Thursday, May 1, 2014

Holidays and Observances for May 1 2014

Executive Coaching Day

While many of us may be unaware of the event known as Executive Coaching Day, it is indeed quite an important one. This rather unofficial holiday was created to recognize and improve the talent of those “behind the scenes” coaches that have allowed countless executives and employees to rise to the top of the food chain in their respective industries.

This day was founded on the premise that while coaches of professional athletes and actors have been celebrated, there has been little thanks given to professional motivators that have been responsible for creating truly unique businessmen and women.

Usually held in the beginning of May, this holiday is meant to applaud those leaders that have gone above and beyond their corporate call of duty and have provided guidance to some of the brightest minds in the world of corporate enterprise. After all, does it not make sense to celebrate the efforts of a few that have helped the many!

Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day

May 1 is a day to change the way we drive to  protect our children.

Most  car accidents aren't “accidents” at all.  Most car crashes are  preventable. And perhaps none more so, or more tragic, than those involving injuries and fatalities to children from those who are speeding and driving distracted in neighborhoods with children.

Wednesday is national Keep Kids Alive Drive 25 Day. It’s an important awareness day that reminds all of us to slow down in  neighborhoods.  It’s an important reminder of what we should be doing behind the wheel to  protect our children.

I am a lawyer who has handled far too many tragic and completely preventable car accidents involving children.  And I am also a father of two.  So Keep Kids Alive and Drive 25 Day has special meaning and significance for me.

Consider these alarming statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NTHSA):
  • On average, over 93 people are hit and killed by cars every day.
  • 500 children under 14 years old were killed in car accidents while walking in what should be their safe haven – their neighborhood.
  • Each year over 4,000 people are killed while walking in neighborhoods or crossing streets.
The good news is, as I said above, these are car accidents that are mostly preventable.  Most involve speeding and distracted driving. You just have to slow down and focus on the road and see what is there – often plain as day – to be seen.  The image that many people have of the unavoidable “dart-out” accident does happen, but far more rarely than what many people might believe.  Far more car accidents involving children are from driver inattention rather than children running out without warning in front of cars.

We hope this day will get people talking about the need to change the way we drive in our neighborhoods. I hope drivers will begin to slow down, obey stop signs and speed limits, and always scan for children.

Law Day

On May 1 the United States officially recognizes Law Day. It is meant to reflect on the role of law in the foundation of the country and to recognize its importance for society.

Before President Dwight D. Eisenhower declared May 1 to be Law Day, U.S.A., the first day of May was known in some parts of the world as May Day: a day to remember the struggles of workers in their fight for better wages and working conditions. Law Day was originally the idea of Charles S. Rhyne, Eisenhower's legal counsel for a time, who was serving in 1957–1958 as president of the American Bar Association. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1 to be Law Day, U.S.A. in 1958. Its observance was later codified by Public Law 87-20 on April 7, 1961.

Some countries celebrate May Day on the same date, as it is designated Labor Day or International Workers Day. But on February 5, 1958, President Eisenhower recognized the first Law Day when he proclaimed that henceforth May 1 of each year would be Law Day in the United States. He stated "In a very real sense, the world no longer has a choice between force and law. If civilization is to survive it must choose the rule of law.". Now, many local bars and legal education associations, such as the Florida Law Related Education Association and the New York State Bar Association, use Law Day as a legal education tool, particularly for students.

Like Earth Day, Law Day is not a government holiday. To celebrate Law Day, some local bar associations hold a luncheon, featuring speakers who discuss topics such as justice or the liberties provided for by the United States Constitution. Also, attorneys might visit schools and talk to students about the American legal system.

The American Bar Association designates a theme to highlight an important issue relating to the law or legal system. The 2014 theme is American Democracy and the Rule of Law: Why Every Vote Matters. The theme reflects the importance of voting rights, ballot box accessibility and voter engagement. The ABA provides resources on its Law Day website,, to mark the occasion, and also holds several national Law Day programs in Washington, D.C., on April 30 and May 1.

Loyalty Day

Loyalty Day is observed on May 1 in the United States. It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.

Loyalty Day is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in several U.S. communities, like Batavia, Illinois, although many people in the United States remain unaware of it. Although a legal holiday, it is not a federal holiday, and is not commonly observed.

The holiday was first observed in 1921, during the First Red Scare. It was originally called "Americanization Day," and it was intended to replace the May 1 ("May Day") celebration of the International Workers' Day, which commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago.

During the Second Red Scare, it was made an official holiday by the U.S. Congress on July 18, 1958 (Public Law 85-529). Following the passage of this law, President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1959, the first official observance of Loyalty Day. With the exception of Eisenhower in 1959 and 1960, Loyalty Day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year by every president since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.

May Day

May Day on May 1 is an ancient Northern Hemisphere spring festival and usually a public holiday; it is also a traditional spring holiday in many cultures. May Day coincides with International Workers' Day, and in many countries that celebrate the latter, it may be referred to as "May Day".

May Day is related to the Celtic festival of Beltane and the Germanic festival of Walpurgis Night. May Day falls half a year from November 1 – another cross-quarter day which is also associated with various northern European paganisms and the year in the Northern Hemisphere – and it has traditionally been an occasion for popular and often raucous celebrations.

As Europe became Christianized, the pagan holidays lost their religious character and either changed into popular secular celebrations, as with May Day, or were merged with or replaced by new Christian holidays as with Christmas, Easter, and All Saint's Day. In the 20th and continuing into the 21st century, many neopagans began reconstructing the old traditions and celebrating May Day as a pagan religious festival again. Note that the source noted does not support any of the changes claimed by the previous statement. The only significant Christianization of May day is essentially localized to Germany where it is one of many historic days that were used to celebrate St. Walburga (the saint credited with bringing Christianity to Germany).

The earliest May Day celebrations appeared in pre-Christian times, with the festival of Flora, the Roman goddess of flowers, and the Walpurgis Night celebrations of the Germanic countries. It is also associated with the Gaelic Beltane. Many pagan celebrations were abandoned or Christianized during the process of conversion in Europe. A more secular version of May Day continues to be observed in Europe and America. In this form, May Day may be best known for its tradition of dancing the maypole dance and crowning of the Queen of the May. Various Neopagan groups celebrate reconstructed (to varying degrees) versions of these customs on May 1.

The day was a traditional summer holiday in many pre-Christian European pagan cultures. While February 1 was the first day of Spring, May 1 was the first day of summer; hence, the summer solstice on June 25 (now June 21) was Midsummer.

In the Roman Catholic tradition, May is observed as Mary's month, and in these circles May Day is usually a celebration of the Blessed Virgin Mary. In this connection, in works of art, school skits, and so forth, Mary's head will often be adorned with flowers in a May crowning.

Fading in popularity since the late 20th century is the giving of "May baskets", small baskets of sweets and/or flowers, usually left anonymously on neighbors' doorsteps.

May Day was also celebrated by some early European settlers of the American continent. In some parts of the United States, May Baskets are made. These are small baskets usually filled with flowers or treats and left at someone's doorstep. The giver rings the bell and runs away. The person receiving the basket tries to catch the fleeing giver; if caught, a kiss is exchanged.

International Workers' Day began in the United States, as a commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre of 1886 in Chicago. After the successful 1917 workers' revolution in Russia, May Day became a widely celebrated holiday in the industrial areas of the United States. However, the growing support for socialism and communism by the American public was soon met with a reactionary fear campaign called the "Red Scare," which resulted in the imprisonment of activists and the promotion of anti-communist sentiment in American society. After the stock market crash of 1929 and the ensuing Great Depression, while the Soviet Union was experiencing rapid industrialization and economic expansion, May Day was once again widely celebrated with mass street demonstrations in American cities while public support for socialism began to rise to unprecedented levels.

After the Allied victory in the Second World War in 1945, friendly relationships between the US and the Soviet Union quickly disintegrated and the Cold War began. A new campaign of anti-communist hysteria was pushed by conservatives such as Senator Joseph McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee, resulting in the federal persecution of Communists and extreme public paranoia towards the perceived threat they posed to the "American way." May Day celebrations became politically unacceptable, and many demonstrations were met with severe police suppression. To combat the celebration of International Workers' Day, nationalist propaganda holidays were established in its place, such as Loyalty Day and Law Day in 1958. By the end of the second Red Scare, May Day was thereafter continually celebrated as a day of labor demonstrations and public protest but never regained the popularity of the past.

Modern May Day ceremonies in the U.S. vary greatly from region to region and many unite both the holidays "Green Root" (pagan) and "Red Root" (labor) traditions. In 2006, after the passing of an "Illegal Immigration Control Act," May Day was celebrated largely around the issue of immigration reform. After the financial collapse of 2007 and the ensuing Great Recession, May Day demonstrations grew in popularity and the holiday was widely observed and coordinated by the Occupy Movement in 2012.

Mother Goose Day

When it comes to holidays, the first day of May is a lovely day. Not only is it May Day, May 1 is also Mother Goose Day, an annual event that celebrates the classic Mother Goose tales. This "holiday" was launched back in 1987 by author Gloria Delamar in conjunction with the release of her book, "Mother Goose: From Nursery to Literature."

Who Was Mother Goose?
Whether you prefer Jack and Jill, Humpty Dumpty, Georgie Porgie or Little Miss Muffet, these popular rhyming poems have been enjoyed for centuries. While one could assume the classic children's stories and rhymes were penned by an elderly woman, that assumption may not be true.

Despite the fact that burial registers include a record of Mother Goose being buried in 1586, legend has it that Mother Goose rhymes were actually written by both men and women and passed down folklore-style from generation to generation.

How to Celebrate Mother Goose Day
  • Head on over to your local library and pick up a few Mother Goose books. The stories are also available online.
  • Make it story time and read one or two of your favorite Mother Goose tales to your class or children.
  • Dress up like your favorite Mother Goose character.
  • Watch and listen as Boris Karloff, Celeste Holm and Cyril Ritchard recite Mother Goose rhymes from 1958 - located on YouTube or on the bottom left side of this article.
  • In the spirit of Mother Goose Day, why not try your hand at writing a rhyme or two of your own?
  • If you happen to have a lake or ocean close by, why not go watch the geese?
National Chocolate Parfait Day

A parfait way to begin May, May 1 is National Chocolate Parfait Day!

Depending on how you parfait, you can spend this perfect day celebrating one or two wonderful ways. Because parfait literally means "perfect" in French, you'll be sure to enjoy this dessert in at least one of its forms.

In 1894, parfait began to describe a frozen French dessert made with sugar syrup, eggs and cream. When the dessert migrated to the U.S., we naturally had to put our own spin on things.

The American chocolate parfait usually involves chocolate mousse or pudding layered with whipped cream, fruit, cookie crumbs or anything else delicious that you can imagine. You can also use a gelatin- or yogurt-based parfait and build from there.

So dig into an American chocolate parfait for breakfast, and finish with a frozen raspberry and chocolate chip parfait. That way, the beginning and end of your day will be perfect.

National Day of Reason

The National Day of Reason is a secular celebration for humanists, atheists, and other secularists and freethinkers in response to the National Day of Prayer, a legal holiday in the United States. The day is celebrated on the first Thursday in May of every year, to coincide with the National Day of Prayer, which many atheist and secular groups view to be unconstitutional.

The National Day of Reason was created by the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists in 2003. In addition to serving as a holiday for constitutionalists and secularists, the National Day of Reason was created in response to the perceived unconstitutionality of the National Day of Prayer. According to the organizers of the National Day of Reason, the National Day of Prayer, "violates the First Amendment of the United States Constitution because it asks federal, state, and local government entities to set aside tax dollar supported time and space to engage in religious ceremonies".

A consortium of leaders from within the community of reason endorsed the idea of a National Day of Reason. This observance is held in parallel with the National Day of Prayer, on the first Thursday in May each year. The goal of this effort is to celebrate reason—a concept all Americans can support—and to raise public awareness about the persistent threat to religious liberty posed by government intrusion into the private sphere of worship. 

The National Day of Reason website is co-sponsored by the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists. 

The Day of Reason also exists to inspire the secular community to be visible and active on this day to set the right example for how to effect positive change. Local organizations might use “Day of Reason” to label their events, or they might choose labels such as Day of Action, Day of Service, or Rational Day of Care. The important message is to provide a positive, useful, constitutional alternative to the exclusionary National Day of Prayer. 

To facilitate the commemoration of the National Day of Reason by individuals and organizations throughout the U.S., the American Humanist Association and the Washington Area Secular Humanists joined together in 2003 to launch this National Day of Reason web site. 

This web site is designed to serve as the focal point for an effort to recognize the National Day of Reason, and as a platform to offer a criticism of the federally-sponsored National Day of Prayer. We hope that it will be a resource to the community of reason, the press, and the general public.

Why Do We Oppose the National Day of Prayer?
  • The National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment of the US Constitution because it asks federal and local government entities to set aside tax dollar supported time and space to engage in religious ceremonies. This results in unconstitutional governmental support of religion over no religion.
  • Lead by fundamentalist Christian Shirley Dobson, the National Day of Prayer Task Force promoted thousands of events specifically in accordance with its Judeo-Christian beliefs and focused on a small segment of the Protestant Christianity. Since they hold their events on the government sponsored National Day of Prayer, government officials of all levels participate in these events as if they were government endorsed.
  • The Supreme Court has made it clear (and most Americans agree) that state sponsored prayer in school is inappropriately exclusionary. Why is a nationally sponsored day of prayer any more inclusive? This national effort geared toward a small slice of the religious spectrum is clearly outside the boundaries of proper governmental reach.
  • The National Day of Prayer makes those who don’t pray feel like second-class citizens. Why set aside a national day that needlessly excludes?
  • Religious Americans who wish to pray don’t need to be reminded by government to do so, so there’s no reason to limit prayer to a single day for those who chose to practice their chosen faith in that way. Government has no business saying when or what Americans should do when and if they engage in religious practice.
  • Government also violates the First Amendment with the National Day of Prayer by acting to promote a certain manifestation of religion. It emphasizes only one form of religious practice, and therefore discriminates against the many others, including alms giving, social justice, fasting, peace activism and meditation.
  • Many traditional religious groups encourage adherents not to make their prayer public, so this state sponsored public display of prayer is a direct affront to such teachings and disrespects countless religious Americans. Many Americans faithfully follow the words from the Sermon on the Mount, “When you pray don’t do it loudly in the synagogue or on street corners so that everyone can see you and think you are really good and holy.”
  • Whenever government involves itself in religious practice as is done with the National Day of Prayer it taints that religious practice by reducing the co-opted religion’s effectiveness to protest government action, and also (in an infeasible effort to broaden the practice’s appeal) government inappropriately dilutes the messages of faithful adherents.
  • Freedom of expression and worship, including the opportunity to pray or not pray as we wish, are already present without government endorsement. There is no need to set-aside a public day for prayer.
New Home Owner's Day

If you've recently taken the plunge and purchased a house, New Home Owners Day is the perfect time to celebrate your new home! This is your day to forget the stresses of the whole process and bask in your accomplishments.

Even better, why not schedule your housewarming for the occasion? Invite all of your friends and family to enjoy your new home, and fill it with their laughter and their warmth.

New Home Owners Day is also a great time to reflect on how far you've come on your home-buying journey, and how far you can still go. You could look back on completed household projects or draw up some plans for new improvements. You might find that just re-arranging your current furniture can completely alter the look of your home!

Whichever way you choose to spend New Home Owners Day, tell us all about it in the comment section!

School Principals' Day

Along with lawyers and bankers, school principals are in a small group of jobs whose holders are often hated and only rarely appreciated. That should change on School Principals’ Day, the origin of which is unknown but can probably be credited to teachers’ unions!

Though the job title varies between countries (‘School Principal’ is used in North America, while ‘Head Teacher’ is preferred in the UK, for example) every school has to have a boss. Schools are like small businesses, with hundreds of customers (students) and dozens of staff (teachers, receptionists, cleaners and so on) and making it all run smoothly is the job of the Principal. It’s especially difficult if the kids are trouble-makers or the parents aren’t happy. Principals have varying responsibilities, from teacher evaluations to dealing with serious discipline issues, but at its heart their job is about providing the best environment for kids to learn.

Silver Star Service Banner Day

May 1 is "Silver Star Day" to honor the nation's wounded service members. 

Silver Star Families of America is a member of America Supports You, a Defense Department program highlighting the ways Americans are supporting the nation's service members. 

"What we really want to do is have a nationwide event that day," said Janie Orman, the group's vice president. She added that the proclamation had been sent to every state. 

The group, which would like to establish May 1 as a national day of observance honoring America's wounded service members, drafted a proclamation in November for Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels' consideration. His office responded a few weeks later, informing Silver Star Families of America that the governor had signed the proclamation. 

New Mexico followed suit, and Wyoming recently contacted the group regarding the initiative, Orman said. 

"We need someone in (each) state to represent us," she said, adding the American Legion has expressed interest in supporting the group in this effort. 

"A resolution we wrote has passed the local (American Legion chapter). It has to then pass the district, then the state, then national," she said. "But they're in big support of Silver Star Day also, so that's a great help." 

Orman also said that individuals wanting to help represent Silver Star Day in their state should contact her or Steve Newton, Silver Star Families of America's president and co-founder. 

"Their main goal would be to get the word out about the Silver stars and what we do: ... honor and assist our wounded and their families in any way we can," Orman said. "We do that by presenting the Silver Star banners and care packages." 

The group also acts as an advocate for the wounded and works to educate the public about dilemmas wounded troops and veterans face, according to it's the group's Web site. 

The Silver Star Banner, which the group is working to make a government-recognized service banner like those of the American Gold Star Mothers, will play a big part in observing Silver Star Day on May 1, Orman said. Silver Star Families of America members are hoping to present their banners to veterans and wounded service members in each state. 

They also hope to work with schools to help students understand why the day is important. "I guess what we try to instill in them is that their freedom (to) go to school ... depends on our troops standing up for freedom," Orman said. 

The day of recognition is open to participation by other groups wishing to honor America's wounded troops, as well. 

The Patriot Guard Riders, a motorcycle group that attends military funerals to shield families from protestors, has indicated it would like to hold a rally to commemorate the day, Orman said. 

"We're just really getting a great response about Silver Star Day," Orman said.

Amtrak Day

The National Railroad Passenger Corporation, doing business as Amtrak, is a publicly funded railroad service operated and managed as a for-profit corporation and began operations on May 1, 1971, to provide intercity passenger train service in the United States.

Amtrak operates 374 trains each day on 31,474 miles (51,000 km) of track with select segments having civil operating speeds of 150 mph (240 km/h) and connecting 896 destinations in 46 states in addition to three Canadian provinces. In fiscal year 2012, Amtrak served a record 31.2 million passengers and had $2.88 billion in revenue while employing more than 20,000 people. Nearly two-thirds of passengers come from the ten largest metropolitan areas and 83% of passengers travel on routes of 400 miles or less. Its headquarters is at Union Station in Washington, D.C.

The name "Amtrak" is a portmanteau of the words "America" and "trak", the latter itself a sensational spelling of "track".

Batman Day

If you are of the opinion that there are not enough days set aside to celebrate fictional vigilantes, who dress up as flying creatures in order to tackle crime, then we agree with you. Fortunately, there is one such date set aside every year – Batman Day.

The purpose of Batman Day is to celebrate the anniversary of the character’s first ever appearance, which was in Detective Comics #27 way back in May 1939. Since those early comic book appearances, Batman has grown into one of the world’s best-loved and most recognizable fictional characters, and is the focal point of television shows, animated cartoons, video games and Hollywood blockbusters.

Do you possess some Batman-related comic books, video games or DVDs? Are you the proud owner of a Batman fancy dress costume that rarely gets used? Whatever the case, why not find a way to celebrate Gotham City’s greatest detective?

Global Love Day

Global Love Day (GLD) is an annual celebration of humanity which is celebrated in countries and communities around the world each May 1. The Love Foundation, the nonprofit organization whose mission it is to “Inspire people to love unconditionally” presents the international event as a symbolic day of unconditional love. Global Love Day’s main theme, “Love begins with me,” has been the focus since its inception.

The six tenets of Global Love Day are:
We are one humanity on this planet.All life is interconnected and interdependent. All share in the Universal bond of love.Love begins with self acceptance and forgiveness. With respect and compassion we embrace diversity.Together we make a difference through love.
The name and concept of Global Love Day was pioneered by Harold W. Becker in 2003 and first launched for May 1, 2004. The annual event was created as a way to celebrate our humanity and unity through unconditional love. In his opening letter, Becker stated, “There is nothing we have to ultimately do, rather we need only allow ourselves to feel and be love. It is that simple. Global Love Day is merely our way of saying let's remember love is ours to be and to share every moment of our lives.”