During my early school days we celebrated The Merry Month of May with maypole dances, students reciting their own poems, and singing by the school chorus. Although we gathered around the flagpole, I don’t recall any dancing. Then one May 1st there is no school assembly; instead we sat at our desks (in rows) practicing our handwriting.
Air raid drills began accompanying this program change (probably when I was in fifth grade). I have a visceral memory of my math teacher (male) leading the drill, letting us know how serious this was by telling us, “I have permission to hit any of you over the head to knock you out if you do not follow the rules.”
Russian had usurped May Day; communism was a fearful word: the Cold War had begun.