Life Day 24034: May Day, May Day, May Day

May 1, 2013 at 12:50 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Good morning spring festival lovers. Today is Wednesday, May 1, 2013. The first holiday today is, logically, May Day. May Day is not an official holiday in America, except in Hawaii, where it is called Lei Day. Throughout the rest of the world, however, May Day (May 1st) is celebrated for a variety of reasons. In many countries, it is celebration of Spring and the coming Summer. In Socialist and Communist countries, it is Worker’s Day, the equivalent of our Labor Day.
May Day is also the international distress signal for radio communications. It is used to signal a life-threatening emergency primarily by mariners and aviators, but in some countries local organizations such as police forces, firefighters, and transportation organizations also use the term. The call is always given three times in a row (“Mayday Mayday Mayday”) to prevent mistaking it for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual Mayday call from a message about a Mayday call. The Mayday call-sign originated in 1923 by Frederick Stanley Mockford, a senior radio officer at Croydon Airport in London. Mockford was asked to think of a word that would indicate distress and would easily be understood by all pilots and ground staff in an emergency. Since much of the traffic at the time was between Croydon and Le Bourget Airport in Paris, he proposed the word “Mayday”, from the French m’aider. “Venez m’aider” means “come help me.” It was made official in 1948. Making a false distress call in the United States is a federal crime carrying sanctions of up to six years imprisonment, and a fine of $250,000.

Well, well, well, take a gander at this. The next holiday is Mother Goose Day. Mother Goose Day is a fairly recent creation as a day to appreciate nursery rhymes and stories.  According to the Mother Goose Society:  “Mother Goose Day was founded in 1987 by Gloria T. Delamar in tandem with the publication of her book, Mother Goose; From Nursery to Literature. The term “Mother Goose” dates back to the 1650’s. It referred to stories such as Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty. It does not appear to represent a particular person, as many of “Mother Goose” stories were written both before and after this term was first used. And, the stories were written by numerous authors.

The third holiday today is Save the Rhino Day. Save the Rhino Day  is not about bringing wayward Republicans back into the fold. Rather, it is a day to make you aware of the plight of the Rhinoceros. Rhinos have roamed the Earth since the time of the Dinosaurs. They were hunted nearly to extinction. Hunters killed them for sport. Poachers killed them for their horns, then left the carcasses to rot. Their horn has been used as medicine, to make knife handles, carve statues, and a variety of other things. Conservation efforts have been instrumental in saving them from extinction, and their numbers have rebounded somewhat in recent years.  Take some time today to learn about Rhinoceroses. Perhaps a trip to a zoo to view them first hand is in order.

Another holiday today is Loyalty Day. Loyalty Day is a day to reaffirm and express your loyalty to America. It was started back in the 1920′s when Communism was on the rise, and feared here in America. At the time, May Day was perceived as a Communist holiday, and Loyalty Day was created as a way to counter that. The U.S. Congress made it official on July 18, 1958 with the passing of Public Law 85-529 and President Eisenhower Proclaimed May 1, 1959 as the first official observance of Loyalty Day. It is also a day to appreciate those in the Armed Forces who are demonstrating the ultimate in loyalty by defending our freedom, liberty, and way of life.

The fifth holiday is Amtrak Day. Amtrak Day marks the date in 1971 when Amtrak began operations. Amtrak  is a publicly funded service operated and managed as a for-profit corporation. It operates more than 300 trains each day on 21,200 miles of track at speeds up to 150 mph connecting more than 500 destinations in 46 states and three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2012, Amtrak served a record 31.2 million passengers and had $2.02 billion in revenue while employing more than 20,000 people. “Amtrak” is a portmanteau of the words “America” and “track”, and is headquartered at Union Station in Washington, DC.

Yet another holiday today is Batman Day. On this date in 1939, the first Batman comic book was issued. There have been many iterations of Batman throughout the years; some good, some bad. I don’t think Batman will be going away anytime soon. As long as the lack of originality and creativity in Hollywood remains, there will always be another Batman movie on the horizon.

We’re not done yet, folks. The next holiday is the Great American Grump Out. I know that there are a lot of things to be grumpy about these days. The economy, healthcare, gas prices, world strife, turmoil, and functional illiterates gaining notoriety on “Reality TV”. Today, try to forget about all of that crap, and present your more affable side. Just for today, try to avoid dealing with the people who “piss you off” the most, such as petty, idiotic, brain-dead bureaucrats, or over-paid, lunatic-fringe, “talking head” network teleprompter readers (I won’t defame the few remaining honest journalists by referring to these clowns as “reporters”). Try to avoid being the “grammar Nazi” on Twitter and Facebook. It’s only for one measly day. You can go back to your curmudgeonly ways tomorrow.

The remainder of today’s holidays bear mention, but little else. A link will be provided to each one so that you can research them on your own.
Silver Star Day.
Global Love Day.
Executive Coaching Day.
Beltaine.
Law Day.
Keep Kids Alive! Drive 25 Day.
Lei Day.
New Homeowner’s Day.
School Principals’ Day.

The food-related holiday today is National Chocolate Parfait Day. Parfait is the French word for ‘perfect’. The original French sundae was made with a custard-base ice cream flavored with fruit purée and whipped with a lot of air to a delicate texture. The ice cream was not scooped but pre-frozen in individual serving containers—typically the long, tapered “parfait glasses,” narrower versions of sundae dishes. In America, a “parfait” became a particular type of sundae, with syrup and ice cream layered in a special glass, topped with whipped cream. It is different from the French parfait. Treat yourself to a parfait for dessert tonight. Be sure that it is chocolate.

On this date in 1889 – Asa Candler published a full-page advertisement in The Atlanta Journal, proclaiming his wholesale and retail drug business as “sole proprietors of Coca-Cola … Delicious. Refreshing. Exhilarating. Invigorating.” Mr. Candler did not actually achieve sole ownership until 1891 at a cost of $2,300.
In 1486 – Christopher Columbus convinced Queen Isabella to fund an expedition to the West Indies.
In 1707 – England, Wales and Scotland were united to form Great Britain.
In 1751 – America’s first cricket tournament was held in New York City.
In 1805 – The state of Virginia passed a law requiring all freed slaves to leave the state, or risk either imprisonment or deportation.
In 1863 – In Virginia, the Battle of Chancellorsville began. General Robert E. Lee’s forces began fighting with Union troops under General Joseph Hooker. Confederate General Stonewall Jackson was mortally wounded by his own soldiers in this battle. (May 1-4)
In 1867 – Reconstruction in the South began with black voter registration.
In 1877 – President Rutherford B. Hayes withdrew all Federal troops from the South, ending Reconstruction.
In 1883 – William F. Cody (Buffalo Bill) had his first Wild West Show.
In 1884 – The construction of the first American 10-story building began in Chicago, IL.
In 1898 – The U.S. Navy under Admiral Dewey defeated the Spanish fleet at Manila Bay in the Philippines.
In 1905 – In New York, radium was tested as a cure for cancer.
In 1927 – Adolf Hitler held his first Nazi meeting in Berlin.
In 1931 – The Empire State Building in New York was dedicated and opened. It was 102 stories tall and was the tallest building in the world at the time.
In 1937 – President Franklin Roosevelt signed an act of neutrality, keeping the United States out of World War II.
In 1944 – The Messerschmitt Me 262, the first combat jet, made its first flight.
In 1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks became the first African American to win the Pulitzer Prize for her book of poetry called Annie Allen.
In 1960 – Francis Gary Powers’ U-2 spy plane was shot down over the Soviet Union. Powers was taken prisoner.
In 1961 – Fidel Castro announced there would be no more elections in Cuba.
In 1970 – Students at Kent State University riot in downtown Kent, OH, in protest of the American invasion of Cambodia.
In 1986 – The Tass News Agency reported the Chernobyl nuclear power plant accident.
In 1992 – On the third day of the Los Angeles riots resulting from the Rodney King beating trial, King appeared in public to appeal for calm, he asked, “Can we all get along?”
In 1999 – On Mount Everest, a group of U.S. mountain climbers discovered the body of George Mallory. Mallory had died in June of 1924 while trying to become the first person to reach the summit of Everest. At the time of the discovery it was unclear whether or not Mallory had actually reached the summit.
In 2001 – Chandra Levy was last seen in Washington, DC. Her remains were found in Rock Creek Park on May 22, 2002. California Congressman Gary Condit was questioned in the case due to his relationship with Levy.
And, 2011 – U.S. President Barack Obama announced that U.S. soldiers had killed Osama bin Laden in Pakistan.

If you were born on this date, you share a birthday with the following distinguished individuals.
Benjamin Henry Latrobe 1764 – Architect.
Kate Smith 1907 – Singer.
Glen Ford 1916 – Actor.
Jack Paar 1918 – Talk show host.
Dan O’Herlihy 1919 – Actor.
Joseph Heller 1923 – Novelist.
Scott Carpenter 1925 – One of NASA’s original seven astronauts.
Sonny James 1929 – Singer.
Judy Collins 1939 – Singer and songwriter.
Stephen Macht 1942 – Actor.
Mimi Farina 1945 – Singer, songwriter.
Rita Coolidge 1945 – Singer.
Dann Florek 1951 – Actor.
Ray Parker Jr. 1954 – Singer.
Charlie Schlatter 1966 – Actor.
Julie Benz 1972 – Actress.
And finally, Darius McCrary 1976 – Actor.

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