May 1 Loyalty Day, Loyalty Day in the United States, Labour Day

Loyalty Day is on May 1 each year. It is a special day for people to reaffirm their loyalty to the United States and to recognize the heritage of American freedom. It also falls on the same day as Law Day in the USA.

  • Loyalty Day in the United States 
  • What Do People Do?
  • May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in some parts of the world

May Day, also known as International Workers’ Day and as Labour Day in some parts of the world, is an occasion that pays tribute and respect to workers and their contribution towards making our lives easier. A cause close to the heart of many socialists, Communists and the labour movement, May Day celebrates and honours workers. A public holiday of much importance to labour rights’ activists, it is also an ancient northern hemisphere spring festival.

May 1 Loyalty Day, Loyalty Day in the United States, Labour Day

First observed in 1921, it was then called Americanization Day to counter International Workers Day, promoted by socialists and Communists to honor workers on May 1. In 1955, Congress recognized it as a special day, as did President Eisenhower, and three years later legislators passed a law making it an annual holiday. Since then, every president has issued a proclamation to mark the day — every single year.

Ordinarily, the proclamations are non-partisan and talk generally of upholding American values and advancing freedom. President Barack Obama in 2016 called for making American society “more just and more equal.” President George W. Bush in 2008 urged Americans to “aid our family, friends, and fellow citizens all across this broad and welcoming land” and to learn more about U.S. history.

What Do People Do?

May 1 Loyalty Day, Loyalty Day in the United States, Labour Day

The United States of America was founded by patriots who risked their lives to bring freedom to the nation. The nation’s founders are remembered on Loyalty Day, which is a day when people celebrate their freedom while remembering their responsibilities to continue the legacy of liberty. Loyalty Day is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in several communities across the United States. Schools, churches, and various organizations participate in these events.

Public Life

Loyalty Day is an observance but it is not a public holiday in the United States. Schools, post offices, stores and other businesses and organizations are open as usual. Public transport services run to their usual schedules and no extra congestion on highways is to be expected.

Background

Loyalty Day was first observed in 1921 as “Americanization Day” to counterbalance Labour Day on May Day (May 1), celebrated in other parts of the world. On May 1, 1930, about 10,000 Veterans of Foreign War members staged a rally at New York’s Union Square to promote patriotism. Through a resolution adopted in 1949, May 1 evolved into Loyalty Day. Observances began on April 28, 1950, and climaxed on May 1 when more than five million people across the nation held rallies. In New York City, more than 100,000 people rallied for America.

On July 18, 1958, the Congress designated May 1 of each year as Loyalty Day to foster loyalty and love of the country. According to the Legal Information Institute, the President is requested to issue a proclamation, calling on United States government officials to display the flag of the United States on all government buildings on Loyalty Day, and inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.

May 1 Loyalty Day, Loyalty Day in the United States, Labour Day

The Trump administration did something a little different with President Trump’s first Loyalty Day proclamation. For Trump, the day is a time for Americans to express loyalty not only to individual liberties but also to “limited government.” He used the occasion of the proclamation to note that the country “will always stand strong” against “terrorism and lawlessness.” It says in part:

The loyalty of our citizenry sends a clear signal to our allies and enemies that the United States will never yield from our way of life.

Trump’s proclamation raises the issue of just how Americans can/should show loyalty to their country.  These are the primary responsibilities of American citizens, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

  • Support and defend the Constitution.
  • Stay informed of the issues affecting your community.
  • Participate in the democratic process.
  • Respect and obey federal, state, and local laws.
  • Respect the rights, beliefs, and opinions of others.
  • Participate in your local community.
  • Pay income and other taxes honestly, and on time, to federal, state, and local authorities.
  • Serve on a jury when called upon.
  • Defend the country if the need should arise.

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