Tag Archives: International Workers’ Day

this day in the yesteryear: Haymarket Riot (1886)


English: Placard protesting police brutality a...

English: Placard protesting police brutality at a Shell to Sea protest, Bellanaboy, September 2007 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Haymarket Riot (1886)

This violent confrontation between Chicago police and labor protesters, which dramatized the labor movement’s struggle for recognition, began when a bomb was thrown into the police ranks at a gathering of radical unionists protesting police brutality against strikers. With seven officers dead and 60 wounded, the police opened fire on the crowd. Seven anarchist leaders were later sentenced to death. Why is their trial regarded as one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in US history? More… Discuss

LABOR DAY (from Wikipedia)


LABOR DAY

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
 

Labor Day in the United States is a holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It is a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of their country.

Labor Day was promoted by the Central Labor Union and the Knights of Labor, who organized the first parade in New York City. After the Haymarket Massacre, which occurred in Chicago on May 4, 1886, U.S. President Grover Cleveland feared that commemorating Labor Day on May 1 could become an opportunity to commemorate the affair. Thus, in 1887, it was established as an official holiday in September to support the Labor Day that the Knights favored.[1]

The equivalent holiday in Canada, Labour Day, is also celebrated on the first Monday of September. In many other countries (more than 80 worldwide), “Labour Day” is synonymous with, or linked with, International Workers’ Day, which occurs on May 1.

History

In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while serving as secretary of the CLU (Central Labor Union) of New York.[2] Others argue that it was first proposed by Peter J. McGuire of the American Federation of Labor in May 1882,[3] after witnessing the annual labour festival held in Toronto, Canada.[4] Oregon was the first state to make it a holiday on February 21, 1887. By the time it became a federal holiday in 1894, thirty states officially celebrated Labor Day.[3]

Following the deaths of a number of workers at the hands of the U.S. military and U.S. Marshals during the Pullman Strike, the United States Congress unanimously voted to approve rush legislation that made Labor Day a national holiday; President Grover Cleveland signed it into law a mere six days after the end of the strike.[5] The September date originally chosen by the CLU of New York and observed by many of the nation’s trade unions for the past several years was selected rather than the more widespread International Workers’ Day because Cleveland was concerned that observance of the latter would be associated with the nascent Communist, Syndicalist and Anarchist movements that, though distinct from one another, had rallied to commemorate the Haymarket Affair in International Workers’ Day.[6] All U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and the territories have made it a statutory holiday.

Labor Day
Labor Day New York 1882.jpg

Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882
Observed by United States
Type Federal Holiday (federal government, DC and U.S. Territories); and State Holiday (in all 50 U.S. States)
Celebrations Parades, barbecues
Date First Monday in September
2013 date September 2
2014 date September 1
2015 date September 7
2016 date September 5
Frequency annual
Related to Labour Day