'Loyalty Day' Is Real and Has Everything to Do With Communists

Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President Donald Trump talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 11. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)
Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, and President Donald Trump talk during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Danang, Vietnam, on Nov. 11. (AP Photo/Hau Dinh)

Never heard of the holiday celebrated every May 1 since 1958? You're not alone. But with its roots firmly in bucking communism and, yes, the Russians, Loyalty Day is as American as apple pie and as anti-communist as the star spangled banner.

Most recently recognized in an official proclamation by President Donald Trump, Loyalty Day was celebrated even before becoming an honest to God legal holiday in 1958.

Before its 1955 name change to Loyalty Day, it was in 1921 dubbed Americanization Day and founded essentially out of fear -- or maybe just a load of good capitalist feelings sparked by the First Red Scare as the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia coincided with a growing U.S. labor movement and fears of anarchists.

 

Aftermath of bombing in the Wall Street financial district in New York on September 16, 1920. (Library of Congress)
Aftermath of bombing in the Wall Street financial district in New York on September 16, 1920. (Library of Congress)

As the Second Red Scare swept the American consciousness in 1955, Congress moved to mark the date, giving it its peppier "Loyalty Day" name and putting it as a one time event on the 1955 calendar.

"The 1st day of May 1955 is hereby designated as Loyalty Day and is set aside as a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States of America and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom," the law said.

(National Archives)

Then, in 1958, President Dwight Eisenhower gave his approval to a House Resolution annually recognizing May 1 as Loyalty Day and a "special special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States of America and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom."

Take that, Commies.

And since then it's been all Loyalty Day, all the time. Every president regardless of party has every year since then issued a proclamation officially marking the date.

"As one nation, we will always stand strong against the threats of terrorism and lawlessness. The loyalty of our citizenry sends a clear signal to our allies and enemies that the United States will never yield from our way of life," President Donald Trump said in his 2017 Loyalty Day proclamation. "Through the Department of Defense and other national security agencies, we are working to destroy ISIS, and to secure for all Americans the liberty terrorists seek to extinguish."

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