Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Loyalty Day

This morning, while reading a thread about Stephen Colbert's wonderful performance at the White House Correspondent's Dinner, I learned that yesterday (and every May 1 going forward) has been officially proclaimed "Loyalty Day":

Loyalty Day is also a time for us to reflect on our responsibilities to our country as we work to show the world the meaning and promise of liberty. The right to vote is one of our most cherished rights and voting is one of our most fundamental duties. By making a commitment to be good citizens, flying the American flag, or taking the time to learn about our Nation's history, we show our gratitude for the blessings of freedom.

I spent most of my day yesterday at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum. I'm happy to proclaim loyalty to principles of liberty, but that shouldn't be confused with blind loyalty to political leaders or governments.


Todd Larason said...

It's not just "every May 1st going forward" -- it was quite a few going backwards, too. I'm not sure how old it is, but it goes back to at least 2003 -- see my post from then, http://molelog.molehill.org/blox/Politics/Observances/1May2003.writeback
or the relevant law, http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/casecode/uscodes/36/subtitles/i/parts/a/chapters/1/sections/section_115.html . May 1st is also Law Day.

By my reading, most of these are optional on the President's part, but National Prayer Day and Thomas Jefferson Day are not. Bush proclaimed Jefferson day in 2001 and again this year, but (as far as I can tell) not in any of the years in between.

Jim Lippard said...

Looks like it goes back to 1958 under the name "Loyalty Day," proclaimed by Eisenhower, and was intended as an anticommunist counterweight to May Day.

Einzige said...

...because, as everyone knows, fascism is the only alternative to communism.