One of American University’s earliest traditions was May Day. Based loosely on the English folk celebration, AU students elected a queen, held a pageant, and organized a program of dances. In 1932, the organizers selected an Elizabethan theme.
In 1937 and 1938, a group of men organized their own “Mock May Day” celebration. May Day celebrations were combined with the spring play in 1942 and campus day in 1946. May Day went out of fashion in the 1950s when AU students began electing class queens as well as fraternity “sweethearts.”