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May Days


By Paula Moore Hurtt,
Web Content Writer


     As we Kentuckians know, there are five seasons in the commonwealth…spring, summer, winter, fall and Derby. That means it’s time for horses, roses and Derby pie…and maybe a mint julep if you’re so inclined.


     But did you know that May 1st is Mother Goose Day? It’s also the day that the Celts and Romans celebrated May Day with drinking, dancing and merriment…sort of like we witness in the infield at Churchill Downs.  

     Mexicans celebrate Cinco de Mayo to commemorate a battle for independence in the city of Puebla on the morning of May 5. Florence Nightingale’s birthday is May 12, Mother’s Day is May 11 and May 15th is Armed Forces Day…set aside by President Harry S. Truman as a day for citizens to thank members our military and veterans for their service to our country.  May is also Better Hearing and Speech Month. 

     Memorial Day…once known as Decoration Day…was originally set aside as a day to remember our fallen soldiers and decorate their graves. Nowadays it heralds the beginning of summer and “white sales” at the local stores and malls.

     And here’s something to celebrate! The first ice cream freezer was patented by Nancy Johnson in May of 1843!

     So, throw a Derby party, dance around a May Pole or enjoy some home-made, hand-cranked ice cream with Mom, because as Lady Guenever sang in the movie “Camelot”…

“Whence this fragrance wafting through the air?
What sweet feelings does its scent transmute?
Whence this perfume floating ev'rywhere?
Don't you know it's that dear forbidden fruit!


It's May! It's May!
The lusty month of May!
That lovely month when ev'ryone goes
Blissfully astray.”*


*From “Camelot”
Music by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Lowe

Copyright Warner Bros./Seven Arts