Tuesday, May 1, 2012

May 1 is also "Loyalty Day" in the USA

Today, May Day, was originally supposed to be the international workers' holiday commemorating the Haymarket Square Massacre right here in Chicago, Illinois in 1886.

But things changed when Messrs. Lenin, Stalin, et al., created the original Workers' Paradise.

If you're of a certain age, you probably think of May Day as the scary day on which the Soviet Union reviewed its latest military hardware. Western intelligence analysts used to study pictures of the reviewing stand in Red Square to see which Politburo members had survived the Russian winter.

During the Eisenhower Administration, American men in gray flannel suits tried to come up with alternatives to May Day.

They came up with two.

In the United States, today is both "Law Day" -- you've probably heard about that one -- and "Loyalty Day," both observed today.

According to Wikipedia, Loyalty Day "is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom." It was first observed in 1921 as "'Americanization Day," and was intended to counterbalance the celebration" of International Workers' Day. It was made an official public holiday by Congress in July 1958 and President Eisenhower issued a proclamation marking May 1, 1959 as the first, official celebration of Loyalty Day.

It hasn't really caught on in a lot of places.

But, if you can't get out tonight to start a Loyalty Day celebration at your local tavern, you can always come out to Batavia, Illinois for the big Loyalty Day Parade on May 6.

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