The children used to celebrate May Day. I think schools stopped encouraging them sometime around when "Law Day" was created, but I'm not sure. A correspondent from East Arlington, Mass., writes that in the late 1940s, "On any given Saturday in May, anywhere from 10-30 children would dress up in crepe paper costumes (hats, shirts, &c.); we would pick baskets of flowers and parade up and down several streets (until the flowers ran out!) The whole time we would be chanting, 'May Party, May Party, rah, rah, rah!'. A leader would be chosen, but I don't remember how. (Probably by throwing fingers out). Then, we would parade up to Spy Pond at the edge of the Center off Lake Street and have a picnic lunch." This correspondent now teaches kindergarten. "In recent years," she continues, "I have always decorated a May Pole for my kindergarten class (they do the decorations actually), and we would dance around it. It would always attract attention from the older children."
William Adelman, HAYMARKET REVISITED (Illinois Labor History Society,
Charles Francis Adams, THREE EPISODES IN MASSACHUSETTS HISTORY (1894);
William Bradford, HISTORY OF PLYMOUTH PLANTATION 1620-1647;
Jeremy Brecher, Strike! (1972);
R. Chambers, THE BOOK OF DAYS: A MISCELLANY OF POPULAR ANTIQUITIES (1864);
Henry David, THE HISTORY OF THE HAYMARKET AFFAIR (1936);
J.G. Frazer, THE GOLDEN BOUGH: A STUDY OF COMPARATIVE RELIGION (1890);
James R. Green and Hugh Donahue, BOSTON'S WORKERS: A LABOR HISTORY (The Public Library, 1979);
Jane Hatch, THE AMERICAN BOOK OF DAYS (1976);
William Hone, THE EVERY-DAY BOOK (1824);
Thomas Morton, THE NEW ENGLISH CANAAN (1637);
Edward Thompson, THE MAKING OF THE ENGLISH WORKING CLASS (1963);
Aleander Trachtenberg, THE HISTORY OF MAY DAY (1947);
Midnight Notes, THE WORK/ENERGY CRISIS AND THE APOCALYPSE (1981).
Author's Note (next page)