The night before May Day. Saint Walburga's holy day is celebrated on May 1. But the night before -- April 30, or Beltane -- is sometimes called Walpurgis Night. According to German legend, Walpurgisnacht has been associated with the witches' sabbath, and on this night, it was believed that witches met with the devil. Walpurgis Night is exactly six months away from Halloween, and the two serve similar purposes in the pagan calendar -- it's a chance for evil, demons, and the unquiet dead to kick up their heels and have a bit of fun.

George Washington was inaugurated as the first President of the United States on Walpurgis Night, 1789; Thomas Jefferson made the Louisiana Purchase on Walpurgisnacht, 1803; Billy the Kid escaped from a jail in Mesilla, New Mexico on Walpurgis Night, 1881; Casey Jones died in a train wreck on April 30, 1900; the first American commercial television broadcast occurred at the New York World's Fair on Walpurgis Night, 1939; Adolf Hitler killed himself on Walpurgisnacht, 1945; Richard Nixon ordered the "Saturday Night Massacre" on April 30, 1973; the U.S. evacuated Saigon on Walpurgis Night, 1975; Big Ben stopped for almost an hour at 12:11 p.m. (12+11=23) on April 30, 1997..

There is absolutely no occultic significance in any of those events. None.

/me disappears in a puff of acrid smoke

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