Happy May Day!

These children at the New Llano Cooperative Colony, near Leesville, Louisiana, celebrated by braiding the maypole May 1, 1922. The image is from the papers of original Colony member William A. Gilbert (MC190) in Special Collections at the University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville.

 The Maypole tradition can be traced to English village traditions from the Middle Ages and earlier. The Newllano Colony had roots in the Socialist Party, and the May Day celebrations there also observed International Workers’ Day, a commemoration of the Haymarket Affair of 1886 in Chicago. Gilbert later helped found Commonwealth College in Mena, Arkansas.