Sunday, May 1, 2016

May Day! May Day!

It's May Day.  What's that, you say?

Young whippersnappers never heard of May Day?

May Day is a day of celebration.  My mother used to celebrate it in school when she was a kid.  It was a day to have picnics, string ribbons around the may pole, and to dance and sing.  It was also a public holiday. 

That holiday was started on May 1, 1886, because of a strike of over 200,000 (some references say 300,000) workers across the nation.  They were fighting for an 8-hour work day.  The strike became a riot, and some people were killed from dynamite thrown at the police.  Many of the instigators began the fight in Chicago.  Eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy.

Because of this riot, Labor Day was created.  We now celebrate it in September, but it was formed because of the strike that began on May 1, 1886.  

Mayday is also used as a life-threatening distress call.  The reason they use 'Mayday' is for the following reason, from the reference What Does Mayday Mean?:

"Mayday got its start as an international distress call in 1923. It was made official in 1948. It was the idea of Frederick Mockford, who was a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. He came up with the idea for “mayday” because it sounded like the French word m’aider, which means “help me.”
Interesting.  And here I just thought of May Day as a day closer to spring, and thought Mayday was connected in some way.

Have a great week!
SweetTale Books

---------------------------------------------------------------

References:
History and Origin of May Day\
The Bloody Story of How May Day Became a Holiday for Workers
The Brief Origins of May Day
Wikipedia 'May Day'
What Does Mayday Mean?

No comments:

Post a Comment