A Democrat California assemblyman introduced a bill seeking to make “May Day,” or International Workers Day, a state holiday that would replace President George Washington’s or President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday.
Assemblyman Miguel Santiago’s (D-Los Angeles) legislation calls for consolidating the two presidents’ birthdays to be observed on the third Monday in February as a single “President’s Day” holiday, but it also calls for the state to observe May 1 as “International Workers Day.”
International Workers Day, also known as “May Day,” had been observed in countries under Communism for decades and was designated as an official holiday of the Soviet Union.
In Russia, workers still march to celebrate May Day, with more than 100,000 people coming out for the traditional May Day parade in Moscow this year.
But not everyone in the California Assembly was on board with replacing a president’s birthday with a holiday steeped in communist roots.
“Are we in competition to become the laughingstock of the United States?” Assemblyman Matthew Harper (R-Huntington Beach) asked in a floor speech Thursday. “This is ridiculous. This is insane.”
“Seriously, the substitution of adding International Socialist Workers’ Day? May Day? The day of parades in the Soviet Union?” Harper added. “I’m aghast that a bill like this would be able to make it through committee.”
Santiago’s May Day bill did not pass on Thursday, but the California Democrat made a motion for the Assembly to reconsider the legislation.