Sunday, May 1, 2022


Some May facts and trivia:

May is the fifth month of the year in Julian and Gregorian calendars, has 31 days and is a month of spring.

May is believed to have been named after the Greek goddess of fertility known as Maia. Ovid, the Roman poet, however, believed that May was named for the maiores (the elderly) and June for the iuniores (the youth).

No month other than May ever begins or ends on the same day of the week, in the same year. It may match with the months of the following year.

May is the month of Autumn in the Southern Hemisphere, and spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

May Day is a public holiday in some regions, usually celebrated on 1 May or the first Monday of May. It is an ancient festival marking the first day of summer, and a current traditional spring holiday in many European cultures. Dances, singing, and cake are usually part of the festivities.

More UK prime ministers have been born in May than in any other month… Nine. Theresa May isn’t one of them, she was born in October.

The 4th of May (May the Fourth. . . work it out) is commonly known as Star Wars day. Star Wars fans use this as an excuse to rewatch the movies.

Bob Dylan, Dwayne Johnson, John F Kennedy, George Clooney and Adele are some of the famous people that were born in the month of May.

People born between the 1st and 20th of May are Taurus and are known as smart, trustworthy, and ambitious. People who are born on the 21st and after are Gemini, who are believed to be more dynamic and passionate.

Research conducted by the University of Columbia has shown that people who are born in May have a lower risk of acquiring respiratory, neurological, cardiovascular, and reproductive diseases.

There is a cheese rolling contest to celebrate May Day in the town of Stilton, UK.

The traditional flower of May is known as Lily of the Valley.

There are many holidays besides ‘Star Wars Day’ in the month of May. These include ‘International Hamburger Day’ and ‘Dance Like A Chicken Day’.

Emerald is the birthstone associated with May. This signifies youth and rebirth and is primarily mined in countries such as Brazil, Zambia, Colombia, and Afghanistan.

Although May is the fifth month of the year, it was the third month in early Roman calendars.

Morris Dancing is seen as a traditional dance during the month of May. It’s a form of folk dancing performed by groups of men or women, using bells, handkerchiefs, and maypoles.

On the whole, May will be a lovely month to get married in, but an old verse used to say ‘Marry in May and you’ll rue the day’.

According to an old Cornish superstition, it was unlucky to buy a new broom in this month. And so was washing a blanket.

Some people believed that if you got up on May 1st and washed your face in the May dew, it would remove all freckles and pimples, giving you a great complexion.

Another belief was that babies born in May would be sick all through their childhood, and cats born in May wouldn’t catch rodents but rather bring home snakes.

Mayday is an emergency procedure word used internationally as a distress signal in voice-procedure radio communications. Convention requires the word be repeated three times in a row during the initial emergency declaration ("Mayday mayday mayday") to prevent it being mistaken for some similar-sounding phrase under noisy conditions, and to distinguish an actual mayday call from a message about a mayday call. The "mayday" procedure word was adopted as a distress call for pilots and air traffic controllers in the early 1920s for voice use to replace SOS. "Mayday" was used as the phonetic equivalent of the French m'aidez ("help me") or m'aider (a short form of venez m'aider, "come [and] help me").

In 1889, May Day was chosen as the date for International Workers' Day by the socialists and communists of the Second International, as well as anarchists, labor activists, and leftists in general around the world, to commemorate the Haymarket affair in Chicago and the struggle for an eight-hour working day. International Workers' Day is also called "May Day", but it is a different celebration from the traditional May Day.

By the way:

The Haymarket Affair

The Haymarket affair (also known as the Haymarket massacre, the Haymarket riot, the Haymarket Square riot, or the Haymarket Incident) was the aftermath of a bombing that took place at a labor demonstration on May 4, 1886, at Haymarket Square in Chicago, Illinois, United States. It began as a peaceful rally in support of workers striking for an eight-hour work day, the day after police killed one and injured several workers. An unknown person threw a dynamite bomb at the police as they acted to disperse the meeting, and the bomb blast and ensuing gunfire resulted in the deaths of seven police officers and at least four civilians; dozens of others were wounded.

In the internationally publicized legal proceedings that followed, eight anarchists were convicted of conspiracy. The evidence was that one of the defendants may have built the bomb, but none of those on trial had thrown it, and only two of the eight were at the Haymarket at the time. Seven were sentenced to death and one to a term of 15 years in prison. Illinois Governor Richard J. Oglesby commuted two of the sentences to terms of life in prison; another committed suicide in jail rather than face the gallows. The other four were hanged on November 11, 1887. In 1893, Illinois Governor John Peter Altgeld pardoned the remaining defendants and criticized the trial.

The Haymarket Affair is generally considered significant as the origin of International Workers' Day held on May 1, and it was also the climax of the social unrest among the working class in America known as the Great Upheaval. According to labor historian William J. Adelman:

No single event has influenced the history of labor in Illinois, the United States, and even the world, more than the Chicago Haymarket Affair. It began with a rally on May 4, 1886, but the consequences are still being felt today. Although the rally is included in American history textbooks, very few present the event accurately or point out its significance.

The site of the incident was designated a Chicago landmark in 1992,[ and a sculpture was dedicated there in 2004. In addition, the Haymarket Martyrs' Monument was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1997 at the defendants' burial site in Forest Park.


This 1886 engraving was the most widely reproduced image of the Haymarket massacre. It shows Methodist pastor Samuel Fielden speaking, the bomb exploding, and the riot beginning simultaneously; in reality, Fielden had finished speaking before the explosion.

Newspaper engraving of the time

Haymarket Square, Chicago.

Haymarket Martyrs Memorial, Forest Home Cemetery, Forest Park, IL

The inscription at the base reads:
"The day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you are throttling today." 
 They were the last words of August Spies, recorded just before his execution by hanging.

Portrait of August Spies, one of the defendants who was charged with murder in the Haymarket Anarchists Trial, 1886. This was his appearance at the time of his conviction in 1886.

The May 1886 events are commemorated in Chicago by a memorial on Desplaines Street, north of Randolph Street: A bronze statue of a wagon that served as a speakers' platform during the labor meeting.

Sketch of seven of the eight men arrested in response to the bombing.

Eight men were arrested in the days following the rally on charges of murder in connection with the unknown bomber. Several of the men were not even at the rally that evening and had witnesses to prove they were nowhere near Haymarket Square when the bomb was thrown. The arrests sent shockwaves throughout the country and led to a controversial trial.

The sevn police who died and an image of the bombing.

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