Loyalty Day may not be as well-known as our country's other patriotic holidays, but it's just as worthy of celebration. May 1st has always been a significant date for celebration, but many may not know its roots. May 1 was originally an ancient pagan holiday that many people still celebrate today as May Day. In more recent history, May 1 also became a day of recognition for Labor Party movements, including the 1886 Haymarket Square riot in Chicago that resulted in several men facing execution for fighting to establish the 8-hour work day.
The history of organized labor in America is complex, but many feared at the time that the American Labor Movement was heavily influenced by communism and anarchism that were contrary to American values. In parts of the world with established socialist or communist parties, May 1 was designated as Labour Day. In 1921, "Americanization Day," later called Loyalty Day, was created to counterbalance the celebration of Labour Day.
The creation of Americanization Day was a direct response to the First Red Scare, which happened as the Russian Revolution unfolded in the early 20th Century. The ideas of communism, anarchism and Bolshevism that spread widely during that time were seen as a threat to American values. Americanization Day was established to reaffirm what it meant to be American, and to recognize American freedom and heritage.
Evolution Of Loyalty Day
Early celebrations of Americanization Day included VFW members staging rallies across the country to promote patriotism. The day eventually evolved into Loyalty Day in 1949, when a resolution changed the name. When the Second Red Scare swept across the country in the 50s, fears of communism were rekindled and Loyalty Day seemed just as relevant as ever. Congress officially designated it as a holiday in 1958. Every year thereafter, the President has issued a proclamation to celebrate the day.
Loyalty Day Celebrations Today
Threats to American ideals and freedom are always evolving, and while communism might not be in the forefront anymore, other issues are. In its roots, Loyalty Day has always been about banding together to uphold our common ideals. But sticking with our own can be dangerous if we take it too far. This year's Presidential proclamation emphasizes the importance of knowing what really binds us together as Americans. Dedication to common goals and ideals as a country, not similarities in appearance, religion, or where we came from, unites Americans.
Today, Loyalty Day is also an important time to celebrate those who protect our freedom every day. Some communities hold parades or ceremonies to recognize Loyalty Day, but you may have to find your own way to celebrate and thank veterans.
Donate Your Car To Support Disabled Veterans
Loyalty Day might not be a well-known holiday these days, but it's a great time to give back to veterans who have made sacrifices for our freedom. An easy way to do that is by donating your car to Vehicles For Veterans. Our car donation program offers free towing and a tax deduction. Best of all, your donation helps give disabled veterans a better life.
To donate your vehicle on Loyalty Day, please call us at 1-855-811-4838 or fill out an online car donation form.