Two Hundred and Eighty Seven Days: May

A view of from the Japanese Pavilion.
View from the Japanese Pavilion.


The month of May opened with an Exposition celebration of the day, which bears its name. In keeping with the global traditions, a large variety of activities marked May Day. From the parade that ran out of the Zone, full of Zone attractions to Maypole dancing, Aero plane flights, and free Zone concessions for all children. It was well received by the one hundred thousand plus who attended that day. On May 5th, the Japanese Pavilion celebrated Tango-no-sekku by flying Carp windsocks called koinobori and decorating with all manner of samurai armor and artifact. Many hundreds of people attended the day’s events.


May 11th was known as Gold Nugget Day and included the dedication of the California Building. As part of the celebration, a display of gold nuggets was opened with a total worth of one hundred thousand dollars. The following day was known as Retail Grocers Day and was observed with a parade and the holding of the Grocer’s Convention on the grounds.


On May 15th, Veterans’ Day featured a parade full of Civil War and Spanish War veterans. At the end, bronze plaques were awarded to several military organizations. Wars past gave way to wars of the present. On May 20th, Italy day was celebrated at the Exposition with the opening of the Italian Pavilion and the Italian Art Exhibit. Three days later the reverie turned to verity as Italy entered World War One on the side of the allies and many of the Italian representatives left the Exposition for home and war.


Transportation Day rolled by on May 21st.with a parade of conveyances past and present and everything in between included, automobiles, horses, sleds, carriages, oxen carts, jinrikishas and many more. Great Britain’s involvement in the war did not preclude the empire from showcasing its presence at the Exposition. Queen Victoria’s Birthday on May 24thwas declared British Empire Day and the Australian, Canadian and New Zealand Pavilions stood testament. The parade of the day paid tribute to the expanse of Britain’s Empire as Scottish, Irish, Welsh, Australian and East Indian peoples marched to the British war song “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary”. The special events of the day ended with fireworks.

Zone Tigers
Zone Tigers.


After three months of soggy receipts, the Zone was ready to make its big push on May 27th-Zone Day. An entire day was designed to showcase the many concessions of the Zone, which had been suffering wildly as sales were down and morale low. The day began with a parade. A great tumult spilled forth from the Zone as members of the many foreign lands displays, the wild west shows, ostriches, elephants, tight rope walkers, clowns, and many more made their way through the Exposition. It provided a distraction among the otherwise serious nature of the Exposition and current events. The day ended with aeroplane shows, the exploding of a mock ship in the bay, and fireworks all along the Zone.


Last updated: July 1, 2015

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