On May Day
May 4, 2011 by Chip Wood
Perhaps the most significant event this week will be something that did not take place. There were no massive demonstrations of Soviet military prowess filling Moscow’s Red Square this May Day. A major communist holiday thus becomes just another space on the calendar. But as older readers know, it was not always so.
Among other significant events on May 1st in history:
On May 1, 1961, Fidel Castro announced that there was no longer any need to hold elections in Cuba. He proclaimed himself “president for life.” And, unfortunately for the Cuban people, it’s turning out to be a very long life.
On May 1, 1931, a 22-year-old singer was hired by CBS radio in New York for the princely sum of $10 a week. One month later, Kate Smith had become a huge hit — and negotiated a pay increase of 1,500 percent for herself. Three-quarters of a century later, her rendition of “God Bless America” is still a favorite at ballparks everywhere.
And speaking of ballparks, on May 1, 1920, the longest game in baseball was called after 26 innings, with the (Brooklyn) Dodgers and the (Boston) Braves tied 1-1. Perhaps the most amazing part of the event was that both teams used only one pitcher for the entire game. Both Leon Cadore for the Dodgers and Joe Oeschger for the Braves pitched all 26 innings. Now, that’s stamina.