As ratified by the U.S. Congress back in 2003, today, May 1, would be St. Tammany Day, a day of recognition in honor of one of the more peaced-out dudes to ever walk these streets, the mighty Lenape cheif Tamanend. Who he, you ask? Allow us to save you the trip to Wikipedia:
Tamanend or Tammany or Tammamend, the “affable”, (c. 1628–c. 1698) was a chief of one of the clans that made up the Lenni-Lenape nation in the Delaware Valley at the time Philadelphia was established. Tamanend is best known as a lover of peace and friendship who played a prominent role in the establishment of peaceful relations among the Native American tribes and the English settlers who established Pennsylvania, led by William Penn.
Tamanend reputedly took part in a meeting between the leaders of the Lenni-Lenape nation, and the leaders of the Pennsylvania colony held under a large elm tree at Shakamaxon in the early 1680s. There, Tamanend is reported to have announced that the Lenni-Lenape and the English colonists would “live in peace as long as the waters run in the rivers and creeks and as long as the stars and moon endure.” These words have been memorialized on the statue of Tamanend that stands in Philadelphia today.
That statue, by the way, stands just a block from our offices, at Front and Market streets, and bears the legend that “Tamanend was considered the patron saint of America by the colonists prior to American Independence.” It’s also worth noting that, so legendary were his good vibes, “Tammany Festivals” had all but replaced May Day festivals in these parts by the late 1700s. We’re told that a society in Philadelphia called The Order of St. Tammany still exists, and somewhere, today, they are celebrating Tamanend’s sweet vibe, and wondering how we might all get back to it.