Notable May birthdays marked on the Simple Lifestyle Calendar are Mary Harris Jones, called "Mother Jones", born May 1st, 1837. She was an American labor and community organizer; Florence Nightingale, born May 12, 1820 was an English social reformer celebrated as the founder of modern nursing. During the Crimean War, she and a team of nurses improved unsanitary conditions at a British base hospital, reducing the death count by two-thirds. She spent her night rounds giving personal care to the wounded soldiers and thus became known as the 'Lady with the Lamp' and 'The Angel of Crimea.' Her writings sparked worldwide health care reform; Ralph Waldo Emerson, born May 25, 1803, wrote poems and gave lectures afterward published in essay form. These essays, particularly “Nature” (1836), embodied his newly developed philosophy which became known as the Transcendentalist movement; Rachel Louise Carson, born on May 27, 1907 was an American marine biologist and conservationist whose writings, particularly the book Silent Spring, helped promote the global environmental movement; Walt Whitman, born May 31, 1819, worked as a journalist, teacher, government clerk, and volunteer nurse during the American Civil War. His poetry was controversial in its time, but he is now considered a major American poet and is called the father of free verse.
We also note assorted spring-related special days, such as Bike-to-Work Day on the third Friday of May; World Migratory Bird Day is a two-day event annually held on the second weekend of May; May 13 is Tulip Day; May 16 is Endangered Species Day; May 22 is World Biodiversity Day, and World Turtle Day is May 23. And of course the final Monday of May is Memorial Day, a holiday much celebrated by families in Appalachia by cleaning up and decorating family gravesites. Be sure to spend time out-of-doors during this month of renewal!