No one knows for sure what the origin of the Easter Bunny is. Some think the Easter bunny has its roots in European folklore as the sacred beast of the spring-goddess Eostre. This view, however, is not supported by the earliest known references. The Easter bunny, originally known as the Easter hare, was first mentioned in a German book written in the late 16th century. Another German book written in the 17th century further described the Easter hare as the shy, egg-laying creature we know today
The tradition of the Easter hare was brought to the United States by European immigrants where it was eventually changed to the Easter rabbit or Easter bunny. The legend of the Easter bunny has grown, and it continues to grow thanks to the Easter television specials produced by Rankin/Bass. In 1971 Here Comes Peter Cottontail, narrated by Danny Kaye, was produced based on the novel by Priscilla and Otto Friedrich entitled The Easter Bunny That Overslept. This was followed in 1977 by The Easter Bunny Is Coming To Town. In this holiday special, Fred Astaire, reprising his role of Special Delivery (S. D. for short) Kluger, tells the story of the origins of the Easter Bunny.