THE BLOG

Week to Week News Quiz for 5/1/15: Special May Day Edition

05/01/2015 04:30 pm ET | Updated May 01, 2016

May Day -- aka International Workers Day -- isn't what it used to be, but then again, nothing is. Take our latest Week to Week news quiz and find out more about this notable day.

Here are some random but real hints: It could also be used to dry the laundry the other 364 days of the year; everybody knows this name; it is in the name, folks; and there you go again. Answers are below the quiz.

1. When were the earliest May Day celebrations?
a. 1922, following the establishment of the Soviet Union
b. Pre-Christian Rome, when it was dedicated to the goddess of flowers
c. In 1521, Pope Leo X made it a holiday in "honor of all those toilers in the fields"
d. The holiday began in ancient Persia, where three millennia ago it commemorated a victorious war against Babylon

2. In addition to labor issues, what are marchers in many cities across the United States highlighting on May Day 2015?
a. Same-sex marriage
b. Police brutality
c. The need for tax cuts
d. Benghazi

3. What did many medieval English decorate and dance around on May Day?
a. A chocolate bust of the reigning king or queen
b. The captured body of a local gentry
c. A banana
d. The maypole

4. What event is generally recognized as the inspiration for socialists and communists celebrating May Day as International Workers' Day?
a. The 1886 Haymarket massacre in Chicago
b. The assumption of power by Vladimir Lenin in Moscow
c. The strike at the Gdańsk Shipyard in Poland in 1980
d. The Great Railroad Strike of 1877

5. Why do airplane pilots say "Mayday Mayday Mayday" when their plane is in distress?
a. It is mandated by the pilots' union, which wants any last recorded words to indicate allegiance to worker solidarity
b. It is in remembrance of the first airplane crash, which took place on May 1, 1906
c. In 1923, a British radio officer proposed the word "Mayday" from the French "m'aidez" (which means "help me")
d. It was originally a play on the reliability of Maytag (German for "Day of might") washing machines and a good-luck wish that the plane's problem will resolve itself

6. How did Turkish police respond this year to May Day demonstrators who tried to march to Taksim Square?
a. Water cannons and tear gas
b. Police joined the march
c. All schools were closed along the demonstration route to prevent any outbreak of violence
d. There was no police presence

7. Who was "Mayday Malone"?
a. Barry Malone, a U.S. pilot in World War II who survived three plane crashes in the Pacific
b. John C. Malone, the former cable television CEO who was lampooned in a recurring character on The Simpsons
c. Alice Malone, the first pilot to fly over the North Pole
d. That was the nickname for fictional character Sam Malone, the former Red Sox relief pitcher who became a bar owner in Cheers

8. Who is recognized by International Workers Day?
a. Management
b. Hedge fund managers
c. Silicon Valley venture capitalists
d. Workers

9. George Mason University law professor Ilya Somin has called for renaming May Day what?
a. Ilya Somin Appreciation Day
b. Black Lives Matter Day
c. Victims of Communism Day
d. Doris Day

10. Why was May Day of particular interest to Western intelligence agencies during the Soviet Union's existence?
a. It was the only way they could tell what day it was according to Russia's Gregorian calendar
b. They could figure out who was in favor politically based on if and where they stood to view the Red Square parade
c. May 1 was always the date that the KGB inaugurated a new class of foreign agent recruits
d. Russia invaded the Baltic states on May 1, 1940; northern Iran on May 1, 1941; Hungary on May 1, 1956; and Czechoslovakia on May 1, 1948

BONUS. Which one of the following did not happen on May 1?
a. Harper Lee won a Pulitzer Prize for To Kill a Mockingbird in 1961
b. The Mr. Potato Head toy was introduced in 1952
c. Tony Blair was elected the United Kingdom's prime minister
d. Ronald Reagan was born in 1911

ANSWERS
1) b.
2) b.
3) d.
4) a.
5) c.
6) a.
7) d.
8) d.
9) c.
10) b (seriously, none of those dates for "d" is correct).
BONUS) d.

Want the live news quiz experience? Join us Monday, April 27 in downtown San Francisco for our next live Week to Week political roundtable with a news quiz and a social hour at The Commonwealth Club of California. Panelists include Mark Z. Barabak, Carla Marinucci, and Josh Richman.

Explanations of the hints: It could also be used to dry the laundry the other 364 days of the year: they danced around a decorated pole; everybody knows this name: kind of makes you sing the Cheers theme song, doesn't it; it is in the name, folks: it's not International Venture Capitalist Day (that's every day); and there you go again: those were Reagan's famous words to President Carter in a debate.