Students at St. Mary-of-the-Woods College dance around a May Pole as part of May Day festivities in 1944. The tradition gained popularity on college campuses beginning in the 1870s as a way to welcome spring, but its roots date back to the ancient Romans. The more contemporary celebration came on May 1 and usually involved wealthy families donned in white and the crowning of a May queen.
Sources: Indiana Historical Society, National Museum of American History
Credit: This photo is courtesy of the Indiana Historical Society and is part of the Martin Collection. More images are available at images.indianahistory.org.