May 1st has always been considered a day for the worker throughout the world. It is referred to as May Day or Labour Day all over the world and while many countries do celebrate Labour Day on May 1st it did get its beginnings in communist Russia. It is because of these communist origins that the United States has always refused to celebrate Labour Day on May 1st with the rest of the world opting instead to celebrate American Labor Day on the first Monday in September. To offset the rest of the entire world’s celebration of communist Labour Day on May 1st the United States government started what they called Americanization Day in 1921. It was never widely celebrated but yet in 1958 the United States Congress officially declared Loyalty Day in May to be an American holiday and president Dwight D. Eisenhower declared that the first Loyalty Day in May on May 1, 1959 to be the first officially recognized celebration of Loyalty Day in the United States.
To look at the timing of the first officially recognized Loyalty Day in May in and of itself is to really lose sight of the bigger picture. From the early 1940’s to the late 1950’s in the United States there was something called the Second Red Scare going on and it was basically an irrational paranoia and fear that communists were attempting to take over the United States. Of course these fears had their basis in the new cold war that had just started with the Soviet Union and throughout the course of this modern day witch hunt many innocent people were persecuted and sent to prison on false charges. Public figures were randomly ruined with very public charges of being communist and many times these charges were made without any basis in fact and the person was never able to regain their career. This is the climate that was swirling around the United States when Dwight Eisenhower officially made Loyalty Day a holiday in the United States and it is that irrational fear, and possibly the current day embarrassment of that fear, that prevents Loyalty Day in May from ever being a widely celebrated holiday.