Peace Almanac May



May 1. May Day is a traditional day to celebrate rebirth in the Northern hemisphere, and — since the 1886 Haymarket incident in Chicago — a day in much of the world to celebrate labor rights and organizing.

Also on this day in 1954 the inhabitants of what was once paradise woke up to two suns and endless radiation sickness for themselves and descendants because the U.S. government tested a hydrogen bomb.

Also on this day in 1971 massive demonstrations were held against the American War on Vietnam. Also on this day in 2003 President George W. Bush ludicrously declared “mission accomplished!” standing in a flight suit on an aircraft carrier in San Diego Harbor as the destruction of Iraq got underway.

Also on that same day in 2003 the U.S. Navy finally gave in to public protest and stopped bombing the island of Vieques.

Also on this day in 2005, the Sunday Times of London published the Downing Street Minutes which revealed the content of a July 23, 2002, meeting of the cabinet of the British government at 10 Downing Street. They revealed U.S. plans to go to war against Iraq and to lie about the reasons why. This is a good day to educate the world about war lies.

May 2. Also on this day in 1968, Poor People’s Campaign March on Washington, DC.

May 3. Also on this day in 1919, Pete Seeger is born in New York City.

May 4. On this day in 1970, the Ohio National Guard killed four students at Kent State.

May 5. On this day in 2002, over 100,000 Israelis demonstrated against occupation and for a Palestinian state.

May 6. On this day in 1944, Gandhi was released from his last imprisonment.

May 7. On this day in 1915, the Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine. Germany had publicly advertised in New York prior to the ship’s departure that it would be subject to attack. The ship was known to be carrying troops and weapons to be used against Germany in World War I. When President Woodrow Wilson used the sinking of the Lusitania as grounds for U.S. entry into the war, his Secretary of State William Jennings Bryan resigned in protest. For nearly a century, the U.S. media and history books claimed not to know whether the Lusitania had been carrying weapons, until the wreck of the ship was found and explored. This is a good day to educate the world about war lies.

Mothers Day is celebrated on different dates around the world. In many places it is the second Sunday in May. This is a good day to read the Mother’s Day Proclamation and rededicate the day to peace.

May 8 — March 8. or is it 8 May? Also on this day in 1983, La Ragnatela (Spider’s Web) Women’s Peace Camp created at Comiso, Sicily, Italy, the first overseas site for U.S. cruise missiles.

May 9. On this day in 1944, the President of El Salvador was nonviolently overthrown. This is a good day to plot nonviolent change.

Also on this day in 1994 the First Assembly of Indigenous Initiative for Peace opened in Mexico City.

May 10. On this day in 1984, the International Court ordered the United States to stop mining ports in Nicaragua.

May 11-15. On these days in 1999, civil society held the largest international peace conference in history on the centenary of the First Hague Peace Conference in The Hague, Netherlands.


May 12. On this day in 1623, English colonists held peace talks with Powhatan leaders and poisoned the wine, killing 200 of them.

May 13. On this day in 1846, the U.S. Congress declared war on Mexico. Also on this day in 1968, a strike by students and workers led to a general strike by 10 million in Paris, France.

May 14. Also on this day in1941,  first groups of WWII conscientious objectors (COs) ordered to report to camp at Patapsco, Maryland.

May 15. This is Nakba Day, marking the 1948 expelling of 700,000 Palestinians from their homes, and the destruction of hundreds of towns during the creation of the state of Israel.It is also International Conscientious Objectors’ Day.

Also on this day in 1994, a stone commemorating conscientious objectors worldwide was unveiled in Tavistock Square, London.

Also on this day in 1970, the Jackson State Massacre occurred in the United States.

May 16. This is Protest the Armed Forces Day.

May 17. On this day in 1968, nine people burned draft files in Catonsville, Maryland.

May 18. On this day in 1899 the Hague Peace Conference opened.

May 19. Also on this day in 1932, U.S. Congressman Claude Fuller introduces a resolution requiring all Civil Service employees to “sing, write or recite the words to the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’” by memory.

May 20. Also on this day in 1968,  Arlington Street Unitarian-Universalist Church in Boston offers sanctuary to Robert Talmanson and William Chase, both wanted for acts of disobedience to military duty.

May 21. Also on this day in 1971,  Members of American Indian Movement (AIM) occupy Naval Air Station near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

May 22. On this day in 1838, began the trail of tears that killed thousands of Cherokee, Choctaw, Creek, and Chickasaw.

May 23. Also on this day in 1838,  General Winfield Scott ordered the forced removal of the Cherokee Indians from the East to the “Indian Nation” (what is now Oklahoma). Approximately one forth of the 10,000 died on this cruel march called “The Trail of Tears”.

May 24. This is International Women’s Day for Disarmament.

May 25. On this day in 1932, the Bonus Army of World War I veterans demonstrated in Washington, D.C., and were assaulted with tear gas by Douglas MacArthur.

May 26. On this day in 1637, in the Mystic Massacre, English colonists launched a night attack on a large Pequot village burning and killing all 600 to 700 residents.

May 27. Also on this day in 1992,  National plan of Reforestation for Peace begins, El Salvador.

May 28. Also on this day in 1961, Amnesty International founded.

May 29. On this day in 1968, the Poor Peoples Campaign began.

May 30. Also on this day in 1868, Memorial Day first observed when two women in Columbus, MS, placed flowers on both Confederate and Union graves.

May 31. On this day in 1902, the Treaty of Vereeniging ended the Boer War.

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