This is a day for American citizens to reflect upon their American heritage, freedom, and loyalty to their country. It is celebrated every year on May 1. Celebrations include parades, ceremonies, and educational events. Many of these events celebrate the Founding Fathers and the Revolutionary War.
Although it is not widely celebrated, there have been several significant celebrations of Loyalty Day. On Loyalty Day in 1930, a rally was held by 10,000 Veterans of Foreign War in order to celebrate patriotism. In 1950, rallies were held all over the nation with around five million participants, 100,000 of which were in New York City.
The first observance of the holiday occurred in 1921, called “Americanization Day.” Part of its function was to distract from May Day, a May 1st commemoration of the Haymarket riot, in which a peaceful rally of laborers in Chicago were bombed with dynamite, killing eleven people. It is actually unknown who threw the dynamite, which was aimed at the police, seven of which were among the casualties.
Believing the theme of May Day to be Communist, wanted to distract and replace the May Day celebration. Loyalty Day was also established at the same time for this reason. While Eisenhower saw the day as Communist, others felt it was a move against workers’ rights. The holiday was made an official observance in 1958, when the name changed to Loyalty Day. To mark Loyalty Day, the President will release a proclamation asking citizens to fly the American flag and to reaffirm their loyalty.