and discredited just because of my beliefs and I’m so glad that we can come together as a nation. I’m glad atheists and Christians and those from every belief get along so well here🙂
An atheist chimed in:
Neo8Aeon (excerpted): I’m an atheist, spent much of 2 years ago explaining why atheism is better online and on forums, watched and read Hitchens, Dawkins, Harris and others and preached the message of rationality and science over all …
I love science and I’m still an atheist to the core, but I’m not of the anti Christian sect any more. I love what the Christian culture and values did in the America of my childhood. But for a few, highly over-publicized cases, the Christianity I’ve known has always been hate the sin, love the sinner, and we are all sinners, all worth loving.
Right now if the USA again moved toward prayer in schools, toward people who quoted the bible reverently, with malice toward none but charity for all I’d be on board for that. So I’ve become a pro-Christian atheist.
God Bless the USA!
Melania’s popularity went up with the act of prayer:
cequiceracera: I thought she seemed a little nervous, but was so glad she took the stage. I hope we hear more from her in the future!
Perhelion (reply): I think she will get used to it as she takes on more speaking roles as FLOTUS. But again, starting with the Lord’s Prayer won massive points with me. She may as well have walked on water today. That’s how highly I think of her now.
Another reader reminded the Left of America’s origins:
GoneGalt13: Reminder for triggering leftists: our official national motto is IN GOD WE TRUST. Also, for what it’s worth E Pluribus Unum refers to STATES. Out of many states, one country.
Some criticised the first lady’s detractors:
StillTraveling: Everyone on twitter talking about how she had to read it off a card…
They are retarded. English is not her first language. I’m sure she prays in her first language; therefore, it is to be expected that she would utilize the written English prayer to help her along.
ZippyTheChicken (reply): when you are not off the cuff like donald its always best to read off a card.. can you imagine if she missed a word the left would say horrible things.
the fact is … she said it.. and I have never heard anyone else in politics say it
FullMetalSquirrel (further reply): It is easy to get a prayer wrong though. I do this all the time in my head and have to start over. So stupid and mean.
I’ve gotta say, they will answer for mocking her for praying and it will be to the Lord himself.
From someone who was at the rally:
FL_MEGA_MAGA: I was there, it was awesome. DEUS VULT!
And from someone who wasn’t:
speaksdinosaur: I found myself doing the Sign of the Cross. Old habits die hard even if you’re not religious.
More positive comments followed:
Sleek_Bones: Finally, a president[ial] couple that worships the one and only.
locploc: It was a fantastic surprise. Very heart-warming.
dparks2010: For anyone who missed it – here’s a video which starts with Melania’s intro:
What a gorgeous and classy woman. I’m proud to have her as my First Lady.
ManOfTheInBetween: When was the last time you heard a Presidential family say something like this in public? Whether you believe or not we call all agree that the values of Christianity are valuable and benefited western culture. God Bless the USA!
In closing, some were inspired to seek a broader application in a time of growing unbelief:
FullMetalSquirrel: I am seriously thinking of starting a list of names of people here who say this or that they’re atheists and praying for them once a week at least.
My hope is always that people will find God and to do so in a way that doesn’t involve something painful or heart breaking.
ZippyTheChicken (reply, excerpted): you know I was thinking about that the other night .. the thing is everyone who says they are an atheist has all ready been told the good word and they intentionally reject the idea that God can exist.
Now I understand that they might not believe the bible and every word of it as hard core science .. that might be understandable.. some believers are exacting in their belief of every single word and there could be people that say that can’t actually be true.. well whatever .. let’s get past that …
But to reject God as a possibility? …
If you look at the atom it has very similar properties to a solar system.. there is the nucleus and orbiting planets which could be considered protons and then moons that represent electrons and then there are comets and asteroids that are similar to quarks …
The atom is infinitely small and the universe is infinitely large
you look into an atom and you find a quark.. well that quark can be divided..
you look at our solar system and you understand it is nothing in comparison to the milky way and then the milky way to the universe.
It’s just astounding .. and we believe that God said Let There Be Light….
I have 4 years of organic chemistry and many more of other sciences… I have been educated in engineering and taught it…. I have lectured at a half dozen Ivy League Schools to professors not students and I have known many people who are held up as the most brilliant in our society only to see that they are fricken idiots in some cases.
If someone uses science as a basis to reject God then they are an uneducated idiot.
If they follow the garbage that comes out of the mouth of someone like Bill Nye who was a failed Boeing Engineer that had a kids show on public access cable that was launched into a career because someone had to fill that spot of being the science guy… and he has no real scientific accomplishments of his own worth noting…
I mean its so exasperating and depressing to see someone reject God intentionally and then use Science or anything else as the basis to say God does not exist …
Accepting God is not Going to Church
its how you live your life
and Life is short.. 100 years or so at the most we get…
It is a job interview for Eternity
Eternity that is as vast and larger than the universe..
An eternity where you will find peace
God didn’t screw this world up People did
I deeply wish people would understand that God is real and that maybe God would show himself in their lives ..
But God Exists whether we believe or not
He was there before we were born and will be there for eternity
I say just do your best .. and only you know if you are doing your best.
And if you make a mistake or give into temptation .. ask for forgiveness and then try again to do your best.
It is evident that Melania Trump’s public recitation of the Lord’s Prayer last Saturday has inspired many people who normally would not discuss Christianity so openly. It has provoked useful and inspiring conversation.
It is also apparent that the Lord was working through her in that rally. Contrary to what a substantial minority of Americans think, the Lord is also working through her husband in leading the United States — and possibly other places in the world — to a more righteous and just future for all.
The Left are in disarray. I am not the first person to say that they are akin to a vicious animal that finds itself cornered. It will attack for survival. In the end, it will be subdued.
Right now, the president sees the lashing out.
In the end, he will overcome it.
However, that is a perilous task, one that 99% would not be able to accomplish. It demands physical resilience and mental strength.
Donald Trump needs the prayers of the faithful right now. The high echelon of the intelligence community opposes him. One of them said in an interview last week that Trump ‘better watch his mouth’. Some Democrats want the president to undergo a psychological examination. Another faction wants the government — elected by the people — to be declared illegitimate.
These are very dangerous times. The media aid and abet Democrats and the GOP establishment, both of which have much to hide. The media have their sins, too.
Ultimately, Donald Trump’s enemies fear he and his men will expose their heinous sins and crimes not only to Americans but also to the world.
This is why it is so important to pray that God protects Trump, his administration and their families. The truth must come out — and a thorough cleansing must take place.
President Donald Trump held a rally on Saturday, February 18, 2017, early in the evening at the AeroMod hangar in Melbourne, Florida.
In a welcome move, First Lady Melania Trump introduced the rally with the Lord’s Prayer:
Big Media criticised the first lady for reading the prayer instead of reciting it from memory. What if she is accustomed to praying in Slovenian?
It must be difficult for her right now. She is holed up in Trump Tower most days and doesn’t even take ten-year-old Barron to school anymore because the Secret Service would have to lay on a big motorcade. It is easier on New Yorkers if the Secret Service do the school run every day. The first lady does not wish to be a burden on her fellow citizens.
It must also be heart-wrenching for her to watch or read Big Media every day. Nearly every news item is an attack on her husband. She is no doubt also worried about those in government in Washington DC. Who is supporting him? Who is betraying him?
Therefore, it seems a natural choice that she would begin with the Lord’s Prayer, one that every Christian knows and can be prayed together.
I like the Revd Franklin Graham’s take below (Image credit: The Conservative Treehouse):
After praying, the first lady gave a brief message about her role, which will involve supporting initiatives for women and children:
Those personal attacks come from the Left. Although she is a legal immigrant, they have no time for her.
Now for a few words about the rally. Those who do not understand Trump will wonder what the point is if he is already president. However, Trump enjoys being with the American people and always has done. Last July at the Republican National Convention, Franklin Graham described him as a ‘blue collar billionaire’. That describes him to a T!
Trump’s Deplorables also miss the rallies, so they welcome any occasion to see him speak to them in person.
The queue at the airport in Melbourne began forming early Saturday morning. The Conservative Treehouse (CTH) has a great report with pictures (emphasis in the original):
The crowd began as early as 5am this morning, and the line was building throughout the day. At approximately 1:00pm the massive line is well over 3 miles long and consists of thousands upon thousands of Trump Supporters. The event starts at 5:00pm
HOLY CATS !! The line of people is so long, it is now actually “lapping” around (meaning completely encircling ) the entire airport property boundary. It’s insane !
Another report from CTH has an RSBN video which features interviews with Trump supporters — and this comment:
There are massive crowds of people in attendance – not quite sure how the airport is going to fit them all in.
Here is a tweet of RSBN’s Margaret Howell (ex-Infowars) interviewing a Deplorable:
Approximately 9,000 people attended, according to Melbourne Police. Of course, this number did not go unnoticed by The Hill:
This rally was set up only a few days ago. Last September’s — before the election — was on Trump’s website for several days in advance. The Hill reports that 15,000 tried to get in to that one, but ‘some’ people were turned away (fire regulations). Remember that Hillary Clinton never attracted more than a few hundred people when she appeared. Her campaign sometimes had to bus people in to attend (e.g. Temple University).
Whatever the case with Trump’s numbers, it does not matter. Nine thousand people is huge. Matt Drudge hit the nail on the head:
The Trumps arrived on Air Force One:
The first lady looked resplendent in red:
CTH has close-up shots of the couple, particularly Melania.
Trump spoke about the media and their fake news. He said that Thomas Jefferson, Andrew Jackson and Abraham Lincoln also had problems with press coverage during their time in office. He said that he inherited a ‘real mess’ but that the White House is running ‘so smoothly’. He reassured the audience that a replacement for Obamacare was on its way. He explained how the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the suspension of his Executive Order seeking to stop immigration from seven countries for a 90-day preiod. He also warned about social breakdown that occurred with uncontrolled immigration in Europe. He spoke about his efforts in the past three weeks to create tens of thousands of new jobs for Americans.
The biggest point of the evening came when he introduced top Deplorable Gene Huber, first in line for the rally. He was interviewed by CNN and Fox News afterwards. More about him in another post, as I am waiting to see if Big Media treat him as badly as they did Joe the Plumber in 2008. May God bless Mr Huber and give him strength in the days ahead.