For many African Americans in the late 1800s Easter Sunday was a day of work, with Monday a day off. Consequently, Easter Monday became a day of celebration for African American communities in Washington, D.C. The National Zoological Park was open free of charge to visitors, as it is today, and became a perfect spot for families to celebrate the Easter holiday. Children participated in an Easter Egg Roll atop Lion/Tiger Hill, while adults picnicked nearby.
Each year the festivities grew and to this day Easter Monday is celebrated at the National Zoo.
*Pictured Left: Image of Easter Monday participants on Lion/Tiger Hill in the National Zoo, circa 1900, Smithsonian Institution Archives.