ON THIS DAY: May 1, 2017

May 1st is

Batman Day *

Chocolate Parfait Day

Global Love Day *

National Library Legislative Day *

Loyalty Day *

Silver Star Service Day *

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MORE! Mozart, Mother Jones and Gwendolyn Brooks, click 

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WORLD FESTIVALS AND NATIONAL HOLIDAYS

May Day/International Workers’ Day/Labor Day in most of the world

India – Gujarat and Maharashtra:
Maharashtra Day *

Kazakhstan – People’s Unity Day

Latvia – Constitution Day

Marshall Islands – Constitution & Independence Day

Peru – Virgen de Chapi

Vatican City – St. Joseph the Worker

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On This Day in HISTORY

305 – Diocletian announces his retirement from office as Roman emperor at an assembly of his generals, traditional companion troops, and representatives from distant legions. They meet at the same hill near Nicomedia where Diocletian had been proclaimed emperor. In front of a statue of Jupiter, his patron deity, a teary-eyed Diocletian tells them of his failing health, and his need to pass the duty of empire on to someone stronger. He is the first Roman emperor to voluntarily abdicate his title



880 – The Nea Ekklesia (New Church) is inaugurated in Constantinople, part of Emperor Basil I’s major building program, which sets the model for all later cross-in-square  Orthodox churches; used later as a gunpowder magazine by the Ottomans, it is destroyed in 1490 when struck by lightning

1169 – The Norman invasion of Ireland begins as Norman mercenaries land at Barrow Bay in Leinster

1328 – The Treaty of Edinburgh–Northampton, a peace treaty between England and Scotland, is ratified by the English Parliament; in the treaty, England recognizes Scottish sovereignty, that Robert the Bruce and his heirs are the rightful rulers of Scotland, and re-establishes the English-Scottish border as it was during the reign of Alexander III. The treaty only lasts until 1333, when King Edward III of England backs pretender Edward Balliol’s invasion of Scotland, where he declares himself King of Scots, while 10-year-old David II, son of Robert the Bruce, is forced into exile in France



1455 – The power of the ‘Black Douglases’ is broken in the civil war between them and James II of Scotland at the Battle of Arkinholm, by Scottish royal forces, including George Douglas, 4th Earl of Angus, head of the ‘Red Douglas’ family

1672 – Joseph Addison born, English essayist, poet and dramatist



1707 – The Act of Union joins the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain

1751 – Judith Sargent Murray born, poet, playwright, essayist and women’s rights advocate, known for her essay “On the Equality of the Sexes” published in 1790 in Massachusetts Magazine



1764 – Benjamin Henry Latrobe born in Britain, American architect; U.S. Capitol building designer

1769 – Arthur Wellesley, later Duke of Wellington, born, English general; defeats Napoleon at Battle of Waterloo



1776 – Johann Adam Weishaupt founds the “Illuminati” in the Electorate of Bavaria, adopting the name “Brother Spartacus” within the order; it is an elaborate network of spies and counter-spies consisting of isolated cells. Weishaupt uses his membership in the Masons to find new recruits for his cult, which purports to be in favor of the Enlightenment’s goal of rationalism, but prescribes in detail everything which members must obediently read and think. Banned by Bavarian Elector Karl Theodor in 1784

1785 – Chief Kamehameha defeats Kalanikūpule and establishes the Kingdom of Hawaiʻi under his rule as Kamehameha I

1786 – Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro debuts in Vienna, Austria



1820 – Six ‘Cato Street’ Conspirators, who planned to murder British Prime Minister Lord Liverpool, and all cabinet ministers, are executed for high treason

1830 (exact day unknown, May Day seems appropriate to honor her) – “Mother” Jones – Mary Harris Jones – born in Ireland, American labor leader and organizer, once labeled “the most dangerous woman in America” by a U.S. district attorney, fiery orator and fearless organizer for mine workers, also helped railway, mill and sweatshop workers, advocate for ending child labor, better working conditions, and the rights of minority and immigrant workers. Staged parades with children carrying signs: “We Want to Go to School and Not to the Mines”



1831 – Emily Stowe, Canadian physician, suffragist and women’s rights activist, first woman to practice medicine in Canada

1840 –The UK issues the ‘Penny Black,’ its first official adhesive postage stamp

1844 – The Hong Kong Police Force, Asia’s first modern police force, is established

1851 – Queen Victoria opens the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in London

1852 – ‘Calamity Jane’ born as Martha Jane Cannary, professional scout for U.S. Army, sharpshooter, performer in Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show



1862 – The Union army captures New Orleans, the largest city and key port of the Confederacy, closing off the mouth of the Mississippi from Confederate shipping

1865 – Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay sign the Treaty of Triple Alliance

1866 – The first of three days of the Memphis Race Riots: After a shooting altercation between white policemen and black soldiers recently mustered out of the Union Army, mobs of white civilians and policemen rampage through black neighborhoods and the houses of freedmen, attacking black men, women and children, killing 46, injuring 75 more, burning, raping and robbing. There are no criminal proceedings; after the U.S. Attorney General rules it is a state matter, the state and local officials refuse to take any action. This riot, and a similar one in July 1866 in New Orleans, increase support for Radical Reconstruction, and sweep a veto-proof Reconstructionist majority into Congress, who pass the Reconstruction Acts, Enforcement Acts, and the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing citizenship, equal protection of the law, and due process to male former slaves

1869 – The Folies Bergère opens in Paris


Folies Bergère – tableau, 1926


1881 – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin born, French priest-palaeontologist-philosopher



1891 – Lillian Estelle Fisher born, American historian; expert in Latin American history; published important works on Spanish colonial administration

1893 –  The World’s Columbian Exposition, aka the Chicago World’s Fair, opens in Chicago IL, to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Columbus arriving in the ‘New World’ in 1492

1894 – Coxey’s Army, a group of workers led by James Coxey of Ohio, having walked to Washington DC to protest the wide-spread unemployment after the panic of 1893, arrive at the Capitol building, but many of them are quickly arrested for trespassing on the lawns

1895 – Leo Sowerby born, American composer, won 1946 Pulitzer Prize for Music



1898 – The Battle of Manila Bay in the Philippines is won by the U.S. Navy, which destroys the Spanish fleet

1907 – Kate Smith born, American singer and radio personality



1910 – Raya Dunayevskaya born in Ukraine, American Marxist Humanist philosopher; at one time Leon Trotsky’s secretary, but later splits with him and founds the ‘News and Letters Committees’ which advocates the abolition of capitalism, in favor of women’s liberation and against discrimination by race or age

1915 – The RMS Lusitania leaves New York on her final, ill-fated voyage

1918 – Silver Star Service Day * – honors the sacrifices of the combat wounded, ill and dying service members; suggested by the Women’s Committee of the Council of National Defenses.  In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H Res. 855 officially recognizing May 1 as Silver Star Service Day

1923 – Joseph Heller born, American novelist, short story writer; Catch 22



1924 – Terry Southern born, American novelist and screenwriter; Dr. Strangelove



1925 – The All-China Federation of Trade Unions is officially founded; today it is the largest trade union in the world, with 134 million members

1927 – American Federation of Labor founds the Union Labor Life Insurance Company

1930 – Clyde Tombaugh’s discovery is named Pluto by unanimous vote at Lowell Observatory, after the name is suggested by Venetia Burney, an 11-year-old schoolgirl in Oxford, England, to her grandfather, a retired librarian at Oxford’s Bodelian Library,  passed on to astronomy professor Herbert Hall Turner, who cables it to America

1931 – The Empire State Building is dedicated in New York City

1939 – The Tommy Dorsey Orchestra records “Lonesome Road”



1939 – Batman Day * – Batman’s first appearance, in Detective Comics #27

1939 – Judy Collins born, American singer-songwriter



1941 – The film directorial debut of Orson Welles, Citizen Kane, premieres in NYC



1948 – Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) founded, led by Kim Il-sung

1950 – Gwendolyn Brooks becomes first African-American woman to receive Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1950) for Annie Allen; named a Library of Congress Consultant in Poetry (now called Poet Laureate) in 1985

1956 – A doctor in Japan reports an “epidemic of an unknown disease of the central nervous system”, marking the official discovery of Minamata disease, caused by severe mercury poisoning from industrial wastewater which affected fish and shellfish in Minamata Bay and the Shiranui Sea – industrial pollution continued until 1968, and the company was not required to clean up the remaining pollutants until 2004

1958 – Loyalty Day * – Official proclamation has been issued every year since 1958, but the first one (originally called “Americanization Day”) was in 1921, during the first “Red Scare,” in opposition to the May Day celebrations of International Workers’ Day, then revived during the McCarthy era. Eisenhower asked Congress to move Child Health Day from May 1st to the first Monday in October in favor of Loyalty Day

1960 – Maharashtra Day * – western Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra formed

1960 – U-2 incident: Francis Gary Powers, in a Lockheed U-2 spyplane, is shot down over the Soviet Union, sparking a diplomatic crisis

1961 – Cuban Prime Minister Fidel Castro announces elections are abolished

1965 – The Supremes release “Back In My Arms Again”

1970 – Protests erupt after President Nixon announces that American and South Vietnamese forces will invade Cambodia to attack Vietnamese communists

1971 – Amtrak (the National Railroad Passenger Corporation) takes over operation of U.S. passenger rail service

1972 – The Eagles release their first single, “Take It Easy”



1977 – National Library Legislative Day * May 1 and 2 – sponsored by the American Library Association. Librarians and library lovers lobby Congress in person and online to insure continued federal support for community and other libraries, and to inform them of the impact proposed legislation will have on these priceless resources

1992 – On the third day of the Los Angeles riots, Rodney King appears on TV to appeal for calm, asking “Can’t we all get along?”

2004 – Global Love Day * launched by The Love Foundation, the vision of Harold Becker, to celebrate and nurture the love we have within, which heal and transform us



2009 – Same-sex marriage is legalized in Sweden

2011 – President Barack Obama announces U.S. forces in Pakistan have killed Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9-11 attacks

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About wordcloud9

Nona Blyth Cloud has lived and worked in the Los Angeles area for the past 45 years, spending much of that time commuting on the 405 Freeway. After Hollywood failed to appreciate her genius for acting and directing, she began a second career managing non-profits, from which she has retired. Nona has now resumed writing whatever comes into her head, instead of reports and pleas for funding. She lives in a small house overrun by books with her wonderful husband and a bewildered Border Collie.
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