As it happens, we have a perfectly good holiday waiting to happen on May 1: May Day. That particular observance has been rather ill starred in the United States.
Like much else on our calendar, May Day has its origins in the pagan past with strong sexual overtones having to do with fertility and rebirth. The young men and women who went off to the woods for the day apparently gathered more than greens and garlands.
"In fact," according to one historical website, " the ritual drinking and dancing around the maypole in colonial America so horrified the Pilgrim Fathers that they outlawed the practice and punished the offenders."
May Day had another bit of bad luck in 1889 when the International Socialist Congress settled on that day to honor workers everywhere, show solidarity with Americans' efforts to win an eight-hour workday and to commemorate Chicago's bloody Haymarket riot of 1886.
Since then, most of the world has observed May 1 as Labor Day, and it was strongly identified with socialism, communism, anarchism and grim-faced old duffers atop Lenin's Tomb reviewing endless columns of Soviet weaponry.
The U.S. celebrates Labor Day in September - not for anything having to do with the politics of May Day, but because New York's Central Labor Union decided to hold a picnic, widely regarded as the first American Labor Day celebration, on Sept. 5, 1882, four years before Haymarket and seven years before the socialists declared their Labor Day.
In the 1950s, there were a couple of attempts to pry May Day away from its leftist associations.
President Dwight Eisenhower declared May 1 as Law Day, "a day of national dedication to the principles of government under law," and also Loyalty Day, where you are supposed to reaffirm your loyalty to the United States. Both are official holidays, but not, mind you, federal holidays. And neither one exactly screams PAR-TAY!
So if it's not to be Labor, Law or Loyalty, what should May Day be? How about we just call it Three-Day Weekend. No one is offended, no one left out. Perfect.