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The Loyalty Day

How is it linked with the May Day? Read on..

The Maypole celebration apart, the May Day is also important to all average Americans for yet another reason. The Loyalty Day! Americans today celebrate May Day as a Loyalty Day. The day of parades of veterans, drum and bugle corps, Boy Scouts, visits to national shrines and doing things in the honor of the patriots. Schools, churches, fraternal societies and different organizations come alive tosponsor these events. The motto is to instill the zeal to 'remain loyal to America'. Specially among the children and the youth. Indeed, it is a day, meant for making all of you in America feel proud of your country. The county to which you belong.

However, its origin is not rooted long ago. Though the exact beginning of the date of observance is not known, the concept stemmed in the early 1930s. The bid to celebrate May Day as Loyalty Day came in rather as a counteractive bid. A bid to counteract the May Day Communist exhibitions in the United States. Members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars thought that a challenge must be given to what they considered as the 'disruptive forces of the communism'. And they wanted that the loyalty of Americans to the American ideals must be asserted to prevent the growth of communism in America. So, in the early 1930s they began urging the institution of war veterans with organized parades and ceremonies. Other patriotic organizations joined in. And with the help of speaker's bureaus and an extensive letter-writing campaign, celebrations on the theme of loyalty to America took hold. This was aided by patriotic plays, oratory contests on national issues and tours to national shrines. These were sponsored by schools, churches, labor unions, fraternal societies and other groups.

While the concept came into being quite early in the '30s giving rise to various functions, it took until 1949 to proclaim the observance of Loyalty Day. And this was when forty nine states and territorial governors joined in. Thanks to the efforts of Senator Karl Mundt of North Dakota and Representative James E. Van Zandt of Pennsylvania. In May 1, 1958, President Dwight D. Eisenhower made it a day of national observance.

In 1932 some patriotic organizations were encouraged by the Loyalty Day concept and wanted to do something more to inspire loyalty to the nation. So, the concept of Americanism Day came into being to be celebrated on the same day of the Loyalty Day. The first Americanism parade was held in Uniontown, Pennsylvania, in 1932. The day has since merged with Loyalty Day.

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