May 1, 2017 – MAY DAY – SCHOOL PRINCIPALS’ DAY – NATIONAL MELANOMA MONDAY – NATIONAL MOTHER GOOSE DAY – NATIONAL CHOCOLATE PARFAIT DAY – NATIONAL LAW DAY – NATIONAL SILVER STAR SERVICE BANNER DAY – NATIONAL LOYALTY DAY
On this day:
International Workers’ Day
International Workers’ Day, also known as Labour Day in some countries, is a celebration of labourers and the working classes that is promoted by the international labour movement, socialists, communists, and anarchists which occurs every year on May Day (1 May), an ancient European spring festival. The date was chosen for International Workers’ Day by the Second International, a pan-national organization of socialist and communist political parties, to commemorate the Haymarket affair, which occurred in Chicago on 4 May 1886. The 1904 International Socialist Conference in Amsterdam, the Sixth Conference of the Second International, called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.”
Being a traditional European spring celebration, May Day is a national public holiday in several European countries. The date is currently celebrated specifically as “Labour Day” or “International Workers’ Day” in the majority of countries, including those that didn’t traditionally celebrate May Day. Some countries celebrate a Labour Day on other dates significant to them, such as the United States, which celebrates Labor Day on the first Monday of September.
Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labour movements grew, a variety of days were chosen by trade unionists as a day to celebrate labour. In the United States and Canada, a September holiday, called Labor or Labour Day, was first proposed in the 1880s. In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed a Labor Day holiday on the first Monday of September[nb 1] while serving as secretary of the Central Labor Union (CLU) of New York. Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882, after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada. In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official public holiday. By the time it became an official federal holiday in 1894, thirty U.S. states officially celebrated Labor Day. Thus by 1887 in North America, Labor Day was an established, official holiday but in September, not on 1 May.
1 May was chosen to be International Workers’ Day to commemorate the 4 May 1886 Haymarket affair in Chicago. The police were trying to disperse a public assembly during a general strike for the eight-hour workday, when an unidentified person threw a bomb at the police. The police responded by firing on the workers, killing four demonstrators.[nb 2] The following day on 5 May in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the state militia fired on a crowd of strikers killing seven, including a schoolboy and a man feeding chickens in his yard.
In 1889, a meeting in Paris was held by the first congress of the Second International, following a proposal by Raymond Lavigne that called for international demonstrations on the 1890 anniversary of the Chicago protests. May Day was formally recognised as an annual event at the International’s second congress in 1891. Subsequently, the May Day riots of 1894 occurred. The International Socialist Congress, Amsterdam 1904 called on “all Social Democratic Party organisations and trade unions of all countries to demonstrate energetically on the First of May for the legal establishment of the 8-hour day, for the class demands of the proletariat, and for universal peace.” The congress made it “mandatory upon the proletarian organisations of all countries to stop work on 1 May, wherever it is possible without injury to the workers.”
May Day has been a focal point for demonstrations by various socialist, communist and anarchist groups since the Second International. May Day is one of the most important holidays in communist countries such as the People’s Republic of China, North Korea, Cuba and the former Soviet Union. May Day celebrations in these countries typically feature elaborate workforce parades, including displays of military hardware and soldiers.
In 1955, the Catholic Church dedicated 1 May to “Saint Joseph the Worker”. Saint Joseph is the patron saint of workers and craftsmen, among others.
During the Cold War, May Day became the occasion for large military parades in Red Square by the Soviet Union and attended by the top leaders of the Kremlin, especially the Politburo, atop Lenin’s Mausoleum. It became an enduring symbol of that period.
Today, the majority of countries around the world celebrate a workers’ day on May 1.
Born on this day:
1579 – Wolphert Gerretse, Dutch-American farmer, co-founded New Netherland (d. 1662)
Wolphert Gerretse (1 May 1579 – 1662), also known as Wolphert Gerretse Van Kouwenhoven and Wolfert Gerritsen Van Couwenhoven, was an original patentee, director of bouweries (farms), and a founder of the New Netherlands colony; founder of the first European settlement on Long Island, New Amersfoort, and a Schepen of New Amsterdam in 1654. “He played an active role in laying the foundations of the communities of Manhattan, Albany, Rensselaer, and Brooklyn.”
Some descendants of Wolphert anglicized the surname “Van Kouwenhoven” to “Conover,” as well as “Crownover”, with Dennis Conover (born 1764) being the first direct descendent (4th Great Grandson) to use “‘Conover'” as his surname.
Wolphert was born on 1 May 1579 in Amersfoort, Netherlands, one of three sons of Gerrit Wolfert Suype Van Kouwenhoven and his wife, Styne Sara Roberts.
Dutch West India Company
Gerretse ran a baking and clothes bleaching business, when in 1625 he was assigned as one of the first settlers to cultivate farms in the New Netherlands colony by the Dutch West India Company.
Director of Bouweries for Kiliaen van Rensselaer
Following that service, in 1630 he returned to the Netherlands, where he entered into a contract with Kiliaen Van Rensselaer to return to the colony to manage his farms. Wolphert arrived back in the colony aboard the ship “Eendracht”, where he proceeded in his duties as director for van Rensselaer’s farms in Rensselaerwyck and Fort Orange. His contract was to run through 1636, but Gerretse requested it cancelled early so he could pursue his own interests. Rensselaer agreed. In 1632, Gerretse was released from his contractual obligations.
Shortly thereafter, he leased a bouwerie in New Amsterdam and managed it until 1636, when he was granted a patent of several hundred acres on Long Island. He called his plantation “Achervelt”; later it served as the founding of the town of New Amersfoort, named after Gerretse’s original home. Today the area is known as Flatlands. His plantation was located near the current intersection of King’s Highway and Flatbush Avenue.
In 2007 the deed of the granted land in Long Island was sold to a private collector for $156,000 becoming “one of the oldest Dutch documents in private hands.” The deed dated June 6, 1663 is written in Dutch and outlines the purchase of the land (3,600-acre) from the Lenape Indians. 
In 1637, he became a Freeholder in Midwout, and again in 1641. In 1653, he was sent by the colony to the States-General in the Netherlands as a Commissioner. In 1654, Wolphert served as a Schepen of New Amsterdam, and in 1657 was made a Burgher. He served on the citizens council of Eight Men.
Marriage and children
Gerretse died in 1662. A member of the Dutch Reformed Church, on 17 January 1605, he married Neeltje Jacobsdochter at the church in Amersfoort, Netherlands. With her he had three sons:
Gerrit (b. 1610-d. 1648)-was a Representative at the Council of Eight in 1643
Jacob (b. 1612–1670)-assistant to Gov. Woulter Van Twiller, Representative at the Board of Nine in 1647, 1649–1650, sat on the Court of Arbitrators between 1649–1650, Delegate of New Netherlands to the Hague in Holland
Pieter (b. 1614-d. 1699)-one of the first magistrates of New Netherlands, member of the Schepens Court 1653–1654, 1658–1659, 1661 and 1663, Delegate from New Amsterdam to the Convention of 1653, Lieutenant in the Esopus War, signer of the peace treaty 1664 with the Esopus Indians
U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt
U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt
U.S. Senator Sidney Breese
Astronomer John Monroe Van Vleck
Governor William A. Newell (New Jersey) (founder United States Life-Saving Service)
Nobel Prize winner John Hasbrouck Van Vleck
Cardiology pioneer William B. Kouwenhoven
Philanthropist Edward Harriman
Diplomat William Harriman
Railroad baron E.H. Harriman
Vice-Admiral Arthur S. Carpender
Actress Diana Douglas (née Diana Dill; mother of actor Michael Douglas)
Actor Michael Douglas (by mother Diana)
Honorary Consul of the Kingdom of Denmark, Christopher N. Smith
Tennis Player Andy Roddick
Governor Howard Dean
Inventor Lloyd Conover
Associate Supreme Court Justice Willis Van Devanter
Gerritsen Beach, Brooklyn, New York
Kouwenhoven Lane, Brooklyn, New York
Simple as that: 5 National Parks to Visit as a Family
Visit US National Parks FREE in 2017
In 2017 the National Parks Service will be waiving all entrance fees on these 10 days:
January 16—Martin Luther King Jr. Day
February 20—Presidents Day
April 15-16 and 22-23—Weekends of National Park Week
August 25—National Park Service Birthday
September 30—National Public Lands Day
November 11-12—Veterans Day Weekend