Loyalty Day

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For other uses, see Loyalty Day (Argentina).
Loyalty Day
Observed by United States
Celebrations Special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom[1]
Date May 1
Next time 1 May 2015 (2015-05-01)
Frequency annual

Loyalty Day is observed on May 1 in the United States. It is a day set aside for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.

Loyalty Day is celebrated with parades and ceremonies in several U.S. communities, like Batavia, Illinois, although many people in the United States remain unaware of it.[citation needed] Although a legal holiday, it is not a federal holiday, and is not commonly observed.[citation needed]


The holiday was first observed in 1921, during the First Red Scare.[2] It was originally called "Americanization Day,"[3] and it was intended to replace the May 1 ("May Day") celebration of the International Workers' Day,[citation needed] which commemorates the 1886 Haymarket Massacre in Chicago.)[4]

During the Second Red Scare, it was recognized by the U.S. Congress on April 27, 1955,[5] and made an official reoccurring holiday on July 18, 1958 (Public Law 85-529).[6][7] President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed May 1, 1955, the first observance of Loyalty Day.[8] In 1958 Eisenhower urged congress to move Child Health Day to the First Monday in October, to avoid conflicting with Loyalty Day[9][10] Loyalty Day has been recognized with an official proclamation every year by every president since its inception as a legal holiday in 1958.[11][12]

Statutory definition[edit]

Loyalty Day is defined as follows in 36 U.S.C. § 115:

  • (a) Designation.— May 1 is Loyalty Day.
  • (b) Purpose.— Loyalty Day is a special day for the reaffirmation of loyalty to the United States and for the recognition of the heritage of American freedom.
  • (c) Proclamation.— The President is requested to issue a proclamation—
    • (1) calling on United States Government officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on Loyalty Day; and
    • (2) inviting the people of the United States to observe Loyalty Day with appropriate ceremonies in schools and other suitable places.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "§ 115. Loyalty Day". U.S. Code collection. LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  2. ^ Conn, Matt, "Loyalty Day celebration set for return to Medford" Wed, Mar 24, 2004, the Wausau Daily Herald
  3. ^ VFW Loyalty Day
  4. ^ "A short history of May Day". Libcom.org. Retrieved 1 May 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/STATUTE-69/pdf/STATUTE-69-Pg44-2.pdf
  6. ^ Notes on 36 U.S.C. § 115
  7. ^ Eisenhower's signing statement
  8. ^ http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=107237&st=loyalty+day&st1=
  9. ^ http://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/ws/index.php?pid=11135&st=loyalty+day&st1=
  10. ^ Proclamation by Eisenhower in 1959, citing Congress's joint resolution of July 18, 1958
  11. ^ Search for "Loyalty Day" on the presidency project
  12. ^ The Code of Federal regulations of the United States of America http://books.google.com/books?id=PTA5AAAAIAAJ&pg=PA42&lpg=PA42&dq=lyndon+johnson+"loyalty+day"+1966&source=bl&ots=2nNXF_Nh8U&sig=--rM0htQGMeTFOPrYSNovYTbfvI&hl=en&sa=X&ei=z6PoT7f9AYXE2gWyzcHZCQ&ved=0CEkQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=lyndon johnson "loyalty day" 1966&f=false