May Day - This holiday is traced back to the Druids. They celebrated the festival of Beltane and took seriously the ancient fertility rites. Eventually the Puritans discouraged that festival, so the original intention was lost. Many European traditions hold fast to the Maypole celebration now. Some hold contests to see who builds the tallest, others just enjoy merriment in dancing around a tree. It is least celebrated in America.
May 4rth - This date marks the sad time in U.S. history when four students were killed in an anti-war demonstration at Kent State University, in Kent, Ohio. It happened in 1970, during the much despised Vietnam war. The National Guardsmen were called to quell the demonstrators, and they did, violently.
May 8th - This historic day in 1945 is when the Germans surrendered in Europe. V-E (Victory in Europe) day is remembered by Britains and Americans in celebration. The Russians celebrate on May 9th because the fighting hadn't ended there until then.
May 12th - Remember the woman who made nursing respectable for women? In 1820 Florence Nightingale was born in Florence, Italy. May 12th was a date her English parents were vacationing in the city they named her for. She wrote, Notes On Nursing: What It Is, And What It Is Not in 1828. She was an original thinker when it came to nursing, and made it a profession, that is now close to equal in doctoring.
May 17th - This landmark anniversary marks the unanimous decision of Brown v Board of Education of Topeka. Finally, an end to Federal racial segregation tolerance. 1954 wasn't really that long ago for this madness to end - only 56 years ago! "Brown v. Board of Education was not simply about children and education. The laws and policies struck down by this court decision were products of the human tendencies to prejudge, discriminate against, and stereotype other people by their ethnic, religious, physical, or cultural characteristics. Ending this behavior as a legal practice caused far reaching social and ideological implications, which continue to be felt throughout our country. The Brown decision inspired and galvanized human rights struggles across the country and around the world." The quote is from Brown Foundation for Educational Equity, Excellence and Research.
May 29th - On May 29th, 1953, Edmund Hillary of New Zealand and Tenzing Norgay of Nepal became the first explorers to reach the Mount Everest summit of 29,035 feet. That is considered the highest peak on earth, so this was no small feat! They paved the way for many more historic firsts on Mount Everest.
Although Mother's Day holiday isn't legal, it is usually on a Sunday which is for many a day of no work. Many of the less observed also fall on a Sunday. These are occasions to reflect on meaningful events.