"Today is May first."
Thanks Ron! Is there a place where all the different pronunciations of the numbers are laid out by situation/context?
Is は really required after 今日?
"No particle is necessary after words like きょう (KYOU = Today)、きのう (KINOU = yesterday) and あした (ASHITA = tomorrow)."
"WA isn't needed because KYOU is one of those time-related word thingies that doesn't need a particle. You can add a WA if you want to emphasize "today" as opposed to some other day, but it certainly isn't necessary, even in formal speech."
I think this sentence is correct without using です. Impolite or familiar, but correct.
You can't end sentences that use noun phrases (na adjectives or nouns) without a copula (です、だ、でございます）
Even if you wanted to be familiar or impolite, you would have to use だ instead of です. You can't just leave it out.