1. International Labor Day aka May Day—created by anarchists, socialists and communists to advance the fight for workers’ rights, better pay, an eight hour week and formally recognized by the Congress of the Second International in 1891. It is also the first day of summer and the universal voice distress call which did not originate to the perceived problems of communism but rather from the thoughtful incite of a senior radio officer, Frederick Mockford at Croydon Airport in London asked to create a voice equivalent of the Morse Code SOS. Since much of the traffic was between Croydon and Le Bourget he proposed Mayday which sounds exactly like the French “m’aidez" (help me).
2. Law Day (U.S.)— proclaimed by Executive Order by President Eisenhower in 1958 and codified by statute in 1961 to promote the rule of law as the foundation of any society ( hope the day is not observed with rioting in Baltimore).
3. 1983 Number One Song—celebrating the number one song in 1983 on a three week run (thought it would have been longer) Beat It by the one and only Michael Jackson. Here is a link to a music video of Michael Jackson performing Beat It:
4. National Chocolate Parfait Day—celebrating another one of this omnivore’s favorite deserts which is why the world is populated with chocoholics.
5. Hard to Keep a Canary in a Cage—celebrating the birthday on this day in 1852 of Martha Canary, aka Calamity Jane, noted frontierswoman along the lines of Annie Oakley. She was married to Bill Hickok and sadly died of alcoholism at the age of 51.
On this day in
a. 1786 Mozart’s opera The Marriage of Figaro was performed for the first time.
b. 1866 in a riot that makes the protests in Baltimore look like a Sunday picnic the three day Memphis Race Riot began, resulting in the death of two whites and 46 blacks and massive destruction of homes, churches and schools in the black community and thankfully the passage of the 14th Amendment by a nation outraged by the atrocities committed.
c. 1894 Coxey’s Army some 500 unemployed workers who had lost their jobs due to the depression of 1893 which was to last 4 years arrived in Washington, D.C. demanding public works projects be implemented to stimulate the economy (sound familiar?). The first significant protest march in our history died out when its leader Jacob Coxey and others were arrested for walking on the White House Lawn.
d. 1927 the first airline cooked meals were introduced on an Imperial Airlines flight from Paris to London; unfortunately could not find out what the meals consisted of but without microwares and the short distance would have been interesting.
e. 2011 President Obama announced to the nation that Osama bin Laden, the head of al Qaeda and mastermind of the 911 attacks had been killed in Pakistan. Unfortunately for us, killing a leader does not kill the ideology especially in the case of radical Islam.
Reflections on work on this International Labor Day: “By working faithfully eight hours a day, you may eventually get to be a boss and work twelve hours a day.” Robert Frost, noted poet but unfortunately only partially right on the amount of boss time; it is more like 16 hours.
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