Loyalty Day

Loyalty Day is celebrated on May 1st of each year. 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.

The holiday was first observed in 1921 as “Americanization Day”, and was intended to counterbalance the celebration of Labor Day on May Day, an internationally celebrated holiday for the commemoration of the Haymarket Massacre in Chicago in 1886.

Loyalty Day is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in several United States 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.

It was made an official holiday by the United States 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.

In 2007 President George W. Bush issued an official proclamation of the May 1, 2007 Loyalty Day in accordance with the 1958 Congressional declaration, as have many of his predecessors.